Meridian Brothers & El Grupo Renacimiento

Meridian Brothers & El Grupo Renacimiento

From his first releases as the Meridian Brothers in the late 2000s, Colombian artist Eblis Álvarez has served as a kind of rogue anthropologist, conjuring ghosts of Latin music with a sense of color and imagination that makes the past feel like the undiscovered country it is. Conceived of as a lost album by a B-grade ’70s salsa dura band, Meridian Brothers & El Grupo Renacimiento is both his most idiosyncratic LP and his most straightforward. You’ll notice some sour harmonies and trails of echo and a generally rubbery air that tells you you’re not in Bogotá anymore (“Descarga profética,” “Metamorfosis”). But the rhythms are ripe and the playing is hard, and no matter how far out Álvarez gets, the music stays grounded in the feet and the guts. This isn’t nostalgia—it’s homemade party music for the day after the apocalypse (“Bomba Atómica”).

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