Sumo

The Danceband (Heya Hifi Records)

Not to be confused with the Argentine reggae undergrounders, this Swedish house duo played four venues during the 2006 Winter Music Conference in Miami, twice at Amika. The Danceband is the group's official debut full-length after having released its past seven years' worth of singles on last year's Rebounces, and the redirection toward more Latin and retro beats is profound, with immediately catchy results. The proceedings begin with an obligato intro brag ticking off a list of famous prisons before "Madrugada" appears bearing a splicing of evening-air salsa and trance sung breathily by Hofstone, one of several guest singers on hand. Rigas follows suit to front "Factory," his rap floating Beck-like over a percolating synth line done up with bubble samples and maracas. New discovery Clarisse Muvemba lowers a torchy bossa nova boom on "Lovebeat," in which she sounds comfortable in her jazz-popper role. Aaron Phiri drums up a more-than-passable Al Green in the runway-model chill-beater "Unlove Me," while the wide turn here is when Rigas tries Art Brut-style blowharding on for size within the drum 'n' bass confines of "Tribute."

 
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