Hear Globally: A Cumbancha Sampler
By 2009, after a few years transitioning into one of the higher-end world music labels, Cumbancha issued Hear Globally, which collects a song or two from each of the label's ten releases prior to the sampler itself. With a particularly eclectic ear toward the label's recordings, the compilation swings wildly, but smoothly, from style to style and ethnicity to ethnicity, starting out with a hybrid of ska and Cuban son, then moving casually into a surprisingly African sound from Israel's Idan Raichel and his collective. The Belizean Garifuna are represented both by Andy Palacio and Umalali (a women's collective), sandwiching a pair of African pieces. There's a sultry French piece from the multicultural Rupa, and a pair of excellent appearances from the mbira-like singer Chiwoniso. With a couple of pieces from Peruvian fusionists Novalima to round out the set, most continents and cultures have at least been touched upon. The sound has energy in spurts, but tends toward a slow simmer for the majority of the album (with the exception of Ska Cubano's performance and some of the Garifuna works). It's a nice overview of work from a label with a lot of strength behind it, despite having a fairly small catalog.
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