Peru in Dub

7 03 2007


By Derek Beres

Afro (Quango)

Using the platform of rural slave and work songs performed by African slaves in Peru, this four-producer/DJ collective based in Lima and London have created one of the most beautiful examples of history and electronica. Their sophomore effort, Afro, by far trumps their commendable (though somewhat flat) debut. Here they turn the bass up and allow percussion – led by the cajon, a box-like drum originally made from shipping crates, as well as the quijada and congas – to let the imagination fly. And Afro is certainly that, maintaining a dream-like quality through their excellent use of musical space, once again proving the theory that less is more. Afro spans styles as easily as generations, the producers acquiring local legends as well as proficient innovators of more youthful age. The opening “Chinchivi,” features the melodious, rapturous vocals of Milagros Guerrero (who contributes throughout the record). Her voice tantalizes on the club-ready “Mandiga” and captures a brilliant jazzy inflection on “Ay Bembe.” Along side the male vocals and percussive effort of Juan Medrano-Cotito, the two dominate the lyrical edge of Afro. The duo adds the soulful, poetic aspect, while the four producers (Ramón Pérez Prieto, Grimaldo Del Solar, Rafael Morales, and Carlos Li Carrillo) keep the digital dynamic meaningful and inspired. Especially relevant is their use of deep, dubby bass lines, which sets the tone for atmospheric synthesizers, as well as adding weight to the predominant percussion. Their ability to weave these newer technologies into centuries-old songs has created one of the most unique future folk efforts anywhere in the world, subsequently one of the most gorgeous albums of 2006.




One response

15 01 2015

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