Pacifika

Supermagique

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    6
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AllMusic Review by

The image on the cover of Supermagique, Pacifika's second album, is a perfect representation of the music on the disc; it's bright and sexy while also being slightly mysterious and out of focus. The Canadian trio is composed of singer/guitarist Silvana Kane, a Peruvian born singer with a love of flamenco, electronica, and South American grooves; guitarist Adam Popowitz, who moves fluidly between indie rock, dance music, and pop; and bass man Toby Peter, born in Canada, raised in Barbados, and able to weave together jazz, hip-hop, Latin, and Caribbean grooves. Most Latin music, with the exception of some Brazilian genres, tends to be a bit aggressive and edgy. Not the tunes Pacifika lays down. On Supermagique, they walk on the mellow side of the street with two notable exceptions. The thumping Latin hip-hop of "Chocolate" sounds like something that might make a good vehicle for Shakira, and "Anna Maria," a combination of vivid acoustic guitars and a beat that circulates through dub reggae, dancehall, and Latin pop. Both could create mayhem in clubs with a remix that pumped up the beats a bit. The rest of the album is more chill room than dancefloor, a pleasing mix of dreamy beats that would be perfect for a late-night rendezvous in a dimly lit saloon. On "Supermagique," Popowitz drops a bit of distorted metal guitar into the mix in places, but the overall vibe stays laid-back. "The Mariner" is a dark, moody waltz for cello and Kane's whispered vocals, with a bit of swooning pedal steel adding to the otherworldly atmosphere, "La Matin" a slow, jazzy ride down a steamy tropical river accented by subtle percussion effects and the dub reggae vehicle "Star," one of the most sonically expansive tracks on the album with a big, chiming guitar sound that fills the entire room with breathtaking overtones. The most surprising track is a cover of Chicago's "25 or 6 to 4." The tune is slowed to a somnambulant tempo and played on acoustic guitar with Kane's breathy vocals sounding like an afterthought meandering through a crooning chorus of multi-tracked harmonies.

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