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The Womeximizer 10

(Womex; US: 27 Oct 2010; UK: 27 Oct 2010)

Grab-bag has something for everybody

Sampler albums are by nature grab-bag affairs, and The Womeximizer 10 might be even more grab-bag than usual. A selection of tracks by artists who appeared at the 10th World Music Expo in Copenhagen, the album kicks off with a frenetic klezmer tune before moving swiftly through La Brass Banda’s rivetingly funky “Des Konnst Glam”. By the way, this is one of those records you should avoid if you’re bothered by not understanding lyrics. There’s Algerian music from Kamel el Harrachi, South American electronica in the form of Bogota’s Bomba Esteréo, and traditional Serbian vocal music. Mamer, described as part of “China’s alt-country scene,” contributes a song in Kazakh, while Danish folk group Phonix provide “Ulv, Raev og Hare” (beats me), a standout track featuring honey-smooth vocals.


The performances are consistently top-notch, although the segues from one song to the next can be disorienting, as accordion bumps up against synthesizer or Norwegian bagpipes. Then again, that’s half the fun. Listeners are unlikely to love all the songs equally. With a generous twenty tracks, the sounds are just too far-flung to please everybody all the time, but if the record causes a few people to seek further output from some of these artists, as seems likely, then it will have accomplished its purpose.

Rating:

DAVID MAINE is a novelist and essayist. His books include The Preservationist (2004), Fallen (2005), The Book of Samson (2006), Monster, 1959 (2008) and An Age of Madness (2012). He has contributed to The Washington Post, Publishers Weekly, Esquire.com and NPR.com, among other outlets. He is a lifelong music obsessive whose interests range from rock to folk to hip-hop to international to blues. He currently lives in western Massachusetts, where he works in human services. Catch up with his blog, The Party Never Stops, at davidmaine.blogspot.com, or become his buddy on Facebook (or Twitter or Google+ or whatever you prefer) to keep up with reviews and other developments.


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Phonix - "Ulv, Raev og Hare" Live
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