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Cafe Santa Fe (Featuring Ron Cohen)

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Album Review

In some cases, there is a disparity between the way an artist perceives his/her recording and how the listener perceives it. That isn't to say that the recording is necessarily a disappointment — it could simply be a case of the recording having one appealing flavor instead of another. And Cafe Santa Fe is a good example. In the liner notes, this instrumental collaboration between Soulfood's DJ Free and Ra Music's Ron Cohen is described as a combination of chillout/downtempo electronica and the flavor of the Southwestern desert. Well, the chillout/downtempo part is accurate, but the Latin flavor that prevails is generally often more Spain than New Mexico or Arizona. When one thinks of Latin music in the American Southwest, one thinks of regional Mexican music — the Mexican culture is as strong in Arizona, New Mexico, Nevada, and California as the Cuban culture is in Miami — and Cafe Santa Fe, for the most part, really feels more like a journey from Madrid to Valencia (by way of North Africa) than a journey from El Paso to Santa Fe to Tucson. Cafe Santa Fe is really a place where electronica's chillout/downtempo aesthetic meets nuevo flamenco more than a place where electronica's chillout/downtempo aesthetic meets norteño, tejano, ranchera, duranguense, or mariachi (which isn't to say that regional Mexican music doesn't have Spanish influences — it has plenty of them, certainly). "Kiva," with its Native American vibe, is arguably the disc's most Southwest-sounding track. But regardless of whether one thinks of Cafe Santa Fe as more Spain or more Southwestern U.S., this laid-back CD is a thoughtful example of electronica and world music coming together. The performances have both charm and character, making Cafe Santa Fe one of the more noteworthy chillout/downtempo releases of early 2006.

Customer Reviews

Cafe Santa Fe

This is just so pleasant and relaxing. Great for having in the background during a candle light dinner.

My favorite CD

i absolutely love this CD. I listen to it many times in the background as i am reading and it is so calming. It is my go--to CD if I need something to lift me up after a hard day. Can't say enough about this whole CD. I've given several to close friends and to my brother to enjoy. My brother also refers to it as music to just 'chill' with and he's right.

Cafe Santa Fe (Featuring Ron Cohen), Soulfood
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Customer Ratings