Patrulla 81

Divinas

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When two of Grupo Montez de Durango's albums debuted at Number One on the Billboard Latin charts, the music industry sat up and took notice. Naturally, several other Chicago Duranguense groups were swept along in the wake of Montez's success. Patrulla 81 is one of the most distinctive and talented of these ensembles. Many Duranguense bands make heavy use of keyboards, and Patrulla 81 is no exception, making sharp, old-school synth sounds a major focus of its music. Staccato, Herbie Hancock-esque stabs often appear in roles typically occupied by tuba and trumpet in traditional Sinaloese banda music.

Though Duranguense is generally fun and danceable, Patrulla 81's performances are even peppier than most, with sparse, jaunty arrangements of "Las Huertas" and "Mi Loca Pasion" making the tunes sound like modernistic Mexican carnival music. Another element readily apparent on DIVINAS is the style's strong ties to country, the vocal harmonies on "Soy Celoso" strongly recalling the duet work of Gram Parsons and Emmylou Harris. "Rosa De Castilla" features speedy, electronic jungle-like snare rolls, which makes for a frenzied dance beat. Full of catchy and memorable songs, DIVINAS is a great introduction to the exciting world of Duranguense.

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