Los Amigos Invisibles

Record review

ACL Fest Reviews

Los Amigos Invisibles

The Venezuelan Zinga Son Vol. 1

(Luaka Bop) Wafting Venezuelan joie de vivre through the cosmopolitan labyrinth of their newfound home base of Brooklyn, Los Amigos Invisibles simmer a saucy spectacle of gala proportions. Joined in the kitchen by Kenny "Dope" Gonzalez and "Little" Louie Vega of Masters at Work, the boisterous sextet saturates fistfuls of bossa nova, funk, and samba into a house roux of Nuyorican soulfulness. Conjuring the rich lounge aroma of a João Gilberto-Stereolab collaboration on "Comodón Johnson," Los Amigos complement the dankness with the soothing, liquid waves of "Playa Azul." A couple scoops of trad salsa spice the steaming gumbo into overdrive as "Esto es lo que Hay" and "Calne" cause brows to sweat and loins to move. Inspired by early Brand New Heavies, songs such as "Ojos Cerrando" and "Bruja" share the we-all-know-where-this-is-going flavor of a late-night club escapade. Yet just when you begin to think you've had said taste spoil on your tongue before, the compressed intricacies of a live band recorded from a DJ's perspective breathes new life into old habits. As conga accents and moody keys start blurring into the fabric of your being, the chicken scratch guitar of José Luis Pardo presents itself as sticky and stinky as a secret ingredient should be. Next thing you know, you're finding humor in the rambunctious sexuality of relentless grooves such as "Ease Your Mind" and "Superfucker." While a communal fusion of flesh isn't for everyone, especially when stomachs are full, one can at least imagine that somewhere out there the Zinga Son is on. (Saturday, 6pm, Heineken stage)

***

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