Skipping over from Luaka Bop to Realworld and refining their sound to comfortably handle an absurdly eclectic range of influences, the offspring of Mexico’s left wing intelligentsia are now flying Sub Comandante Marcos’ Zapatista flag and they even rope in Comandanta Esther for a cameo part on slow burn Latin hip hop number ‘Resistencia’.
But don’t confuse serious intentions with music that lacks wit, hooks and energy. ‘Los lunáticos’ for example reworks the Fun Boy Three number ‘The Lunatics Have Taken Over the Asylum’ to provide a mariachi tinged ska number rich in humour and hinting broadly at just who the lunatics might be running the place right now (no names Mr. Bush). They are aided and abetted by ex-FBT member Neville Staples and our own Dennis ‘Badbone’ Rolllins. Which just goes to show you never know where discarded pop tunes of yesteryear will end up.
Fans of cumbia will fall for the storming ‘Cumbia del castor’, self consciously retro and future-facing at the same time, this is one Latin number that even the most flat of feet will be happily stomping along to. Reggaeton gets a look in too with the deceptively catchy ‘La sonidera’. In fact, this is one of those albums that you could easily go through listing out each track for special attention.
The pace does not let up until well past halfway, when the acoustic ‘Noche’ gives you pause for breath on this whirlwind tour of styles. It soon kicks back up a notch on brassy salsa number ‘Mi candela’ but not before mariachi, country and reggae combine to produce the unlikely but charming ‘Fan fatal’.
This should be huge. Wonderfully rich and enjoyable. Highly recommended.
¡Viva la Zapatistas!
LDA are currently touring the UK and then other parts of Europe until the end of November. Check http://realworldrecords.com/lda/ for full details.