Viva Chile, carajo! The second release of Cadenza Lab, Cadenza's new digital label, comes from two of the leading lights on the Santiago scene: Francisco Allendes and Marcelo Rosselot, the heads behind Chile's Andes Music label. Francisco is no stranger to Cadenza, having already dropped Llovizna, a collaboration with Felipe Venegas, in 2009. The two previously collaborated on 2008's De Vuelta al Planeta Tierra, and now they drop the Catrianca EP, featuring two supple, grooving tracks that are in it for the long haul.
El Grillo, el Indo y el Robot translates as "The Cricket, the Indian and the Robot", and it's the perfect title for a track that's full of percussive chatter, with shakers, claves, tambourines and more setting up a steady chikka-chikka rhythm, answered in tight, chicken-scratch funk licks on guitar. They show off their prowess as master arrangers, layering drum machines and sampled percussion into a groove that swings like a hammock on a sailboat on the high seas. But they don't stop there, building gradually, almost sneakily, into a jazzy Rhodes solo. The climax is as exhilarating as a swim in a mountain lake, and it's sunshine and wide-open vistas all the way back down.
El Ladron de Mails also digs into Latin percussion with gusto, fleshing out a driving house groove with jazz drum fills, crazy polyrhythms and the kind of warm, rounded tones you just can't get from a machine. Muted cries and zig-zagging organ solos contribute to the sense of controlled mayhem, and the boys know just how to prolong the madness, teasing us with snatches of melody without ever giving away the full monty. By the time a tribal choir explodes into earshot, there's no holding back. That El Ladron de Mails means thief is only appropriate for a track like this: it's a show-stealer, all right.
Written and produced by Francisco Allendes & Marcelo Rosselot for Cadenza Lab.