Hechizeros Band

El Sonidito

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At least two different groups have had the word "hechiceros" or "hechizeros" (which means "bewitching" in Spanish) in their names in the 21st century -- one south of the United States, the other north of the United States. The Ontario, Canada-based Los Hechiceros specialize in tripped-out neo-psychedelic experimentation, whereas Hechizeros Band (they spell it "Hechizeros," not "Hechiceros") are a Nayarit, Mexico-based group that brings a considerable amount of exuberance to regional Mexican music. Many of the regional Mexican CDs that Fonovisa releases have a strong ranchera factor or a strong corrido factor, but Hechizeros Band's El Sonidito is a party album above all else. A variety of influences assert themselves on this late-2008 release, ranging from Mexican duranguense, Colombian cumbia, and Dominican merengue to club/dance music -- and dance clubs are obviously the target of fast, hyper, ultra-exuberant tracks such as "Sueños Guajiros," "Energía Musical," "Son Indígena," and "El Escandalito." Thriving on feel-good escapism, those tracks don't pretend to be anything other than pure, unadulterated party music. El Sonidito occasionally strays from that party, party, party theme; lyrically, the 34-minute CD takes a more melancholy turn on the cumbia-minded "Infidelidad" and the duranguense offering "Te Quiero Tanto." But even on those two songs, El Sonidito maintains a lot of rhythmic energy. So those songs manage to add to the album's diversity without seriously detracting from its danceable nature or its club appeal. "Infidelidad" and "Te Quiero Tanto" change the mood lyrically, but they wouldn't necessarily clear a dancefloor. El Sonidito is a likable demonstration of what can happen when a group from Mexico has both Mexican and non-Mexican influences.

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