Quebec musician Boogát built his rep on rap en español over Latin-American laptop beats, but the impression was always there that he chafed a bit at the limitations. It’s thus pleasant, but not entirely surprising, that he’d choose at some point to pull the plug and do a deeper dive into musical history. The teaser for this EP, the fidgety Gypsy-jazz jumper “El Gato Rumbero”, signaled what was to come – an all-acoustic effort, light, bright, and vigorous, shamelessly flirting with outright kitsch as it rifles through outmoded sounds of yesteryear. It’s not the disposable novelty it might have been in lesser hands. Boogát’s vocal delivery is earnest, evocative, and rigorously enunciated – rolling those Rs like a bullwhip – and one could say the same of the compositions here. The energy amps up to the penultimate track, the dangerously rambunctious “Las Miradas No Mienten”. Then the sad-eyed, solemn closer “¡Al Ratito, Catrina!” arrives, almost lugubrious with its funereal trumpets. It’s hardly a bummer, though, not with Natalia Telentso’s stirring vocal takeover in its final third.
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