Album: Various artists, Panama! 3 (Soundway)

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The Independent Culture

Usually when an album compiler is mining a limited supply of music (in this instance funk, jazz, calypso and cumbia from Panama in the 1960s and 1970s) a law of diminishing returns operates that ensures that each subsequent collection is inferior.

But here we are on CD three and, if anything, it's even better than its predecessors. Another pleasure is the well-informed sleeve notes, resplendent with reproductions of the original LP sleeves which are either hilarious or effortlessly cool. The music, of course, is only the latter.