Bersuit / Bersuit Vergarabat

Libertinaje

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If Tom Waits had a mariachi wedding band composed of former insane asylum and prison inmates, it might sound something like Argentina's Bersuit. Roughly translated as "Moral Licentiousness," LIBERTINAJE is surely one of the most bizarre, colorful and compelling recordings to emerge from 1990's South America. Drawing on sounds as wildly diverse as ska, samba, cumbia, rap, and heavy metal, these guys sound like a truckload of monsters who, from time to time, will come barging into a town with their instruments and leave the citizens both terrorized and enlightened.

"Yo Tomo" is one of the few conventionally dance-friendly tunes, with a bouncing cumbia lilt, chintzy organ, dragon-toothed guitar riff, and harmonized chorus with the spiraling equation, "I drink so to not fall in love...I fall in love in order not to drink." "A Los Tambores" has the band shouting in unison and the percussion section rolling away like a runaway freight train, while "De Onda" takes things further out with Klezmer-style violin and clarinet, mock-operatic vocal theatrics and another monster-shout-chorus all crashing together happily. LIBERTINAJE is an immediately outrageous and brilliant piece of work.

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