Matias Aguayo – 'The Visitor' album review

Charm, character and fun help Aguayo mix techno with world music

Time Out Ratings :

<strong>Rating: </strong>4/5

Anyone who complains of dull global homogeneity in dance music needs more Matias Aguayo in their life. After two excellent albums (including 2009’s ‘Ay Ay Ay’), the Chilean-German producer and singer returns with an excellent third that confounds both the rigid notions of techno and the traditionalism of world music.

As before, Aguayo’s method is to build layers of deep-grooved Berlin minimal house and then take it on a trip south of the equator. He vocalises over his beats casually, almost free-form, in a way that suggests a love of jazz, Afrobeat and Chicago house.

His secret weapons, though, are charm, character and an unabashed sense of fun. It’s impossible not to stand up and shake to the stuttering machine gun vocal patterns of ‘El Sucu Tucu’, for example. ‘Una Fiesta Diferente’ recalls Timberlake’s ‘Sexy Back’, while ‘Rrrrr’ is just plain sexy. Where ‘Ay Ay Ay’ at times recalled elements of Hot Chip-esque disco, ‘The Visitor’ is a far more South American-sounding affair. It was recorded in Colombia, Buenos Aires and Germany. Aguayo also swaps languages between Spanish and English. This kind of continent-straddling could undo some, but Aguayo keeps things remarkably consistent. It’s a smart, cool and fun party all the way.

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