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Bajofondo - 'Presente' CD Review

About.com Rating 4 Star Rating


Photo Courtesy Masterworks

Bajofondo - 'Presente'

Photo Courtesy Masterworks

This year, Gustavo Santaolalla and all the members from Bajofondo have written an important chapter in the history of this eclectic band. After signing a new contract with Sony Masterworks, Bajofondo has finally hit the Latin music market with Presente, an album that captures the vibes that this band from El Rio de la Plata usually brings into its live performances. Let's take a look at the music behind this production.

A Big Fusion

Although Bajofondo's music was originally categorized within the Tango Electronico movement, also known as Electrotango, Gustavo Santaolalla, one of the founders of the band, does not like to limit the band's unique fusion to this style. Thanks to the rich combination of sounds you can hear throughout the 21 tracks included in this album, Presente certainly reinforces that idea.

From Electronica and Hip-Hop to Rock and Classical music, Presente features a full spectrum of genres that are nicely mixed with the traditional sounds from El Rio de la Plata including musical influences from Tango, Murga and Milonga. It is exactly this big, innovative fusion what defines the music of Bajofondo.

Besides that, it is quite obvious you are in front of a group of very talented musicians. The quality of the sound, the arrangements, and the way these artists play their instruments is just fantastic.

Electronic Sounds

Photo Courtesy Picky Talarico

Bajofondo Members

Photo Courtesy Picky Talarico

Even though Bajofondo's music goes way beyond Tango Electronico, some of the best tracks in Presente belong to this style. Titles like "Codigo De Barra," "La Trufa Y El Sifon," and the hit single "Pide Piso," one of the top Latin songs of 2013, are some of my favorite pieces on this album.

"Pide Piso," for instance, is one of the album's most defining songs. From Electronica and Rock to Jazz, Classical music and Tango, this single has it all. Apart from this, it encompasses one of the most important ideas of this album, which is that of establishing Bajofondo as a live band.

Soundtrack-like Melodies

There is an important influence of Classsical sounds on this album that very often transform some of the melodies into soundtrack-like tracks. Apart from the enigmatic "Intro," which is also proposed at the end of the album under the name "Outro", singles like "Nocturno," "Caminante" and "Rendezvouz" sort of fit into this group of songs.

Besides all the Tango Electronico stuff and these soundtrack-like melodies, Presente features tracks that are very experimental ("Sabelo," "Oigo Voces"), alternative ("Asi Es (Propergol)"), and even funky ("Olvidate").

'Presente' - Bottom Line

In a world where lots of artists produced music with commercial goals in mind, it is definitely refreshing to listen to an album like Presente where everything is about the music. Thanks to its rich fusion of sounds, Presente is a very stimulating album where labels are challenged and World Music fans are invited to join the fun.

All this does not mean the album is perfect, and sometimes the experimental part gets a bit boring ("Patras) and even annoying ("Oigo Voces"). However, if you are looking for something outside mainstream music, this is an album I highly recommend.

'Presente' - Best Tracks

Record Label: Masterworks
Release Date: March 5, 2013
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