Various Artists

According to at least one mainstream music rag, gypsy rock is the next big thing. Yet the 11 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. Perhaps the most fascinating aspect of this compilation is that while each of the artists, from Slovenia's Magnifico & Turbolentza, the Czech Republic's and Hungary's Kistehén Tánczenekar, have their own interpretation of the contemporary gypsy sound, the album has a remarkable cohesiveness. It's all a little bit weird, and a whole lot wonderful.


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