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Saturday, December 31 1994

Various Artists: Blow’n the Blues

As the first track, “Help Me,” begins, we hear the recently departed Junior Wells speaking about the long departed Sonny Boy Williamson. Wells talks about

    Various Artists: Italian Musical Odyssey

Yes, it’s time once again to review a Putamayo production, the Italian Musical Odyssey. I guess some people must really enjoy these compilations, because

Various Artists: Twisted Forever

To my mind, comps like this (well, good comps like this, at any rate) serve one of two purposes: 1. They serve as a backwards-looking introduction

Various Artists, Everything Off Beat Volume 2

Everything Off Beat is a sampler of the ska bands recording on the Jump Up! label and, if this is an indication of the quality

Various Artists: Between Heaven & Earth: Traditional Gamelan Music of Bali

As Eastern instrumentation goes, the gamelan is an odd duck. Most people with some minimal exposure to world music will recognize the gamelan by name,

Various Artists: Tramps, Traitors, and Little Devils: A Drag City Supersession

Tramps, Traitors, and Little Devils represents a who’s who gathering of the Chicago indie scene. Smog’s Bill Callahan, Royal Trux’s Neil Michael

Various Artists: Piano Grand!

A magnificent missed opportunity. What could have been a showcase for an instrument has instead been turned into the equivalent of a boring trip to

    Various Artists: face b

Most of the groups on this compilation from a label based in France, but with recordings from all over the world, are emulating the dance/

Various Artists: Music of China

Interest in world cultures seems to be at a peak right now. The invention of the internet has made it possible to find out about

Various Artists, The Disco Box

I remember a time in the not-too-distant-past when there wasn’t a dirtier word around than “disco.” But the tides of pop culture always change

    Various Artists: Caroline Now! The Music of Brian Wilson and the Beach Boys

The Brian Wilson extravaganza continues to gain new attractions and shows no sign of abating. The nineties have indeed been kind to Brian after decades

Various Artists: Breakscape

A collection of breakbeats UK-style often means simply a collection of updated big beat tracks. You remember big beat, don’t you? Dance music for

Various Artists: Reggae Floorfillers

Even though I’m hardly a reggae expert, I know full well that it’s fun to dance to. The compilers of this album seem

Various Artists: Shine! Issue No. 1

You know how you hear a new song on the radio, and you just love it cuz it’s fresh and new and catchy and

Various Artists: French Sessions 6

There are still branches of House that have not forgotten the genre’s roots in Disco. There is also House that remembers the days of

    Various Artists: Race Riot

The erstwhile Long Island-based rockarola label, Spitfire Records has collaborated with Jump Shot Records to bring the world a slam-bang compilation of all your favorite

    Various Artists: Many Miles Away

No, this collection of Police covers does not contain “Roxanne” or “Every Breath You Take”. Nor does Many Miles Away boast any big name acts,

    Various Artists: Listen Picks: Hip-Hop

Man, does this disc cover a lot of ground… Not real surprising, I guess, considering it’s a comp of artists from the

Pavarotti & Friends for Guatemala and Kosovo

Because age has taken its toll on his voice, Luciano Pavarotti has reconfigured his career to obviate having to expose its limitations to more discriminating

    Various Artists: Gospel in the Groove

I’ve heard that gospel can be traced to appearing in the 1930s. The music steadily rose in popularity throughout the next two decades, thanks

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