No introductions necessary, one of Takemura's finest albums, including a cover of Sabure by The Dylan Group.
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Descargas is a collection of warped latin rhythms (artificial renderings of traditional rhythm structures like the mambo, son, and cha cha cha), performed by a fictional sampling ensemble. Lively and hilarious, multi-faceted, multi-layered, muy brillante! Using an immense host of samples (culled from atom’s vast collection of latin music) this music is thematically centred on the Cuban term “descarga” which has the double meaning of “jam session” and “discharge”. Favourites here are “La vida es llena de cables” (which takes on a traditional “son” rhythm and vocal style, concluding in a rapid explosion of sampled fretwork), the complex “Estudio en ritmo” (where a traditional vocal track rides unevenly on waves through the 7/4-5/4 times rhythm), and “Vamos con San Pedro” (another “son” reconstruction, which turns unexpectedly into an urban beatbox rhythm reminiscent of the excellent Mono Trademark, released in 1996). Filtered vocals, latin percussions, acoustic guitars, edits, cut-ups, and a cacophony of atomisms and “galletas” (short digital clicks, or, more literally, “cookies”) contribute to the very complex and careful structures on this album, the kind of digital baroque atom™ has been developing with extraordinary success in recent years. And this cover art is not to be missed. Highly recommended. [Richard di Santo]