Aurelio Laru Beya

From coastal Central America comes yet another successful melding of Spanish and West African influences – the music of the Garifuna people. On Laru Beya, Aurelio explores nuances of his musical culture in greater detail while paying homage to his late hero, Garifuna's greatest spokesman, Andy Palacio. It's noteworthy that Aurelio spent a year in Senegal as an apprentice to Youssou N'Dour. Whether it was his intention to take his native sound a few steps back, amplifying its African nature, or it's mainly the result of N'Dour's influence is inconsequential. The end result is an album that strokes and rattles the soul with a calm, breezy strength, the kind that turns coastal rocks into grains of sand. Laru Beya features the vocal harmonizing of Aurelio and N'Dour, as well as contributions from Dakar's Orchestra Baobab, a choir of Garifuna women and even his mother, whose made-up lullaby inspired one of Aurelio's tracks. (Sub Pop)