Meridian Brothers - Salvadora Robot (4 stars)

Meridian Brothers - Salvadora Robot

A brilliantly demented mix of electronic and acoustic percussion and eccentric influences


Elbis Álvarez, the pink throbbing brain behind Bogota's Meridian Brothers, is the most inventive kind of nut. Yet for all its eccentricities, Salvadora Robot never descends into wackiness. On 'Somos Los Residetas', he mixes electronic and acoustic percussion to create a hobbled merengue which is strangely danceable, topping it off with Star Wars cantina clarinets and cheeky organ jabs. The title track is a jaunty two-step with wonky Joe Meek guitars, while 'De Mi Caballo, Como Su Carne' has mosquito synths nibbling at a salsa piano. The decelerated reggaeton of 'Baile Ultimo …' cocks a snook at Colombian arbiters of good taste who consider the genre crass. 'El Festival Vallenato' is particularly askew, with Álvarez ranting through an echoplex over a rhythm which sounds like it's falling apart and rebuilding itself simultaneously. Buzzing electronics and mischievous chipmunk vocals bring this brilliantly demented carnival to a close.

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