November 20, 2020
(El Palmas Music)Blending salsa with electronic elements, Afrobeat and lo-fi vocals, the Colombian duo bring infectious positivity to a classic genre
Contento: Lo Bueno Está Aquí review | Ammar Kalias global album of the month
In the 1960s, salsa’s sprightly piano melodies, clave rhythms and syncopated percussion took off in New York, and its deeply kinetic combination became a popular form of dance music. It’s also a contentious umbrella term for a hybrid of Cuban dance styles such as the son montuno and mamba, as well as Puerto Rican bomba and the swing of Latin jazz. For Colombian producers Paulo Olarte and Sebastián Hoyos, AKA Contento, that made it ripe ground for reinterpretation. When they met at a concert given in 2011 by salsa pioneer Eddie Palmieri, they realised they shared a love for the music. Five years later, they began collaborating, meeting in their respective homes of Geneva and Barcelona, and using percussion, drum machines, keyboards and bass to produce a debut album that deftly merges Afro-Caribbean rhythms with a lo-fi take on the sun-dappled sound of Latin salsa.
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