GB 034CD GB 034CD

2016 release. With their fourth album, the eight-piece M.A.K.U. Soundsystem reflect the US through the eyes and ears of Colombians who've made their homes in New York City. Mezcla is a relentlessly honest record. The music hits the feet and the hips, powerful and overwhelming, while the lyrics reflect the lives the band members live, while embracing darker political questions that don't have easy answers. Every moment of Mezcla mixes the musicians' past and their present. "Let It Go" builds from a percussive root born in Colombia by way of Cape Verde, hits a groove straight out of West Africa, then adds bright retro Moog that comes from a '90s club, and tops it with horns that edge into jazz. It's a perfect culture-clash, the immigrant melting-pot on disc. As Jon Pareles of The New York Times noted, the band merges "Afro-Colombian rhythms with hints of Afro-beat, delivering exhortations as dance grooves." Colombia remains the foundation, but they've erected their own house on top of it, a structure that continues to grow and change. Afropop Worldwide praised the "frantic terrain" the band explores, while NPR's Anastasia Tsioulcas raved about their "driving and gritty energy," exclaiming, "this raw-edged, punk-tinged band explodes with the propulsive force of traditional rhythms and urban restlessness." Mezcla captures the live sound of the band, that thrilling rawness where the rough edges become a vital part of the whole, with plenty of freedom alongside a tightness honed by night after night of gigs. It's passionate and blazing, turning from anger to tenderness, to endurance and hope. Produced by M.A.K.U. Soundsystem. Mixed by Victor Rice at Copan Studio, São Paulo, Brazil. Moris Cañate: alegre drums; Liliana Conde: percussion and vocals; Andrés Jiménez: drums; Juan Ospina: bass and vocals; Felipe Quiroz: synths; Camilo Rodriguez: guitar; Robert Stringer, trombone; Isaiah Richardson, Jr.: clarinet and saxophone; Carolina Olivieros: background vocals.