Various Abstract Afro Lounge III

This is the kind of compilation you want in your car, cruising down the highway with windows wide open. Abstract Afro Lounge III's songs are intricate combinations of dense percussion with house and disco underpinnings. Its "Afro" content is mostly of the "inspired by" variety, rather than the genuine article. "Afro" apparently means lots of furious percussion, whether it is African or Latin, or just someone's overactive sequencer. Unlike the Frikyiwa series, which remixes contemporary African artists with legitimate (West) African musical ideas, Abstract Afro Lounge mostly alludes to African forms. That's ok, but it shouldn't get too self-important in portraying its four-to-the-floor (with occasional six-to-the-floor) grooves as being the legacy of the motherland. Fortunately, the fuzzy concept doesn't detract from the strong songs, which brings us back to summertime listening. Summertime relaxes us all, and demands less introspection. So go and enjoy Abstract Afro Lounge III, and seek out other African club music by the likes of Femi Kuti, Angelique Kidjo and Tony Allen. (Nite Grooves)