Like a traditional Santeria ceremony, Vivito y coleando (Alive & Kicking) opens with "Que viva Chang cents," an homage to Chang cents, god of fire, asking his blessing for the coming festivities. The rest of the disc bubbles along on a fluid bedrock of Afro-Cuban rhythms, a lava flow of timbales, congas, bongos, and bells that glows with energy and submerges everything in its path. Highlights include Bill Friedman's lyrical trumpet on "Na' ni na'"; Guillermo Cespedes's rippling, flamenco-influenced tres fills on "Alafia"; Chris Cooper's violin flight on "Amor de millones"; "El pitirre y la ti*osa," a folkloric rumba-son done in subtle, acoustic style; and throughout the album, Bobi's marvelous vocals, a lush sound that warms the air like a flock of doves exploding out of a palm tree. (43 Beaver Brook Rd., Danbury, CT 06810)
What is it about England that encourages the painfully stupid of that island nation to set their tedious musings to music? Bad taste? Bad brains? Bad teeth? And why is it that American record companies enable this behavior? Cultural inferiority? Colonial guilt? Our sad obsession with those boss sounding accents?
Whatever the reason, this collection of rot promises no end to the idiotfest. Tricky, a 27-year-old producer and rapper, somehow manages to meld the worst of every available genre -- the grueling monotony of dance music, the stale riffs of soul, the unabated dorkiness of dub -- then adds his own signature in the form of laughably pretentious lyrics. There are also assorted ambient bleatings from Martine, this young, beautiful bird who the Trickster apparently wants to fuck, and so put on the album.