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World Music CD Reviews Greater Latin America

Bitman & Roban

By Justin Hopper
Published March 16, 2007

Musica Para Despues De Almuerzo
Nacional 68455

Drop “Esa Musica” by Bitman & Roban on any audience, any club, any time, and dare to dream that Chilean hip-hop could someday soon be heard booming from car trunks around, say, suburban Boston. With its “Popozuda Rock ‘n’ Roll”-informed guitar crunch, baile bass bounce, and Jay-Z swagger, “Esa Musica” is undoubtedly a larval summer hit. Musica Para Despues De Almuerzo comes loaded with Nortec Collective-style sampledelia (“Get On The Floor”), funky Latin club sounds a la Los Amigos Invisibles, and the dark Atlanta hip-hop on “El Hechizo.” In fact, the album’s only drawback is the way it wears its influences like full-sleeve tattoos. But with influences that run the gamut from DJ Shadow to baile funk to deep house, it’s a problem you won’t notice while sweating on the dance floor. Anyhow, the multiple languages Bitman & Roban and guests are rapping in helps mask the familiarity somewhat.