Here in Belgium we have all the luck: two true masters of latin lounge music regularly provide us with their much-needed chillout tunes. Sven Van Hees and Buscemi have both played sets all over the world (including latin america), and since their first releases over ten years ago little changed in their style, or in their success. We're gonna review Buscemi's most recent record (which is all over the radio here), so you'll have to check out Sven Van Hees on your own.
Retro Nuevo is Buscemi's fifth album, and his most international to date. When Camino Real (2003) and Our Girl In Havana (2001) focused mostly on Latin America, his musical endeavors roam the whole world now. We hear soft female vocals in English, Spanish ("Retro Nuevo"), Arab, Hindi and Portuguese, but as usual loungy music and exotic samples form the foreground. Take "Não Falo Português" (I Don't Speak Portuguese): an irresistable 'patati-patata' chorus over samba percussion and weird electro sounds.
As with most lounge fusion, this album is best enjoyed at some beach, with a cocktail, watching the sunset. Opening track "Lost" would be the perfect soundtrack, and as Isabelle Antena puts it in "Nothing To Worry About":
Don't stress, it ruins everything, even happiness
Electronic albums often suffer from the 'originality syndrome': songs can sound very much alike. Retro Nuevo however has some interesting sidesteps: "Sahib Balkan" mixes Arab desert sounds and chants with balkan horns à la Beirut. "Jazz Jumper" lets Fay Lovsky sing along a skipping jazz piano like a true muse. And mind-blowing dance track "Bollywood Swing King" borrows its dry techno beats from Underworld, and its irresistable violins from an Indian movie soundtrack. Check out the video below.
An impressive journey through sounds and samples. After ten years and five albums, I'm still not tired of Dirk Swartenbroekx (Buscemi's not-so-exotic real name) and his tropical beats!
Buscemi ft. Fay Lovsky - Não Falo Portugues