It's great to hear from a Marseille-based group.

It's great to hear from a Marseille-based group. The French city offers a distinctive cultural mix, which is abundantly evident in Massilia Sound System's colorful music. The group members are quick to cite the ragamuffin reggae style as an important influence, but this loose-knit musical conglomerate is all over the place—musically, that is. The rhythmic and tonal influences of North African rai and Berber music are prominent in several tunes, including "Pauvre des Nous." Hip-hop is an almost constant presence in the act's sound, whether it be overt or implicit. The same is also true for dub reggae. A fine madness pervades this fine disc, with the System adroitly going from the regional oddity ("Tout le Monde Ment") to spoken word ("Vida") to the solid urban vibe of a track like "Tenson du Bambou." Distributed in the U.S. by Harmonia Mundi.—PVV