Bloque / Bloque de Busqueda


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This eight-piece Colombian collective combines classic-rock guitar crunch and Afro-pop rhythms with hip-hop flavor and traditional Latin beats to widely varying (and very mixed) results on their self-titled debut album. Their cultural nods are both heritage-affirming and convention-breaking; when leader Ivan Benavides raps ecstatic over pulsating percussion and wailing guitar, there's a wink in his eye and s lift in his voice that lets you in on his sardonic stance. But while Bloque often play it for fun, they are playing it for real. These are adept instrumentalists with bountiful skill in each genre they decide to visit. Still, it's all a bit coy and self-conscious by album's end (as well as somewhat derivative; every Latin beat inevitably is accompanied by a hip-hop or hard rock flourish), but the cultural pillaging that Bloque occasionally manage sounds like the rising of a new generation.

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