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Elastic Bond

On their follow-up to 2006's Madrugada, Miami's Elastic Bond shows all the right stuff, with maturity, solid arrangement, and know-how all on display. Working off of Andrés Ponce's arrangements, Excursion is an album you can get your dance on to, get your fuck on, and still be able to play it for your Cuban parents to show them how in tune you are with la cultura. These 14 tracks contain a bit of neo-psychedelia, trip-hop, jazz, bossa nova, left-wing funk, són, guaguancó, and world. In a sense, it's a cross between the young Afro jazz giants, NOMO, and Maria Bethania, with a decidedly Miami edge. A lot of musicians lent their skills to the recording, and it all goes to lay the base for the excellent vocal work by Sofy EnCanto and Orion. EnCanto is a seductive songstress who hits the highs and lows of sultry and sexy while never sacrificing the aura of the song. Orion gives a good, juxtaposed urban edge to the compositions; her flowing rhymes respect the background of the inspirations. There is no easy standout, but "Lyrical Capoeira," "U 'n' I," and "More Music" provide a danceable punch with energetic elements of jazz and reggae. "Snake Charmer" has the range certain speakers are designed for, but I'll tell you, it's "City Girl" that drives the point home: "Strangulation of a divided nation, Design District gentrification... " It's a genuine South Florida LP, and I'll go on record: I really like having sex to this album. I don't know what kind of approval that is, but I recommend this band and album wholeheartedly.

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Abel Folgar