This piece of Cuban high octane art comes in a disguise, a disguise of a son/salsa recording, dressed up with a tres and a bit of folk. In fact, this is explosive, modern Cuban dance music, the sort that will be part of the definition of our times.
In theory this is a collaboration between Janne Bogdan, a Swedish tresero and the Cuban geniuses Pupy Pedroso and Bombon Reyes; the collaboration is the dress up part. When the songs are dispensed with, and the montunos check in, the collaboration heads out the window and what we get is pure Pupy, driven by the overwhelming and beautiful drumming of Reyes. Which places it the terrain of Van Van and Pupy’s own groups, which is to say in a strange world linked to salsa and timba, but really a place of its own, where the singers sing over percussive coros, and through the distinct landscape of Pupy’s rhythms and harmonies, bitter and tumultuous and often heroic in their ability to alleviate the drudgery of the normal. That’s a long way to say you’ve never heard anything like this.
The singers include Mandy Abreu, El Sinsonte, Maria Cristina Garcia and Pepito Martinez, and they get tons of space to stretch out as both musicians and singers; the horns include Julio Padron, and they rock. Like most Pupy recordings, this one’s a bit murky; there’s so much going on it’s hard to hear individual parts; instead there’s a wall of sound, thumping and realistic, with the coro and the lead singers adding ribbons of melody on top of it all. Pretty amazing, and way up on the top ten list of the year, so far.
Highly Recommended. (Peter Watrous, 2008-05-13)
article submitted by:Janne Bogdan, Soneros All Stars