Forgive my ignorance but I have been blissfully unaware of Manu Chao up to now. So this record has opened up a whole new world of exploration for me. Apparently Manu Chao is a son of parents who escaped to Paris from Franco’s Spain. He has been a successful performer/producer for some years and counts Joe Strummer among his most ardent [if dead] proponents. He has travelled the Globe collecting ideas and styles to weld onto his basic Latin stylee. This is his first album for 6 years and it is a stunner.
This is no standard World music CD – it’s a treasure house of new sounds and crossover ideas – which is of course right up my street.
It opens with a track called ‘13 DiAS’ which sounds like bluegrass meets griots on speed! This sets the trend for mad juxtapositions of seemingly mutually exclusive genres which seems to be Manu’s trademark way of working. Then there’s the Rootsy ‘Politik Kills’ which deserves to be a worldwide smash hit. It’s useless to go through the album track by track as every one is different and diverges from standard comparisons so much that one would be left thrashing around to find useful phrases to accurately describe these phenomena. In fact it’s a reviewers nightmare!
Perhaps one way of helping you out would be direct you to the Video for ‘Rainin in Paradize’ which brilliantly animates the madness of just one of these wonderfully diverse tunes in similar style to Peter Gabriel’s ‘Sledgehammer’ vid.