The albums comprising Six Degrees Records' Travels series (including Asian, Arabian and African editions) are pretty much can't-miss compilations, and their Latin Travels, Vol. 2 is another stellar addition. With 11 tracks from around the globe and a heavy emphasis on contemporary Brazilian- and Afro-Cuban-influenced artists, Latin Travels, Vol. 2 is a dance party on a single disc. As is usually the case with Six Degrees releases, Latin Travels, Vol. 2 collects tracks that can be listened to or danced to in equal measure, and are crafted at the merging point of traditional music and modern dance technology. And, as always, it's a supremely tasteful collection.
"Latininfinity" by De Vibroluxe is percussion-heavy Latin funk amped up by slinky beats, while "Cha Cha Cha 57" by Tao of Groove gives an acid jazz spin on a cha cha cha. Los Mocosos brings hip-hop and a reggaetron remix to "Bandolera Era," and the terrific Cuban singer Bobi Céspedes' "California" gets a jerky drum and bass mix from DJ Tripp. Flora y Fauna's "What's Up Samba" is a jazzy, down-tempo slow burn.
Two of the hottest tracks feature old-school masters. Cuban star Beny Moré gets a rocking hip-hop remix of his 1958 classic "Manzanillo" by the Rondo Brothers. And the legendary Brazilian 1970s samba soul act Banda Uni
ã o Black came out of retirement in 2004 to record their first record in more than two decades; their track "Faz Tanto Tempo" gets a big, funky remix by Tim "Love" Lee. Musical armchair traveling doesn't get much livelier than this.