African Chicharrons

Los Chicharrons

Roots Of Life (Tummy Touch Tuch2022CD, 2011)

Even though Los Chicharrons have a background in dance music, they have recorded one of the finest world beat albums I’ve heard in recent months titled Roots Of Life. Los Chicharrons are Danish musician Morten Hansen and Dominican Ramón Santana. Both are musicians, DJs and producers. Roots of Life, the group’s fourth album, is scheduled for release in January 2011.

For this project, Santana and Hansen went into an African roots direction, producing a super Afro Funk record. To achieve this, the musicians went to Bamako in Mali, where they worked with local musicians who added griot-style vocals and various musical instruments. There were additional recordings made in Paris. The album was completed in Copenhagen and London.

What’s attracted me to this recording is the fact that Los Chicharrons use an impressive amount of acoustic sounds such as dazzling balafon, powerful brass, a myriad of drums and flute, which they blend with electronic beats. Thus, it is not one of those heavy drum and bass albums with a little world music content. Instead, it is a world music album that captures griot, afrobeat and other West African elements, and funk with tastefully added electronic beats and ambiance.

Roots Of Life is a fiery, eclectic album with a beguiling mix of world music, funk and electronica.

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