Panama on blast! With its diverse racial make-up and unique location at the end of Central America, Panama has long been a hotbed for Afro-Latin rythyms, and this compilation further documents a unique period when the country’s musicians were fusing traditional native sounds (cumbia, guaracha, guaguanco, etc.) with the emerging funk and soul sounds floating down from the United States. From Papi Brandao’s accordion-fueled take on “La Murga de Panama” to The Soul Fantastics’ cover of Bill Withers’ classic “Ain’t No Sunshine,” the compilation is filled with choice selections, but make extra sure not to miss Idamerica Ruiz’s impassioned vocals on the rustic stomp of “No Llores Porque Me Voy.”