Candela / Tinder
On a good happy day, I might say that this is “world music” with a real spark to it, like a co-ed Gypsy Kings with more of an Arabian feel. I might talk about the three-headed monster of Gil Aniorte-Paz, his sister Sylvie, and Patrick Cascino as a real force to be reckoned with in international dance music because they are able to take so many different musical styles and put them all together into a really organic-sounding music all their own. I would certainly single out the rai-sounding “El Salam,” taking care to point out that it’s an adaption of a poem by Omar Khayyam, and the hipster Romany waltz of “Sara Cali.” And, of course, I would tell you that this would be a great CD to have on if your romantic partner is into accordions and/or wailing violins and/or passionate Europeans.
On a bad cynical day, I might say that this disc is three years old and just getting released now, and that there’s a reason we haven’t heard of Barrio Chino before now: they sound like they’re auditioning for the soundtrack to Cirque de Soleil. I would probably talk about how there aren’t a lot of surprises here — once the song starts, you pretty much know what’s coming next. And I might say, “You know, ‘Azul’ isn’t bad, but I think we’ve all heard Nigerian music done better… by actual Nigerians.”
Tinder Records: http://www.tinderrecords.com