Posts Tagged ‘grupo fantasma’

Grupo Fantasma – Problemas | Album Review | Top of the World

Posted on February 4th, 2016 in Recent posts by .


Words by Chris Moss

Grupo Fantasma - Problemas Cover

No problems here: bold and brassy Latino funk from Austin

For their first studio album since 2010’s Grammy-winning El Existential, this Austin nine-piece have abandoned their DIY approach and contracted Steve Berlin (Los Lobos’ saxophonist) to produce. His is a more polished production, which also pushes the horns even more into the focus and gets these versatile musicians to push themselves and hop around the genres.

Problemas is an entertaining mix of funk, urban groove, big-band brass, rap and Latin pop-rock. If it’s chaotic and clamorous, that’s only an accurate reflection of the currents teeming around the US Latino music scene. ‘Esa Negra’ is raw and rocking, bolted to a mean beat; ‘Otoño’ is jazzed-up shanty-style cumbia; while ‘Descarga Pura y Dura’ (Letting it Go, Pure and Hard) lives up to its title, salsa-style. This is a band that have jammed with Prince, collaborated with Maceo Parker and the Wu-Tang Clan and been fawned over at major jazz festivals as well as their hometown’s SXSW indie jamboree. Problemas is 44 minutes of fizzing variety and edgy eclecticism.

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Top of the World March 2016

Posted on January 29th, 2016 in Recent posts, Reviews by .

Our selection of the top ten new releases reviewed in the March (#115) issue.

Baaba Maal - The Traveller Cover

Baaba Maal
The Traveller (Marathon Artists)
Baaba Maal returns with his first album in seven years. The Traveller is a career highlight and an exhilarating summation of his life in which his activism and music are seamlessly intertwined. Read our review.

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Grupo Fantasma - Problemas Cover

Grupo Fantasma
Problemas (Blue Corn Music)
The Austin-based nine-piece take on a new approach to recording here; the songs have a new-found sheen and are an entertaining mix of funk, urban groove, rap and Latin pop-rock.

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Mamak Khadem - The Road Cover

Mamak Khadem
The Road (Innova)
Despite an undeservingly understated career, the Iranian singer’s third album showcases stunning vocals and various musical influences, from the Middle East to Eastern Europe.

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Show of Hands - The Long Way Home Cover

Show of Hands
The Long Way Home (Hands On Music)
Respected folk act duo Show of Hands mark the new year with a new album, continuing a long run of two decades’ worth of solid material.

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Lost (GFR)
Via the combination of Gaelic wire-strung and concert harps and various electronic elements, Graham Fitkin and Ruth Wall create a suspenseful, yet reserved and cohesive album.

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vesevo cover

Vesevo (Agualoca Records)
The Neapolitan trio provide a unique and contemporary take on southern Italy’s traditional songs and dances, utilising catchy rhythms and strong harmonies across nine tracks.

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Smockey - Prevolution Cover

Pre’volution: Le Président, Ma Moto et Moi (Outhere Records)
The hip-hop artist from Burkina Faso releases his new album, made in the midst of political unrest and revolution in his home country.

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Sidestepper - Supernatural Love Cover

Supernatural Love (Real World)
The electro-cumbia pioneers from Colombia explore the overlooked traditions of the country’s African music. The result is a calm, collected and cool celebration of musical culture.

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Čači Vorba - Satrika Cover

Čači Vorba
Šatrika (Oriente Musik)
Fronted by the excellent fiddle player and vocalist Maria Natanson, the Polish group exhibit inventive arrangements and striking vocals on a distinctive collection of songs of Romani origin.

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Pagoda Project - Clarion Cover

Pagoda Project
Clarion (Sylvafield)
A meeting between two artists from two different musical backgrounds results in one of this year’s most relaxing and pleasurable listens. A carefully crafted and thoughtful album.

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