Bernardo Machus

Magic Bandoneon

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Bernardo Machus' Magic Bandoneon is considerably more listenable than the majority of entries in the "Magic Instrument" series of releases by the Czech label Multisonic. This 1992 album is considerably less ornate and lush than most of the series, with a simple feel to the arrangements that fits the tango-style music much better, and Jorge Aravena's occasional vocals are a nice touch. However, the album is worthy primarily because the bandoneon is actually a very cool-sounding instrument. A diatonic (meaning that, unlike an accordion, it makes a different sound depending on whether the bellows are being pushed or pulled) free reed instrument similar to a concertina, the bandoneon has a unique sound. At times, as in the rhythm part to "Las Tangueras," it sounds uncannily like a backwards tape loop, and at others it resembles a higher-pitched and cleaner-sounding accordion. This is one of those rare budget-priced instrumental easy listening albums that's actually worth seeking out.

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