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World Music CD Reviews Greater Latin America

Pacifika

By Charissa Che
Published June 6, 2008

Asuncion
Six Degrees

Think of the word “pacifika” and immediately you might be whisked to a serene setting where all dissonant thoughts are dispersed—a state of mind that this Vancouver-based group does equal justice. Led by the soothing vocals of Peruvian singer Silvana Kane and backed by Canadian guitarist Adam Popowitz and Barbadian bassist Toby Peter, the group’s new album is nothing short of transcendent—a bold fusion of jazzy beats, electronica and Latin flavor that suggests a multi-phased trip to paradise. The leadoff track “Sol” offers a taste of the sensuality and vulnerability that Kane exudes with every syllable she utters, while the pulsating bass rhythm adds to the song’s mysteriously alluring quality. “Chiquita” is a playful number that captures the feeling of waking from an especially pleasant dream—a similar mood that drives the rest of Asuncion. This is an album that lures and then lulls the listener into a contented state of mind almost effortlessly—a mission that seems to have been forgotten about as world “chillout” fusion has fallen out of fashion.