Remis / Los Remis

Llegando a La Cima

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There are at least two types of regional Mexican music that are similar to Sinaloa-style banda but are not the same as Sinaloa-style banda. One is duranguense, a style associated with Durango, Mexico as well as Chicago (which has attracted a lot of immigrants from Durango). The other is tierra caliente, which is associated with Mexico's Tierra Caliente region. It could be argued that if tierra caliente is downsized banda, duranguense is banda that has been downsized even more. There are times when the two sounds can overlap to a degree, which is what happens on Llegando a la Cima. Remis consider themselves tierra caliente rather than duranguense; the keyboards on this 33-minute CD certainly sound like duranguense-style keyboards, although the percussion is more subdued even at the faster tempos. Perhaps Llegando a la Cima is best described as tierra caliente with duranguense references, but however one categorizes Remis' work, this is a solid album that is very ranchera-minded more often than not. Like Sinaloa-style banda, tierra caliente and duranguense have shown themselves to have a great deal of flexibility; a tierra caliente or duranguense artist might be performing anything from the classic José Alfredo Jiménez songbook to arrangements of Marco Antonio Solís' Latin pop hits. Llegando a la Cima is not devoid of pop considerations; the title track, for example, has the type of doo wop influence that is not uncommon in Mexican music. But a hardcore ranchera-rooted perspective asserts itself on "Amor con Amor Se Paga," "De Mañana en Ocho Días," "Cariñito de Mi Vida" and most of the album's other tracks. Whether one considers Llegando a la Cima tierra caliente or duranguense -- or perhaps a combination of the two -- this 2006 release is a likable and worthwhile demonstration of Remis' regional Mexican talents.

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