Various Senor Coconut Presents Coconut FM

One of the hottest labels of the year continues its streak. Senor Coconut, aka Uwe Schmidtt/Atom tm, needs no introduction as the man who Latinised Kraftwerk and other classic rock tunes. Here he plays the role of imaginary radio magnate in South and Central America, trolling through reggaeton, carioca funk and the new hybrids of cumbiaton and his own "action.” This compilation rocks. It successfully presents definitive examples of each genre while making the whole disc sound slightly off-kilter through song selection alone. There are some superior Brazilofunk workouts, especially "Nova Danca (Melo Do James Brown,)” which takes JB’s "Night Train” riff into deep booty territory. Tego Calderon represents with a sparse reggaeton number that scatters the frenzied carioca energy, and Dick El Demasiado (translation "Too Much Dick”) throws down a sub-two-minute sound sculpture with beats that is one of this years best tracks. Most impressive is "cumbiaton” — North America seems to rediscover cumbia every 15 years or so, this may herald a new high water mark for the genre. Synthesised accordions and pan flute transcend any potential cheese factor to reinforce cumbia’s kinship with dancehall’s hardest riddims. Snr. Coconut’s sole contribution is a glitched-up monster jam he terms "aciton” for good reason. If your idea of contemporary Latin music includes only the rolling rhythms of salsa and merengue, with a cursory nod to reggaeton Coconut FM brings the stark electronic boom-bap from all over South/Central America. (Essay)