Various Rough Guide to Latin Funk

Attempting to connect the dots between funk and Latino rhythms like rumba and son, Rough Guide compiled a string of contemporary Latin artists who make funky music. Complete with a booklet explaining funk music and its secret love affair with Latino syncopation, the compilation has some winning tracks but doesn’t make a convincing argument about Latin funk music. Yes, Latinos do make some heavy funk music, and the Rough Guide booklet even mentions some great artists who’ve made great contributions to the genre like Los Van Van, Wganda Kenya, Joe Cuba and even Santana, but they’re nowhere on this compilation. Instead, you get contemporary Latin bands doing their version of Latin funk. Sure, you got standards like Joe Bataan’s barrio groove "Chévere que Chévere” and Antibalas’s makossa version of the Willie Colon track "Che Che Colé.” But you also get some grooves courtesy of Los Amigos Invisibles and their syrupy, disco-flavoured "Yo Soy Así.” As well as the heavy, almost experimental Santerías-funk created by Bobi Céspedes on "Obatala” and the atmospheric hip-hop funk from Chilean group Bitman and Roban, with "El Hechizo.” Mexican electronic project Nortec Collective offer up some deep two-step chopped-up business on "Funky Tamazula” and then Ozomatli take you to a cumbia funk party with the brass-heavy "La Gallina.” Compiled by writer/DJ Pablo Yglesias, Rough Guide to Latin Funk falls short in a few places if you’re expecting classic Latin funk but still serves a few fresh selections to get your party started. (Rough Guides)