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Between chanson and son

Arriesgare La Piel
Arriesgare La Piel
By Inti-Illimani

Xenophile / Green Linnett Records: 1996

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This review first appeared in the October 25, 1996 issue of the North County Times.

Imagine Maurice Chevalier singing in a South American Spanish accent with a swinging Latin band behind him and you get the idea behind Inti-Illimani, a Chilean octet that combines steamy torch music with outstanding dance numbers.

The lead instrumentation is traditional early 20th century Western Hemisphere: clarinet, flute, acoustic guitar. The perucssion is more Caribbean than Andean, with congas, bongos and clave.

The music is, as mentioned, somewhere between French torch songs and Latin son. The result is pretty darn unique, and very listenable – if you can stop dancing long enough.