Señor Coconut y Su Conjunto

El Baile Alemán

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Upon the American arrival of El Baile Alemán, the first record from Señor Coconut y su Conjunto, listeners were forced to contemplate the notion that a traditional Latin group from South America had organized a tribute album to Germany's favorite futurists, Kraftwerk. Even given the comparatively close ties between the two regions ever since World War II, it's a ludicrous proposition and turns out to be the work of Frankfurt native Uwe Schmidt, who has recorded his Atom Heart material in Chile since 1997. El Baile Alemán is that rare humor LP that succeeds on its musical merits as well. Beginning with a short vocal intro on which Señor Coconut himself introduces the record with appropriately comic English, El Baile Aleman presents remarkably faithful covers of Kraftwerk classics ("Showroom Dummies," "Trans Europe Express," "The Robots," "Autobahn," "Tour de France") with the stark percussion and effects of the originals replaced by just slightly less rigid Latin rhythm presets. Latin music can be a surprisingly precise genre of music, and Schmidt walks the verge between Latin and techno with a special genius that would be practically impossible for other electronic producers. Far more than just a novelty record (though many will see it that way), El Baile Alemán accomplishes an excellent Latin-electronic fusion.

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