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Alegranza by El Guincho
Released: Oct 2008
Label: Young Turks
This Spanish producer has made one of 2008's most intriguing albums. These compositions don't sample so much as they evolve, drawing in African highlife here, rock 'n' roll there, driven on by big, charging beats that -- combined with repetitive chants -- make you feel as if you're in the midst of a carnival in a country that doesn't yet exist. El Guincho never smothers his source material under the tyranny of four/four beat, instead letting the teeming jungle of sound find its own pace and rhythms. When it comes to glorious life, this sounds unlike anything you've ever heard.
Sarah Bardeen

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