COMPOSERS: Los de Abajo
LABELS: Luaka Bop
WORKS: Cybertropic Chilango Power
PERFORMER: Los de Abajo
CATALOGUE NO: LBCD 33
Oddball album of the month is by LOS DE ABAJO, self-styled ‘tropipunk’ musicians from Mexico City. Never a dull moment here, once past the street-sound interludes that pad out a mean ten tracks, as they whizz between reggae, straightforward Latin and something manic like a Balkan brass band gone clubbing.
With their ideological rap they are a Mexican parallel to Asian Dub Foundation, though musically it’s harder to know where they stand. Roots or contemporary? Their skill, intelligence and range of reference sometimes get the better of their focus, though in the end the more conservative elements in the music are what hold it together.