Gaby Kerpel Carnabailito

This is the true Latin alternative. Gaby Kerpel is an electronic musician from Argentina — but this is no Gotan Project "tango nuevo.” This is highly individualistic music balancing acoustic and electronic elements. There are elements of a pan-South American sound, but these are mostly derived from the use of accordion and a wide array of tuned percussive sonics, not from the use of familiar rhythmic templates. Rhythms are fractured and not at all meant for dancing, but provide compelling headphone music. The originality of the programming and sounds recall the homemade instruments of the FemBots more than anything "typically” Argentine. Vocals frequently include singsong-y melodies with children and anguished, thin-sounding lyrics almost bringing Prince to mind. Special mention should be made of the gorgeous production and orchestration of strings parts that leavens the angularity throughout. This achieves "alternative" status by proffering a truly offbeat sensibility, with fractured guitars used sparingly to underscore the songs. This approach puts Carnabailito more in line with genuinely left of centre pop sensibilities of North America and Europe. (Nonesuch)