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The native music of Belize is strangely hard to come by considering the proximity of the small Central American nation to the United States and the ready availability of music from other neighboring countries. Andy Palacio is perhaps the best known of the lot who has created some buzz outside of the region, and Watina is by far his highest-profile release yet. It's well worth investigating. Palacio is Garifuna, a Caribbean ethnic group that traces its ancestry back to the West African slaves who settled in the Caribbean during the 17th century. Emerging in the '90s, Palacio was at first affiliated with a Caribbean dance music movement called punta rock, but after an encounter with an elder in a Nicaraguan Garifuna enclave, he turned his attentions to the more acoustic, organic traditional Garifuna music displayed on Watina. It's a stirring, sweet, emotional sound, identifiably Caribbean — a touch of soca, a dab of reggae, a hint of Cuban — but equally African in nature in its rhythmic and melodic structure. Palacio sings gruffly in the native Garifuna language, which means that most will never understand the lyrics, many of which address the Garifuna life and the quickening disappearance of that very culture. But no matter, the music succeeds on its own terms, modern in its production and polyrhythms, yet unmistakably tied to local heritage.
This album brings out the rich and full sound of Andy Palacio. The Garifuna music defys any description that would give them justice. A blend of Caribbean, African and Latin American sounds that makes it so very unique. Also, the soulful singing of Paul Nabor must not be missed.
A definite must for people interested in world music
Leaving his Punta Rock past behind him, Andy masterfully assembled a group of gifted Garifuna and Paranda legends to create an album with a very unique sound. People will recognize different sounds in his work and it is only normal given the Garifuna people have been at the crossroad of many types of Central American musical influences. Became an instant classic when Andy tragically passed away in early 2008.
Born: 1960 in Belize
Years Active: '00s
Top Albums and Songs by Andy Palacio
||Wátina (I Called Out)||Watina||4:44||$0.99||View In iTunes|
||Miami||Watina||3:46||$0.99||View In iTunes|
||Weyu Lárigi Weyu (Day By Day)||Watina||4:23||$0.99||View In iTunes|
||Baba (Father)||Watina||4:02||$0.99||View In iTunes|
||Ámuñegü (In Times to Come)||Watina||5:27||$0.99||View In iTunes|
||Lidan Aban (Together)||Watina||4:45||$0.99||View In iTunes|
||Gimme Punta Rock||Greatest Hits||5:35||$0.99||View In iTunes|
||Roots||Keimoun (Beat On)||4:22||$0.99||View In iTunes|
||Punta Jam Session||Greatest Hits||5:39||$0.99||View In iTunes|
||Land of Africa||Til Dawn Mawnin||4:08||$0.99||View In iTunes|