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World Music CD Reviews Greater Latin America

Various Artists

By Martin Lipp
Published April 16, 2008

Rough Guide To Salsa Clandestina
World Music Network

“Salsa clandestina” isn’t really a genre per se, but more of a roughly contemporary music that builds on the traditional foundation of Afro-Cuban clave rhythms and heaps on top elements of funk, rock and other genres while it’s not a largely popular amalgam sales-wise, it is particularly juicy for those with the taste buds for it. Ozomatli is represented here with “Nadie Te Tira”—a good example of their amped-up Cali-Tex rock hybrid, but not quite as engaging as some of their older material. Ray Santiago makes James Brown’s “It’s A Man’s World” into old-school salsa, while the Spam Allstars fuse New Orleans-worthy funk to the clave rhythm, and The Cuban Cowboys splash Cuban son together with surf guitar. The collection rubs up against rock en Español, but goes less far afield from salsa—overall a very mixed bag, but Latin dancers with a sense of adventure may discover some new bands to love.