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Putumayo Presents Gypsy Groove

According to at least one mainstream music rag, Gypsy Rock is the Next Big Thing, yet the eleven artists on Putumayo's latest collection of intoxicating international rhythms eschew clichéd guitar riffage for squeezeboxes and syncopated swing beats. As the title suggests, Gypsy Groove is full of interesting musical juxtapositions — Dutch klezmer-dub? Check. Uzbek folk-funk? Yup. Bulgarian jazz-hop? Uh-huh. You'd be hard-pressed to find any album that covers as much fertile musical ground, manages to be both traditional and modern, and presents as many opportunities for drunken polka dancing, whether in a crowded club, around a firepit at a Romany campground, or in the privacy of your own hovel. Perhaps the most fascinating aspect of this compilation is that each of the artists, from Slovenia's Magnifico & Turbolentza, the Czech Republic's Gipsy.cz, and Hungary's Kistehén Tánczenekar, has its own interpretation of the contemporary Gypsy sound, yet the album has a remarkable cohesiveness. It's all a little bit weird, and a whole lot wonderful; don't be surprised if you run away to join the carnival after just one listen.

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