Atlántico Negro – Donde Se Quiera Estar

Reggae is truly a global sound, reaching all corners of the world spreading it’s bassy tentacles and rhythmic influences. For this review we are on the shores of the Atlantic for a review of the new digital album by Uruguayan band Atlántico Negro. Admittedly there is not much I am going to be able to tell you about the band as their website is in Spanish, but that’s fine, the music does the talking!

Atlántico Negro

© Atlántico Negro

To give you an idea of what to expect, the band describe their music as ‘An Atlantic black music mix with ingredients that include classic rhythms such as reggae, dub, Latin rhythms, afro beat, hip-hop, with textures from our culture as tango, milonga and candombe.’ I think one of the reasons why reggae crosses borders so easily is that you can add your own cultural influences and still retain that core sound. Those influences keep reinventing the music and help to keep it new and relevant. In fact from what I can understand the term Atlántico Negro ‘Black Atlantic’ is a concept that means you shouldn’t label something as purely ethnic, so not particularly Caribbean, African, European or American. This is a new modern classification taking into account black influences on different countries, cultures and music.

Donde Se Quiera Estar the band’s second album is a good example of this, you can hear a wide range of influences and perhaps this is an album that demands a new genre classification. Take first track ‘Entre Codazos’ which has a traditional reggae intro of choppy keyboards. It moves into a heavier sound with rock drums, adds a dash of hip-hop style vocals, slips in some reggae echoes, it is truly multi cultural track.

Aside from my cod sociology this is a very entertaining album, ‘Esa Esquina’ has a nice gentle skank, some nice uplifting chord changes, even the gruff male vocalist adds to the overall sound. I need to learn Spanish as it would be good to understand the words, but perhaps it is better to let your imagination think that they are singing about something truly exotic! One of the stand out tracks is ‘Este Suelo Que Piso’, which verges on lovers rock, it’s more gentle and soulful, the harmonica adds some nice introspection. It’s just a lovely lovely song.

My favourite track is ‘E So Ficar’, This one is a Latin / reggae hybrid and sounds great for it, it brings a dash of exotic to my rainy Norfolk Sunday. Music should be about escapism and it transports you to a place of sunny South American beaches, tequila and lazy days.

I hope there is enough here to make you want to investigate further, head to the band’s Bandcamp site for download info. I love it and for just a few quid I hope you to will embrace this wonderful slice of South American reggae. Bless, Paper Lion

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