Fusing Latin American sounds with European electronic beats can often produce a bland and rudderless dross destined for derivative lounge compilations and deliriously dull playlists at pretentious after work cocktail bars. Not so with the aptly named First Trip, the superb sophomore effort from the equally aptly named “Los Transatlanticos”.
The story of Los Transatlanticos begins in 1996 when the Croatian Born and Berlin Resident Dean Bagar went on a trip to Bogotá, Colombia, where he met Pablo Gaviria and immediately bonded over a common love for Caribbean music. Taking time out from running both a record shop and a label Dean began taking increasingly frequent trips to Bogotá to record jam sessions with Pablo at a local studio, where they’d often be joined by Pablo’s brother, the instrumentalist Alvaro Gaviria. Before long the synergy between both became such that they decided to form “Los Transatlanticos”, named in reference to both their musical approach and their forced long distance artistic relationship, and formed of mainly Colombian musicians and vocalists.
The outcome of the first meeting of Los Transatlanticos is 1st Trip, a musical fusion of the Caribbean and the European which owes more to Manu Chao’s rebel nonconformist spirit than Thievery Corporation’s slick aesthetical perfectionism – to the benefit of the listener and live audience both – made its live debut at the Berlin Worldtronic Festival in December 2011 to rapturous reception, and will surely herald in a very eventful year ahead for these Transatlantic music friends who will be no-doubt performing at a festival near you. Until then, you can enjoy the raw energy and extravagant sounds of Los Transatlanticos courtesy of BBE Records now. It’s time to jam. CD track list: