Monday, March 19, 2012

BANG DATA-La Sopa (Rockolito Music, 2012)

Bang Data's debut album finally came out and if you're from around here, you probably know this very well because these guys are like everywhere, but I have a feeling people in other latitudes are not as familiar.
Full disclosure, I can't be too hard on them when criticizing their music because these guys are almost like family to me. Not in the sense that we share the same last name (which leads to a lot of funny confusion) but in the sense that I've known them for  many years, we've shared the stage more than a few times and we always, always run into each other in the Bay Area scene. They are mad cool, except for the bassist who hits on my wife when he gets drunk, JK. Besides, the album is plagued with guests who are also very familiar (to me at least), like my colleague El Kool Kyle (who produced the beats on the cumbia tracks) and Chile's DJ Julicio (who did the scratching on a couple of tracks and is the scratch DJ of one of Chile's hip-hop biggest MC's: Zaturno). So yeah, the album has that feeling of family reunion, around a table with some hearty bowls of soup.
La Sopa includes those same songs from their debut EP from 2009, plus many new ones, encompassing all sounds and traditions from the Latin American palette, from Afro-Peruvian, to Brazilian, passing through rock, rap, reggae, ska and the omnipresent cumbia. The bilingual flow of Nicaraguan rapper Deuce Eclipse works out great over those eclectic beats but he doesn't take away the spotlight from the music, this is not a hip-hop album. Rapping is there all over La Sopa, from the first to the last song, but the main ingredient of the soup is the confluence of musical styles and the uplifting international party atmosphere. The production by Peruvian Juan M. Caipo (the fact that the producer's name is Juan and the band's last name is Data has been the source of most of those aforementioned funny confusions) is very detail-attentive, although his rock-en-español background permeates into the band's sound a little too much, but that's just my personal preference (I'm a beat-head, I would've like to see more involvement of Amp Live) and I'm sure plenty other Latinos out there are gonna disagree with me on that and welcome Bang Data as the current leaders of Latin Alternative made in the US.

Available now on iTunes, Amazon, Emusic, etc.  CD's coming up soon.

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