Published Sep 27, 2008What is salsa if not another example of a unique musical genre created out of experimentation? Thats the basic theory surrounding the new Bio Ritmo album, Bionico. On this new release, Bio Ritmo take lessons learned from the originators of salsa, specifically the idea that salsa is and always will be an evolving genre. So now classic tumbao pianos meet with spacey synths and clave bars are peppered with echo-y vibes. With a touch of class, courtesy of former Fania engineer Jon Fausty, Bionico is a powerhouse salsa record full of heavy rhythms and some outright experimental fusions. Tracks like "A la cha, which carries a heavy nod towards Middle Eastern influences, the straight up kitsch of "Bionico Boogaloo, a salsa version of the classic Bionic Man theme, or even the spacey salsa vibes of "Lisandra demonstrate the capacity of this band to take the salsa vibe to places its never been. Clearly showcasing their skills for experimentation, as well as their knack for thick salsa rhythms, Bio Ritmo have created a genuinely funky and wild salsa album that is as much about the old school as it is about taking the genre to the next level.
Experimenting isnt something you expect from a salsa band today. Where does that desire to experiment come from?
Vocalist, percussionist Rei Alvarez: I can say that Bio Ritmo are certainly, from the first day, just a unification of artists that are into all kinds of cool things. At any given time well be listening to stuff thats totally different. We love it. We listen to all kinds of bands, as long as they have character and substance. Those are the things were into.
So are salseros ready for experimental salsa?
Im from Puerto Rico, I grew up around salsa but I didnt really know anything about it; you always take it for granted as a kid. If youre into salsa and youre a part of it, you reach adulthood taking it for granted but somewhere along the way you decide to get into the music or the culture or whatever. Most people take their culture for granted, I believe. Thats why when you have people move away from their home country thats when they start to appreciate stuff and romanticize it. We want to be a salsa band but we want to do original stuff thats still about the vintage salsa thing, but original. (Locutor)