Various Balkan Groove

When Eastern European music label Eastblok put together this compilation, they wanted to drag Balkan out of the "folklore corner to make it cool for the kids." The 15-track collection does just that. Every song presents a different Balkan hybrid genre ― from drum & bass to Arabic ― giving Eastern European melodies a pleasing, untraditional twist. Opener "Raise Up Your Hand" is a funky, Balkan-infused tune by Macedonia-based DJ Kiril, featuring smooth vocals from reggae emcee Ras Tweed. Contributing to the album are heavy hitters such as Riva Starr, with "I Was Drunk." But giving the disc its most rave-y feel is Serbian duo Shazalakazoo, with "Sarmageddon," an epic mix of jungle and Balkan brass. With its fresh take on Balkan music, this compilation has something for everyone, whether it's club-goers or fans of traditional brass roots. (Eastblok)