Ondatrópica – Ondatrópica (2012)
This has been on the pile to review for a long time. The reason being that only an album sampler was available on Spotify. I sneaked a couple of couple-of-second listens now and again and looked forward to the full album being released. It never came, so I decided to review the sampler.
Ondatrópica are a large collective, most of whom from Colombia, who wanted to expand on the musical heritage of Colombia and bring it to a wider audience.
If this sampler is anything to go by (and I guess that is the point of a sampler), then this album is great! Salsa rhythms meet ska, all very upbeat and uplifting, a real treat. Opener Tiene Sabor, Tiene Sazón is a salsa tour de force with fantastic horns and no matter how inept you are, you will be dancing around your living room at this one. The carnival spirit continues on Punkero Sonidero, which includes synth sweeps giving a more mysterious/proggy feel. Next up is a Latin take on Black Sabbath’s Iron Man; unusual yes, but a lot of fun! Suena is an unusual track, the Latin passion is still there, but the vocals make it sound altogether more modern and completely fresh. Pure ska is the dish of the day on Ska Fuentes; and a perfect example it is. 3 Reyes de la Terapia is a more dubby piece, using a vocal technique that I don’t know the name of but I have heard used on Anoushka Shankar’s Sinister Grains, it’s almost like an Eskimo katajjaq as both inhalation and exhalation are both used to vocalise; in doing so, it mimics a cuica, the strange percussion drum heard on Gainsbourg’s Bonnie and Clyde and Paul Simon’s Me and Julio Down by the Schoolyard. Cumbia Espacial gives an upbeat jazzy end to the sampler, with a chord progression sounding like Del Shannon’s Runaway.
Overall, a disappointment only in the fact that this is a sampler and it is so good that I really want to hear the full album. Still worth the listen!
Favourite tracks: Suena, Tiene Sabor Tiene Sazón, Ska Fuentes
Spotify link: Ondatrópica – Ondatrópica (Album Sampler)