Breaking their silence after a decade-long hiatus, acclaimed Mexican cult act Titan emerge with Dama, a tough, slinky set of eccentric dance jams that fuse the band's myriad styles in unique whorls of sound. Since debuting in the mid-'90s, they average a new record only once or twice per decade, so it's pretty much a guarantee that they'll have entered a new phase by the time each one drops. For Dama, the trio of Julián Lede, Emilio Acevedo, and Jay de la Cueva enlisted high-profile Brit Nick Launey (Arcade Fire, Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds) to produce, and headed up to Texas to record at renowned Sonic Ranch studios. In addition to their collaborations with Launey as producer, the group brought in an unusual assortment of guests who pepper Dama with their own distinctive talents. On the dark-grooved "Hell.A.," Siobhan Fahey (Bananarama, Shakespear's Sister) delivers a sleekly camp monologue of L.A. debauchery, while new wave icon Gary Numan is featured to great effect on the icy midnight shimmer of "Dark Rain." Spanish art-pop act El Columpio Asesino throw their weight behind "Dama Negra," a track whose rhythmic, rapid-fire chorus is one of the album's catchiest moments. Still, it's not just the guests who provide the magic here. The minimalist electro pulse of "Tchaikovsky" is easily one of Dama's highlights, and stuttering album-closer "Himno" makes fascinating use of another classical composer in its deconstruction of Beethoven's "Ode to Joy" melody. With Dama, Titan continue to marry the strange and the provocative with unlikely hooks and their creativity remains their biggest asset.
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AllMusic Review by Timothy Monger