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cd review: zizek: zzk sound vol. 2
21 September, 2009, 12:45 PM
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Reviewed on Wednesday, August 19, 2009 by Areti Sakellaris
Published on URB.com
Nacional Records
5 Stars

International dignitaries pose as trendsetters on ZZK Sound Vol. 2, delivering a kaleidoscopic array of electronica, dancehall, and cumbia. Come prepared.

After a dismal 2004 club fire, officials in Buenos Aires all but squeezed the life out of the once flourishing underground music scene. “No Dancing” signs haunted the city’s revelers, and Zizek’s founders El G and Nim would be the answer to the plague. Under the guiding light of resident DJ Villa Diamante, Zizek became the place for restless musical imaginations to wander into and dance their way to nirvana.

The compilation is a party favor with something for everyone with its range of nationalities and styles represented. “Brooklyn Cumbia” seems like an innocent enough opener beckoning a listen; then “Piolaboy (featuring Fauna)” launches into a tropitronica cocktail; and Frikstailers mash it up on “Cumbia Kamisama.” Changing gears is Chancha via Circuito’s “Prima,” which is an ambient electronic track with a runaway crescendo. Things get sensual with floorboard busting track “Soloina (Pastnerak Remix),” and if that was for the ladies, Axel Krygier’s “Cumbia Tucumana” wraps hip-hop over cumbia and dancehall for the chicos.

It’s nothing short of ironic that this collective of DJs and producers is making a global splash because this crew decidedly lives in their own world without rules and categories. Soak in the hues and tints of Vol. 2, subtle as it is audacious, breathy as it is aggressive; it’s a wicked trip to another place.

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cd review: bomba estereo: blow up
21 September, 2009, 12:38 PM
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Reviewed on Tuesday, July 14, 2009 by Areti Sakellaris
Published on URB.com
Nacional Records
4 Stars

Bomba Estéreo is a funky underground talent revealing a genre-busting, linguistics-defying release with Blow Up. The Colombian group rolls out an original mix of electronica, dub, hip-hop, champeta and cumbia for the Nacional label, which has been recently garnering extra attention for their pan-Latino sound.

Lead vocalist Liliana Saumet’s wildly playful lyrics explode when in contact with Simon Mejia’s guitar and synths. Saumet’s sultry style is a hybridization of Nelly Furtado with the precision and attitude of M.I.A. “Fuego introduced the world to Bomba’s Technicolor world. “La Nina Rica is as mind-blowing as it is steamy. Dedicated to the “people dancing in the street” is the anthemic party track “Feelin,”” which weaves English and Spanish with Diego Cadavid’s percussion and Kike Egurrola’s drums. “Raza wraps the album and includes a shout-out to Saumet’s hometown of Santa Marta. This is a group comfortable with their heritage and eager to share it with fans the world over.

Mejia started in 2005 and released an album of instrumental work, and hooking up with Saumet brought out the fire and organic influences of Colombia’s colorful coast and musical traditions. Together, they produced an inclusive record, managing to get the non-Spanish speakers in the crowd up on their feet.

With Saumet’s thrilling voice, Mejia’s brilliant feel for the music, and their wanton exuberance, keep a jug of water handy.