Barrio Nuevo

Got any [B]Bobby Rodriguez[/B]? Hmm, thought not....

Got any Bobby Rodriguez? Hmm, thought not. Soul Jazz are a label seemingly specialising in compiling the records you hear at clubs and daren’t ask the DJ what they are. And the latest in the series, you Philistines, are Latin classics all, and if you didn’t know that then your indie ass needs a kick up the Hagienda, amigo.

These are the sort of madly infectious curio grooves that you often find sampled, stripped and stuffed under the [a]Beastie Boys[/a]’ best rhymes. You’ve probably heard War‘s glorious ‘Me & My Baby Brother’ somewhere before, not to mention Chakachas‘Stories’, but even better are Mandrill‘s wing-collared ‘Fat City Strut’, Pride‘s ‘Come On Get Dancin’‘ and Kongas‘Anikana-O’, almost indecently funky and salsa-tastic in equal measure.

Even if you can’t dance, it’ll sound tremendously cool, exotic and sophisticated for those poolside cocktail party moments. They might even force you to enjoy yourself. Pleasingly free of self-consciousness, Chakachas‘Jungle Fever’ is a soundtrack to some untold grunting and hollering sexual ecstasy, while ‘Stories’ features some of the best hysterical laughter committed to vinyl since ‘The Laughing Policeman’.

At its best, in fact, ‘Barrio Nuevo’ could eat Gloria Estefan alive and spit her out all over Ricky Martin. Arrrriba!

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