Happy birthday! Is it your birthday? No? Well, it will be in less than a year. So here’s a nice gift for you, a four-song EP that presents classic Latino popular music in a way that’s reflective of the 21st century: technologically dependent, plugged into a global flow of people and information, and, oh yeah… very unpredictable and weird. The New York City quartet Los Cumpleaños, known for the colourful costumes and chaotic kiddie-party components of their live shows, invite you to attend an admirable auditory approximation. Their new EP Agua offers an appropriately aquatic alternation between languid and frantic, an ebb and flow, notable on the title track and the long, strange “Baila la Cumbia”. Opener “Camarones” carries a dyslexic rhythm and distanced downtempo vibe, and the bouncy “Sonrisa” foregrounds a millo (a Colombia flute) and its delightfully annoying exhortations to get up and get on down. In short, Agua is a stereo-compatible empanada packed with sloppy wet kisses, shiny computer chips, Supercoco candies, and mild but effective hallucinogens. Enjoy, it’s your birthday after all.
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