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Getting funky in the Southern Hemisphere

The New Sound of the Venezuelan Gozadera
The New Sound of the Venezuelan Gozadera
By Los Amigos Invisibles

Luaka Bop / Warner Bros.: 1998

This review first appeared in the April 18, 1998 edition of the American Reporter.

They don't mince words here: This album's spoken intro advertises it as "fusion of different elements of Latin dance and sex culture."

What it also shows is just how global the contemporary music scene is: Hip hop and electronica are both quite prominent in this sextet's album, along with acid jazz and alternative rock. Throw in some '70s American funk, Euro-techno and shades of disco, and you have a real mutt of a style.

But there is an overriding Latin beat and attitude to everything here, making clear this is not music without a country.

Nor should it be music without a stateside audience, because this stuff cranks. As disparate as it can be, the band handles everything with a smooth confidence that makes it all work – kind of like Little Feat melded rock and funk in the '70s, or the way Cake now mixes alternative, dance and industrial into a funky mix.

Los Amigos Invisibles (and I do hope that doesn't require translating for anyone) have a freewheeling, experimental approach to the music that allows them to try just about anything: Nearly all of it comes out as highly danceable.

For the most part, American audiences don't look beyond our own shores when considering music. Which, when you consider how much music this good must be out there, is fairly shortsighted.