It's tough to encapsulate the sounds of a city into one medium, let alone an 11-track disc. However, through the mixture of Colombian cumbia, Cuban rhythms, Caribbean steel drums, good ol'-fashioned rhymes, and melodic vocals, Suenalo Sound System smacks any wannabe jam band right in the grill with its multicultural flavor on this debut album. Suenalo knows how to keep the groove going, as evidenced on "The Hits." The song evolves from an electric-guitar-driven, smoky coffeehouse style to a full-on acid jazz barnburner, before flowing into a percussion-heavy encore that would be at home on the break of any Santana record. MC Amin comes off like the Dominican Black Thought on "Bassilar," dropping rhymes about grindin' Latino-style. Meanwhile, the flute interlude in the infectiously space-funky "Guajira" will inspire the moonwalk out of any b-boy, and "Mamaawae" invokes the spirit of Afro-beat king Fela Kuti. The ten-member group is known for its Saturday-night jump-off at Miami's Jazid a great place to catch this band in all its raw energy.
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