Musical visionary, multi-instrumentalist, studio whiz, producer, sideman extraordinaire (John Mellencamp; Patty Griffin, Paul Simon, ex-Bodean and ex-Rembrandt - but don't let that pedigree fool you....) Michael Ramos presents the first CD from Charanga Cakewalk: Loteria del la Cumbia Lounge - produced and recorded at Ramos' Cumbia Lounge - both a real and "virtual" studio.
Loteria de la Cumbia Lounge is a pan-Latin American martini: equal parts traditional instruments (Spanish classical guitar, accordion, horns and more) and deep, urban, grooves with a dash of Esquivel and a measure of Morricone. Charanga Cakewalk's unique approach to Mexican, Latin American and World Music follows the road laid by such contemporaries as Sidestepper, Gotan Project, Latin Playboys and Manu Chao although the end result is completely original. From the flat out cumbia styling of "La Negra Celina" and "La Cumbia Lounge" to the sultry "Romanticos Desesperados" to the carefree "Belleza" to the off kilter charm of "Tu y Yo" and the swinging "El Indio" the music here leaps from the speakers. At once sensual and exotic, it delivers music of the soul for the soul; the result is one of sheer movement and joy. And it gets more intense on repeated listens, as the ear picks up a restrained horn line here, a subtle vocalization there, and then a percussive counter-rhythm somehow missed the first time.
Put it on. Stir and Shake....
La Negra Celina
La Cumbia Lounge
"It's as if the pleasing cheesiness of Ry Cooder and Manuel Galban's Mambo Sinuendo has been combined with the more contemporary stylings of the Gotan Project, Calexico, Los De Abajo and Sidestepper and then topped off with the atmospherics from some long forgotten spaghetti western soundtrack." — fRoots