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Fried Speakers

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Album Review

This Colombian duo make electro-cumbia music with strong elements of reggae, ska, and dub, and if they're having as much fun doing it as listeners are likely to have when they hear it, good for them. There's not much to intellectualize about their work; like Nortec Collective, Mexican Institute of Sound, and other Nacional acts, Monareta combine the music of their home country with retro synth sounds, uptempo rhythms, and tricky, intriguing production. The result is a 50-minute collection of dancefloor-ready grooves that melt in the listener's brain like a sugar cube melts on the tongue. It's a lot of fun while it's happening, and if one pays close attention to any given track (the title track, for example, with its twangy guitar and oozing synth lines), there's a lot to pick apart and be fascinated by, but the overall result is one of unthinking pleasure. Between albums (this is their second), Andrés Martinéz and Camilo Sanabria also make music for movies and commercials, and a lot of these tracks could work very well in the background of a lighthearted comedy set in their home country. They're not aiming to create an indelible pop single, just to entertain and keep a crowd dancing. They're more than likely to succeed.

Fried Speakers, Monareta
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