Sergent Garcia - Una a Otra Vez - CD review
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Sergent Garcia
Una a Otra Vez
Cumbancha ( www.cumbancha.com)

I somehow missed out on whatever Sergent Garcia released in between 2003’s La Semilla Escondida and the new Una a Otra Vez. Any gap there may be to bridge, though, isn’t particularly worrisome. Sergent Garcia, who as Bruno Garcia was a member of French punk/alternative band Ludwig von 88, still blends salsa with reggae and ska in the “salsamuffin” style he pioneered in his post-punk days after taking on the name of Zorro’s hapless nemesis and turning it into a positive thing. But now he’s discovered how well Colombian rhythms (including those of the country’s Africanized coastal regions) fit into his sonic vision. So after laying some basic tracks in Paris, he headed to Bogotá to work with players and singers attuned to both their Colombian roots and what can be done with them in the present day.

The result is a rollicking good disc on which an ever- versatile Garcia, his band and guests tear into Caribbean-tinged Latin funk and rock, festive tunes where accordion-led melodies meet hip hop, Afro-Cuban inspired choruses fired up with rap vocals and arrangements that dance between Jamaica, Cuba, Colombia and the European mestizo sensibility that shaped Garcia into the artist he is today. He also unexpectedly but convincingly breaks new ground by having a go at some bolero crooning and (not unexpectedly) brings a thoughtful air to the party atmosphere, centering a lot of his lyrics on such subjects as the everyday burdens that music can help lighten, the traditions of cultures that inspire music like this and the roles we all must play in shaping our future. The album’s title translates as 'Time and Time Again,' and I’d say the phrase is just as applicable to how often Sergent Garcia intends to make dance music for people with brains. -- Tom Orr

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