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Macaco
Rumbo Submarino
Edel, Spain (www.edel.com)

The Barcelona-based band Macaco was formed in 1997 and has been a leading figure in the alternative Spanish music scene ever since. Their debut album was enthusiastically praised by the European press. Their new album, Rumbo Submarino on the Edel label in Spain, is a masterpiece of quirky, innovative Spanish pop that will certainly propel the group to worldwide recognition and success.

Rumbo Submarino contains one catchy track after another that flow together in a seamless stream of groove from beginning to end. Essentially a concept album, the theme is one of immersion, floating underwater in an ethereal, bubbling haze. The album title means roughly "Submarine Trip" and the album graphics show members of the band under the ocean, or in various underwater exploration vehicles (this concept is continued on the group's excellent, animated web site: www.macaco.to).

The opening track is a trippy, aural collage of Brazilian berimbau, talking drum, spoken word, and sound effects that give the impression you are diving in a submarine. Macaco's members hail from Argentina, Colombia, Venezuela, Cuba, Brazil and Spain and there are a number of guest artists including African group Toure Kunda, Lenine from Brazil, the Mexican rock en Espaņol group Control Machete, and Roy Paci from the Italian band Mau Mau. While Macaco's musical influences are diverse, their music is controlled, well constructed, and filled with energy and creativity. Fans of Manu Chao will love Macaco, as they share the same blend of brain-embedding melodies, acoustic reggae vibes, and the use of ambient sounds and subtle electronics to create a lush aural landscape.

It's nearly impossible to select one standout track. "Na De Ti" opens with acoustic bass and piano accompanied by DJ scratches and sound effects and segues into a jazzy, rock tango. "Arma 2 Filo" has a slow gypsy-flavored bounce, with rich vocals, slinky violin, human beat box, bizarre yet non-obtrusive sound effects, and an understated piano riff holding it all together. The funky "La Maquina Del Tiempo" is sure to be a classic, thanks to an irresistible melody and reggae-infused groove. The track was co-written by Brazilian funkster Lenine, and prominently features his soulful acoustic guitar riffs.

With Rumbo Submarino Macaco has taken a huge creative leap, producing an album that will surely stand the test of time as one of the more important alternative Spanish pop albums of recent years. - Jacob Edgar

Available at Amazon


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