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All Good Things

Pacha Massive

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Album Review

Pacha Massive calls itself a "groove collective," but they are also groove collectors. The 15 tracks on the duo's torrid debut are, like the Bronx that they call home, a melting pot, where beats and accents combust into multiple, diverse flavors, the attitude is both tough and sweet, and each layer reveals sensations that are at once familiar yet utterly new. It's a group effort, populated by a sizable guest list, but the prime movers here are the Dominican-born producer/keyboardist Nova and the Colombian-born vocalist Maya, whose shared vision sounds even more global and hip than it looks on paper: Trad and modern Latin rhythms and Spanish vocals clash effortlessly with English-language hip-hop, soulful R&B/Afro-beat horn bursts and rock guitar. Deep dub-inspired bass thumps and crackling dancefloor percussion insinuate into loungey '70s-derived synth lines. Nova's programming recalls urban classics without feeling tired, and then there's Maya, whose sultry, malleable voice is a joyous thing as it wends its way throughout the mix. "Don't Let Go," the popular first single, checklists Santana-like guitar, bassy backbeat and a funky, snare-driven beat. "La Verdolaga," with its spacy, tricky polyrhythms, like several of the tracks here, finds Maya trading her slinky vocals with those of guest voxes, here the intriguing Lucia Pulido and Flex Nug. Although Pacha Massive has by default been lumped in with the rock en español genre, theirs is too experimental and too un-manic an approach to be that easily locked down. These tracks would feel just as right in any self-respecting dance club as they would in a cozy home setting or booming from a radio perched on a city windowsill. No easy feat, that.

Biography

Formed: 2005 in New York, NY

Genre: Alternative and Latin Rock

Years Active: '00s

Based in the Bronx and formed in 2005, Pacha Massive are a Latin alternative band incorporating elements of Cuban son, reggae, dancehall, dub, hip-hop, house, Colombian cumbia, and drum'n'bass dance rhythms. The core of the group consists of Dominican-born keyboardist, guitarist, producer, and writer DJ Nova and Colombian-born bassist and writer Maya. The pair, who met in New York while working on a project with Iván Benavides, fleshes out the instrumental lineup with from five to 12 other musicians...
Full bio
All Good Things, Pacha Massive
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  • $9.99
  • Genres: Electronic, Music, Latino
  • Released: Feb 20, 2007

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