Bio Ritmo Bio Ritmo

The impulse behind this superb album is an effort to recapture the original, experimental spirit that gave rise to salsa in the ’60s and ’70s. This was a time when many cultural influences, new technology, and mind-expanding drugs influenced the recording process. The coincidence of innovation, freakiness and popularity of artists like Johnny Colon and Eddie Palmieri is no longer in evidence in popular Latin music: most of today’s Latin hybrids feel squeaky clean by comparison. Virginia’s Bio Ritmo represents a welcome change to all that — this is what the old timers call salsa duro. This album smokes, pun intended. The bright recording and passionate, unashamedly retro sound is fresh because the band captures the same verve as the original innovators. Little touches such as creative synth patches, plucked piano strings and inventive uses of Brazilian elements keep things sounding fresh. The focus is on the instrumentalists throughout, with the bridge of each tune taking off into increasingly exciting directions before restating the main theme. After five albums, Bio Ritmo have really captured something special here —sometimes they do make 'em like they used to. (Locutor)