Various Asian Travels 2

I think world-beat must be one of the easiest dance music hybrids to generate. Only that can explain why samples of African drums, Indian sitars and Middle Eastern divas persist in today's dance music. Asian Travels 2 is a compilation that pulls all these influences, and more, together. The tracks mostly fall into the down-tempo and trip-hop genres, with a few leaps into house and easy-listening drum & bass. The best tracks are the slower ones, which have more of a dub element to them, which include Govinda's "Slow Devotion," with its breathy female vocal samples, live double bass and other jazz influences, and Jairamji's meditative "Swaragami." Bob Holroyd's "Adrift in Kerala" is the best on the disc, as it literally is the sound of a hot summer night, sounding just like its title, with its wonderful female vocals, slow, slow beats and the mildly twisted sounds of a distant trumpeter. This compilation doesn't break any new ground, and it's not going to cause a ruckus or a party to break out, but it is an enjoyable listen. (Six Degrees)