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Area 52 (2012)

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Learn more about Area 52:

Format: CD
Sku: 226848055
UPC: 880882178024
UPC 14: 00880882178024
Release Date: 1/24/2012
See more in Pop

Song Listing

Disc 1
Song Title
1. Santo Domingo ~ C.U.B.A./Rodrigo y Gabriela
2. Hanuman ~ C.U.B.A./Rodrigo y Gabriela
3. Ixtapa ~ C.U.B.A./Rodrigo y Gabriela
4. 11:11 - (featuring Carlos Benavent) ~ C.U.B.A./Rodrigo y Gabriela
5. Master Maqui ~ C.U.B.A./Rodrigo y Gabriela
6. Diablo Rojo ~ C.U.B.A./Rodrigo y Gabriela
7. Logos ~ C.U.B.A./Rodrigo y Gabriela
8. Juan Loco ~ C.U.B.A./Rodrigo y Gabriela
9. Tamacun ~ C.U.B.A./Rodrigo y Gabriela

Album Notes and Credits

Notes & Personnel Info
Muze PNote Personnel: Alex Wilson (piano).
Muze PNote Audio Mixer: Rafa Sardina.
Muze PNote Recording information: Abdala Studios, La Havana, Cuba (06/2011-09/2011); East West Studios (06/2011-09/2011); Lumbini Studios, Ixtapa, Zihuatenejo, Mexico (06/2011-09/2011); Studio Coppella, Paris (06/2011-09/2011); The Limehouse, London (06/2011-09/2011); Village Recorders, Los Angeles (06/2011-09/2011).
Muze PNote Editor: Fermin Vazquez Llera.
Muze PNote Photographers: Samantha Lopez; Niall Muckian.
Muze PNote Arranger: Alex Wilson.
Muze PNote From Re-Foc, their very first release in 2002, post-nuevo flamenco guitar duo Rodrigo Sanchez and Gabriela Quintero thumbed their noses at purist notions of flamenco. Having initially come from heavy metal, they wedded their new music to metal's pyrotechnics and the various folk styles of their native Mexico, creating a new genre in acoustic music. That said, Area 52 is unlike anything they have recorded before. The album began as simply an orchestral overview of tunes from their catalog to issue while they wrote new material, but it became something wholly other. Along with producer Peter Asher and arranger Alex Wilson (whose charts here are almost too fantastic to believe), they employed C.U.B.A., a 13-piece Cuban orchestra, and the diverse talents of several guests. Recording mainly in Havana, the duo, with C.U.B.A., set about completely reinventing RyG's songs. Take opener "Santo Domingo," with Los Van Van's Samuel Formell in the drum chair. Here, those acoustic guitars are augmented by strings, a whomping funky electric bassline, a full brass section, saxophone, and flute. They travel through fiery Afro-Cuban montunos and charging descargas wed seamlessly to their brand of flamenco. "Hanuman" features metal drummer John Tempesta in a frenetic son layered over flamenco before Santana-esque lead guitars and a full-fledged timba take the lead. Sitar great Anoushka Shankar helps out on "Ixtapa" by playing an illuminating solo amid the acoustic guitars and percussion section, before they force her to up the ante and improvise Latin style, touching on guaguanco. She responds fluidly and imaginatively; eventually, flamenco gets moved all the way over into salsa and Afro-Cuban jazz ? la Machito! "11:11" highlights the gorgeous upright bass playing of guest Carlos Benavent (formerly of Paco de Luc¡a's group) and the chanted vocals of Carlota Teresa Noriega in call and response with the band. Sanchez's acoustic steel-string and electric lap steel guitar solos are delicious, too. The oud playing of Palestinian Le Trio Joubran on "Master Maqui" stands in contrast to Wilson's big horn charts (which are a dead cross between Gerald Wilson's and Tito Puente's). The ouds and guitars exchange fours and eights, getting kissed by a flute. Before things get too sweet, the horns blast in, ushering in a duel between ouds and guitars melding Middle Eastern and Latin musics. "Tamacun" reprises Tempesta on drums. It commences as a frenetic big-band flamenco with guitars, drums, and flute up front before things get whompy, and danzon and rumba make entrances and exits. While it would seem that nothing on Area 52 should work, it all does. What started out as simply an orchestral retrospective has become an entirely new Rodrigo y Gabriela album, one that showcases an even more startling range of musicianship. In sum, this album expands the very definition of musical collaboration. ~ Thom Jurek

Producer: Fermin Vazquez Llera; Peter Asher

Engineer: Neil Williams; Fermin Vazquez Llera; Nicolas Rosemond; Jorge Gabriel "Benny" Benitez Herrera; Nathaniel Kunkel

Musical Guests
Muze Guest Artist Samuel Formell Alfonso
Muze Guest Artist John Tempesta
Muze Guest Artist Anoushka Shankar
Muze Guest Artist Carlota Teresa Polledo Noriega
Muze Guest Artist Carles Benavent
Muze Guest Artist Le Trio Joubran

Technical Info

Music Release Date Release Date : 2012
Music Original Release Date Original Release Date : 2012
Music CatalogId Catalog ID : ATO 0136
Music Label Name Label : ATO (USA)
Music Number of Discs Number of Discs : 1
Music Studio or Live Studio/Live : Studio
Music SPAR code SPAR Code : n/a
Music UPC UPC : 00880882178024

Professional Reviews

Billboard (p.36)
- "It's a killer collaboration that lends fresh textures and explosive dynamics to each of the songs. Their guitars dance around the full-ensemble arrangements..."

Paste (magazine)
- "This latest album pushes the duo into the realm of a salsa club with even faster rhythms and Cuban-influenced beats."

Uncut (magazine)
- 3 stars out of 5 -- "[With] blaring brass, Alex Wilson's sinuous Latin piano trills, Buena Vista rhythms and even some exotic sitar from Anoushka Shankar on 'Ixtapa'."

Product Attributes

Product attributeArtist:   Rodrigo Y Gabriela
Product attributeMusic Format:   Compact Disc
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