May 13, 2011

Sergent Garcia | Una Y Otra Vez

ARTIST:  Sergent Garcia
TITLE:  Una Y Otra Vez
LABEL:  Cumbancha
REVIEW:  Sergent Garcia made some major-label noise with five albums between 1997 and 2006 that were marketed as Latin alternative (ie, rock en espanol).  Like Manu Chao (to whom he is frequently compared, and with whom he shares a mixed French-Spanish upbringing) he started his career as a punk-rocker, but his music more naturally fits into the world category.  He calls his style “salsamuffin” -- this accurately suggests the strong influences of Latin dance music and of the Jamaican styles of reggae and dancehall.  On his first indie album since leaving Virgin/EMI, he’s added a new element to the mix -- the sounds of Colombia.  Some of that country’s top young artists are guests here, such as Li Saumet of Bomba Estereo (she kills it on track 5) and members of the bands Sidestepper, La Mojarra Electrica and La-33.  This is energetic mestizo music with a very contemporary edge -- it’s a fine introduction for many Americans who won’t have heard Sergent Garcia until now, and the continuation of a winning formula for Europeans who have followed him for years.
REVIEWER:  Bill Lupoletti
TOP TRACKS:    2    5    13
ALSO RECOMMENDED:    1    3    4    6

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