Pier Bucci

Amigo

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Beginning with overlaid vocal samples ranging from the quickest of cuts to the slowest of moans, Amigo finds Pier Bucci bringing his own twist to the kind of art/dance combination that pretty well defined Warp Records in 1995. That label's legacy as filtered through the minimal techno of a later decade hangs heavily, though it's not the sole element by any means, while the inclusion of various guest vocalists throughout the album, including fellow Chileans Washington Miranda and Jorge Gonzales, as well as Armelle Pioline, reappearing with Bucci after guesting on his previous album, Familia, gives Amigo the sense of a party with friends rather than aliens from the back of beyond. The crisp click/clap rhythms evident from the start define the disc throughout, adding extra drive to the central pulse of "Canto Libre" and the penultimate song, "La Payaya," one of Amigo's best thanks to its great vocal part and immediate four-to-the-floor drive. At the album's slinkiest and slyest, "Eternelle" maintains a steadier groove that exchanges the restrained freneticism of the rest of the album for an early-'80s Italo disco kick, with French semi-spoken word interjections adding to the elegant nighttime air. "Papa Guede," meanwhile, blends massed vocal chants, buzzing bass, guitar-like hooks, and soft tones to create an outright exultant number. The one English number, "For Free," isn't a Joni Mitchell cover -- though that would have been something -- but it is a moody closer, half guitar ballad, half contemplative electronics.

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