Various Artists - Putumayo Presents: Quebec
Happy 400th anniversary Quebec City, and here's to another 400 or so, with or without inclusion in Canada. Putumayo turns its gaze northward here, and its latest compilation is a gritty stew of local folk traditions and European pop borrowings. This gives you a cool overview of what has been making Quebecois dancing all these years, at least until they head to Montreal to get wasted.
From folk ("Cette Ville" by Mathieu Mathieu , "Etrange" by Doba Caracol ), pop with a bit of reggae rhythm (Martin Leon's "Je m'demande" or "Un Homme" by Annie Villeneuve , to Myreille Bedard's countryish "IL Fait Dimanche," "Putumayo Presents: Quebec" offers an array of styles that agree with one another. The clarinet and accordion, those French staples, make their appearances in slow dance tracks by Polemil Bazar and La Bottine Souriante respectively.
There aren't many surprises here, or, to be fair, that many peaks. Overall this is a mellow and happy set, that doesn't try to get you up too high.As befits a tribute to a city that has borrowed from a variety or European pasts and local immigration, this set is a breezy, whimsical taste of the Quebec music scene, and of its roots. You won't rush up there to hear something new, but you could do worse than what the citizens of Quebec City have done with such a thick stew of influences
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