Thu Oct 9 2008
Time Out Ratings :<strong>Rating: </strong>4/5
Bogotá comes to Brooklyn on Picotero, the American debut by the Colombian duo named after the Latin American version of a BMX bicycle—a nod to 1980s street culture that also reflects the disc’s crunky fusion of cumbia rhythms and post-Beasties sonic bricolage. Andres Martinez and Camilo Sanabria have wild imaginations to match their penchant for hammering together disparate scraps of sound. Their embrace of lo-fi electronics is, of course, de rigueur these days, but the album’s congenial weirdness can’t be scored off of Craigslist. Nods to forró (“La Batalla de Boyaca”), spectral dub (“Me Voy Pal Mar”) and super-retarded ’80s synth-pop (“Todo el Voltaje”) show off versatility and would most certainly bloom into Day-Glo intensity with a booming system, a sweaty dance floor and plenty of rum and weed.
Yet these guys hit their stride when they go Byrne/Eno on your ass, mixing the robotic blurt of imaginary sci-fi soundtracks with the profound funk of Yoruba percussive ritual. It’s easy to think of a track like “Break Tocaima,” its gonzo keyboards mashing up Sun Ra and Esquivel, as a mere party favor, until you realize how much the rhythmic underpinnings were originally meant to unlock portals to the spirit world.
Monareta plays Fontana’s Oct 25.
Buy Picotero now on BN.com