Released: Jan 2012
Label: Ato Records
We shouldn't be surprised by any new direction Rodrigo y Gabriela take off in. Yet, hearing the metal-heads-turned-flamenco-fused-acoustic duo rework their songs Cuban-style is, indeed, surprising. We're used to R & G getting raucous sounds out of two acoustics. But Area 52, which was recorded in Cuba with a full big band, is awash in big, bold sonic textures: the thundering flamenco-salsa-rock breakdown of "Diablo Rojo," the Santeria call-and-response of "11:11," Anoushka Shankar's sitar grooves on "Ixtapa." Unsurprisingly, Gabriela and Rodrigo sound perfectly, elegantly at ease amid it all.