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Rasa Exotica

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Album Review

Like its predecessor in the series, Rasa Exotica II misleads just a little bit with its Egyptian-flavored cover art and subliminal hints of Indian philosophy. Where you might be led to expect lulling drones and soggy new age mysticism, what you actually get is a panoply of world music dance traditions all processed through a filter of chugging house and other thoroughly modern club/electronica subgenres. The result is, for the most part, quite effective and even compelling. Ghostland's "Guide Me God" is not only a fine track on its own, but is also notable for offering what is probably the first recorded collaboration between Natacha Atlas and Sinéad O'Connor; the Major Boys' "Sous le Soleil" combines a house beat, French lyrics, and Bahia-style drumming to fine effect, and Edouard de Tricasse's "Taj Mahal Wind" is equally danceable and fun, if a bit too long. But the program hits its peak on track nine, with a remix of Llorca's cross-cultural "Indigo Blues." Not everything on this album is spectacular, but a fair amount of it is. Recommended.

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Rasa Exotica, Donna D'Cruz
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