Los Amigos Invisibles

The Venezuelan Zinga Son, Vol. 1

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Some things are absolutely certain. No matter how cold and endless the winter may seem, summer will eventually come, and with it a plethora of Latin-tinged dance grooves designed for chill days on the beach and hot nights in the club. The Venezuelan six-piece Los Amigos Invisibles know this, which is probably why on their third album they left the worldbeat cul-de-sac of David Byrne's Luka Bop label in favor of the less internationally specific realm of house music, teaming up with Nuyorican dons Masters at Work to produce The Venezuelan Zinga Son, Vol. 1. But fortunately for the group, Louie Vega and Kenny Dope refuse to just rub them down with house grooves and send them on their way. In fact, contrary to what most folks would expect from an album bearing the iconic MAW logo, most of the tracks here are light-footed Latin numbers, with "Esto Es Lo Que Hay" and "Calne" sounding like pure traditional music played overhead in your corner pupusaria. But the boys do groove ahead on "Ease Your Mind" and "Una Disco Llena," which might have you believing these beats were made with samplers, rather than the real thing. Blending original roots with big-city beats, Los Amigos Invisibles already have their thongs (the sandals) on.

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