Various Phat Global #1

The idea behind Phat Global is that even if musicians don't sing in the same language, the attitudes that they express don't require words. That's certainly the case with some, but not all of the tracks on this compilation. Algerian rai sensation Cheb Mami flows lyrics with French MCs K. Rhyme Le Roi and Imhotep on "Marseillais Du Nord." Their vocals are against hip-hop drums, creating an vivid atmosphere that's both rough and smoky. Da Lata re-fix the rhythms on Sly and Robbie's "Softcore Surge" with an intricate sense of syncopation, opening up a new meeting point between dub atmospherics and Brazilian drumming. The junglist-Latin sound-clash on P18's "Jump!" and “Aterciopelados” is interesting but a little difficult on the ears. Similarly, when Indian Rope Man drops tabla and flutes over a loud sample of Cypress Hill-style drum breaks, the results are a little too bumpy. However, the more acoustic tracks from Manu Chao and Sergent Garcia demonstrate a different manifesto in playing urban dance music, but in a way that's local to their style and tradition. (Island)