Magazine cover specialists and Geo Bee sponsors, now world music mavens. World music, of course, being a tricky one to properly pin down. But I see more X-Plastaz and less Graceland, plus a digital distribution scheme that will hopefully keep it off the Starbucks shelves. With a pop-up Java app and $0.99 downloads, it's got an iTunes-esque death-to-the-music-industry imprimateur all over it.
I wonder, though, if the remix treatment to every song shines off too much tarnish when the result is "a super smooth house track" (DJ Afro's edit of Los Amigos Invisibles "Yo No Se"). Although there probably wasn't much tarnish to begin with if the album it came off of was produced by Dmitri From Paris. I've got nothing against French house -- why on earth would I have gone clubbing in Paris last fall otherwise? -- but such slinky sounds don't settle well alongside the righteous chicano indignation of "El Ballad de Jose Campos".
"World music" coming up short again as an empty category when it's overwhelmingly vast? Could be. Or maybe just misnomered: what's "worldly" (as opposed to "national", I suppose) about Spanish-language music when reggaeton dominates the airwaves?
An attempt, but I'm unconvinced a successful one, at imploding the top-down*/bottom-up** paradigm in "world music" circulation that professor wayne&wax told me he toyed with in class.
*i.e. Graceland and PG
**i.e. this, this, this, and maybe even yours truly.