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[MUSICA]

Replay: Devendra Banhart, R-Tronika

BY Krystle Gonzalez | PUBLISHED: Monday, November 16th, 2009
Replay: Devendra Banhart, R-Tronika

We know you’ve been waiting, and as always we deliver. Remezcla Replay gives you the rawest reviews on the latest artists. We will enlighten you with these amazing, although sometimes dreadful artists and give you the real deal on what’s going on in the music scene…We are the harshest of judges yet fair as our critical ears distinguish the potential hits from those destined to flop. Just remember you heard it here first.

In the hot seat this week: Los Fabulosos Cadillacs, Superaquello, Devendra Banhart, and R-Tronika.

1- LOS FABULOSOS CADILLACS

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Oh how we miss the heyday of Los Fabulosos Cadillacs when their music was as lively as their performances. For loyal fans of the Argentinean band, their latest album will be a disappointment. Or if they’re hardcore fans, they will love it still. Hopefully this is just one bad apple of the bunch and won’t add them to the list of aging bands on the decline. We  hate to speak badly about such a legendary band but unfortunately, El Arte de la Elegancia, truly dates them.

One highlight of the album is a remake of Curtis Mayfield’s “Move on Up,” (the track was sampled by Kanye West in “Touch the Sky”).  Los Fabulosos’ version is a bit heavier on the guitar, which makes it sound so much more amazing (in our opinion.)  “Surfer Calavera” is certainly one of those uptempo tracks we wish there were more of in the album.

Nathalie says: “I wouldn’t recommend this album to newer fans. It’s more of a collectors’ item.”

The Remezcla Survey says: Bring back the old Fabulosos Cadillacs! The album has its moments but generally, not as good as their classic work.

RATING: 2.5 stars

2- SUPERAQUELLO

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WARNING: Do not listen to this CD in one go, because the music is so mellow, you just might fall into the sweetest of slumbers!

As devoted fans of Superaquello know, they are always defying the norm. Their latest album, Superaquello Interpreta Latarde, verges away from their catchy electronic pop melodies and delves into really (really!) slow, more acoustic compositions. Patricia Dávila, the (former?) lead vocalist and only female in the band is dressed as a bearded man on the album cover. But she hardly sings in the album…que paso?

The melodic music keeps you so relaxed that you will perhaps disregard the lyrics, but please don’t as they are rather insightful and sometimes even subversive (”Muerete!”). We read they claim to have incorporated traditional Puerto Rican music on this comeback album. However, aside from the sounds of birds chirping and ocean waves, not much sounds “traditionally” Puerto Rican about it. But ok, we love Superaquello, and we’ll buy it!

This album strays significantly from their earlier works. You won’t hear birds chirping in one of our fave tracks below, “La Emergencia.”

Krystle says: “A lot of it sounds like the alpha sound brainwaves I listen to while studying. Did I really just say that?”

The Remezcla Survey says: Great for meditating or studying.  We’re curious to see them live.

RATING: 2 stars

3- DEVENDRA BANHART

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Devendra Banhart’s latest album What Will Be is a trip back in time to 1968. Free love anyone?

The hippie hottie delivers his usual folksy awesomeness but fuses a bit more jazz and funk in this new album, giving it a slightly psychedelic vibe. No objections to this one, we love it! The artwork on the album is amazing and was all hand done by Mr. Banhart himself. Yes, you’ll have to buy the old-fashioned, CD to appreciate the art. Best songs: “Can’t Help But Smiling,” “Chin Chin & Muck Muck,” “16th and Valencia.”

Katro says: “He’s playful, sweet and romantic. Kudos for the cute creatures yelling ‘coño!’ on the liner notes”

The Remezcla Survey says: Perfect for chilling out at home or at a coffee house. We love it!

RATING: 3.5 stars

4- R-TRONIKA

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R-Tronika has come a long way. What started as the project of New York-based Peruvian artist Renzo Ortega, has evolved into a musical collective that goes beyond punk electronica and into world rhythms such as South American folk and reggae. The addition of percussion  is especially welcoming. Even though the three female vocalists can sound screeching at times, it gives the group breadth. The lyrics are repetitive, literally and figuratively, (”down with Babylon,” “viva el pueblo”-type of stuff) but we are rooting for you R-Tronika! The new Gogol Bordello? Not there yet, but….

Jatnna says: “The CD is political with a mix of world music beats. I would recommend this to someone who digs ska or reggae. But I think the female vocals really bring the group down.”

Overall Remezcla Survey Says: Definitely needs some work but on the right track.

RATING: 2 Stars



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