La Cumbiamba Eneye Marioneta

The future folk of Colombia has touched down. This mother ship brings raucous brass, marimbas and flutes rooted in folkloric traditions but sparked by contemporary musicians. "Andando Vengo” leads the album off at a breakneck pace, with staccato brass and cymbal accents sounding more Balkan than South American. While this is the most raucous tune on the disc, the drum and flute workouts of tracks like "Pachanga” are both atmospheric and intense, with an interplay that threatens to lose the beat, but masterfully so. The woodwinds are reminiscent of Andean flutes, which unfortunately have become the greatest tropical sonic cliché of all time, but they reclaim their power in this context. They are severely overblown at times, which is a strident and effective tactic that prevents the listener from being lulled to sleep by other tunes. Being NYC, there is much more than folklore going on — these musicians want to get gigs and spread Colombian musical impulses as far as possible. Thus, jazzy guitar lines, a dash of Afro-American soul and some hard rocking patterns all appear to bring more life to centuries old patterns. (Chonta)