Published Feb 03, 2016The dance band collective known as Sidestepper haven't been heard from in recent years, but new album Supernatural Love aims to change all that.
The brainchild of UK DJ/producer Richard Blair and Colombian singer-songwriter and producer Iván Benavides, the band have been committed to an earthy yet electronic musical exploration ever since 1997 debut album Southern Star. On this 11-track project, they mine traditional musical sounds from Colombia, Haiti, Trinidad, Cuba and Africa — kalimbas, flutes, guitar, seeds and shakers —with electronic dub grooves. While the melodic chant of opening track "Fuego Que Te Llama" sets the mood with its smooth, entrancing embrace, the overarching vibe of the Spanish and English vocal project — and its inherent appeal — is a minimalist, stripped-down approach to electro cumbia with Caribbean flair. This musical fluidity is felt most strongly on numbers such as "Lover," "Magangué" and "Come See Us Play."
The track "Song For The Sinner" is the lone misstep, with its awkward sounding chorus and simple message, but overall, laid-back dub, blues, synth and calypso sounds — led by the breezy vocals of Erika Muñoz —mix and merge to near-spiritual effect on Supernatural Love, an aural delight that deserves multiple spins. (Real World)