Thursday, May 10, 2012
LOS MITICOS DEL RITMO (Soundway Records, 2012)
Quantic has become the biggest name in current Latin music that mainstream Latinos still no nothing about. He's right at the center of that paradox, the Latin-music-for-non-Latinos-done-or-curated-by-non-Latinos paradox that fascinates me so much. Meaning he's the leader in introducing non-Latinos all over the world to Latin-but-cool music while the average Latinos out there are stuck listening to cheesy ass bachata and reggaetón or trying to emulate, in Spanish, whatever is the current trend of the Anglo pop/rock/rap music word.
In a way Quantic, with his super prolific body of work and his many simultaneous side-projects, is kind of creating a new canon for Latin music from a gringo perspective that pretty much ignores all the trends that dominate the Latin American airwaves, but it's still very well grounded in the real roots of some of the best (and sometimes sadly forgotten) Afro-Latin music.
I wonder what would be like to see the Latin music universe exclusively through Quantic's telescope. I guess it looks something like an alternate reality where the funkier, soulful side of Afro-Latin music survived the '70s and remained dominant during the following decades oblivious to all the cheesy crap that came after. I too wish I could live in that fantasy world, but I am Latino and I grew up in Latin America surrounded by all that corny ass shit and I grew up hating Latin music because of that crap, so even if now I love some aspects of it, I still feel compelled to make fun of it.
Quantic never feels the need of making fun of the kitsch side of it because he sees it from an outsider perspective and he's able to focus on only the cool stuff while ignoring the overwhelming surroundings. And I think that's his biggest advantage when he approaches Latin music and that's why at the ond of the day, he being from the UK, ends up situating himself as one of the most important figures in current Latin music world wide.
This is his second full length album this year (the one with Alice Russell just came out weeks ago) and we are still looking forward for the upcoming Ondatropica double (or triple?) album he's dropping this summer with Frente Cumbiero and a bunch of top-notch guests. There's a lot of expectation for that project. That's probably gonna be a game-changer and maybe will end up crossing over and finally introducing Quantic's fabulous music to the average Latinos out there. In the meantime, Los Míticos Del Ritmo is a nice collection of dancefloor-oriented all-instrumental cumbias, some of which will definitely become mandatory visitis in all my future DJ sets.
More info HERE.