La Mecanica Popular - Roza Cruz LP
by Names You Can Trust
Artist: La Mecánica Popular
Title: Roza Cruz
Speed: 33 RPM
Since the release of their critically acclaimed debut album in 2013 on Names You Can Trust, La Mecánica Popular has quietly been contemplating the evolution of the group’s sound, philosophy, and overall approach to making music. Band leader Efraín Rozas’ experimental nature has continually pushed the boundaries of his own definition of not only Latin American music, but its broader relationship with music’s global culture and history. The sound of “psychedelic salsa” that LMP helped capture in their debut was destined for further outside-the-box interpretations, and with the formation of a new quintet lineup over the last few years, LMP began to incorporate a more free, improvised and instrumental-focused performance of Rozas’ increasingly radical compositions. The band subsequently took this liberated approach directly into the studio, recording Roza Cruz live, in its entirety. It was a cathartic experience, a necessary methodology for the new album’s concept that embraced the intimate performance of its players and did away with standard techniques of isolation and overdubs.
The evolution of the band’s sound on Roza Cruz brings forth a blend of styles rarely heard together, a touch reminiscent of electric-era Miles Davis or Eddie Palmieri at his most experimental, as the driving force of timbales and congas provide a bed for a wave of lush, analog amplification that mirrors the dueling leads of fuzz guitar and electric piano. But as far out as those instruments take the listener, the raw rhythm — the clave — always keeps it tethered to the earth and the dance, a cerebral yet visceral gift for the mind and feet.