Although aswim in the same crystalline sea, the islands of the French, Dutch, and English Caribbean move to a different beat than their Latin neighbors. Where the rhythms out of Cuba, Puerto Rico, and the Dominican Republic are rough, syncopated passion, the rest of the sun-drenched basin grooves breezily under the spell of zouk, biguine, soca, and of course, reggae. This upbeat collection wafts around tourist paradises such as Aruba (where E.Q.O.'s pan-Caribbean funk is as polyglot as the Papiamento language in which it's sung), Martinique (a French province bobbing like a buoy in the warm waters), and Barbados (the home of Krosfyah, the most lethal soca band around). But some non-Club Med destinations, such as Haiti and Belize, yield sophisticated musical treasures -- Beethova Obas's gorgeous "Lina" and Andy Palacio's Garifuna folk tune "Nabi." When it comes to conjuring the tuneful tropical idyll that draws thousands to the islands, Martinicans Chris Combette, Kali, and Claude Vamur embody the holiday groove. Let CARIBE! CARIBE! plan your next getaway.