Published Sep 12, 2016Alpha 606 is Armando Martinez, a Hialeah-born and Miami-based producer whose new record for Detroit-based label Interdimensional Transmissions oscillates between the aesthetics of drum machine programming and the Afro-Cuban heritage of live hand percussion.
In what seems to be a nostalgic callback to the "Miami Vice" era, that live percussion throughout Afro-Cuban Electronics allows Martinez to offer a deeply personal love letter to his homeland. He rejuvenates the clinical mechanics of electro with a uniquely Latin twist. Thumping rhythms throughout the album propel lush atmospheres whose pacing stems directly from the folklore of the Latin Americas. Samples of Latin dialects subtly peek through the churning sub of "Whale Memory," seizing the cultural heritage that the record seeks to pay homage to. Tracks like "Defection" industrialize the politically charged vocal hooks, tastefully juxtaposing booty bass with the underlying anti-oppressive discourse of the album.
Afro-Cuban Electronics is a consistent and intentional artistic statement, an expression of Martinez's ethnic roots that simultaneously rejects the homogeneity of the contemporary electro landscape. (Interdimensional Transmissions)