...where some of the other groups in this area have oodles of energy but are let down...
Charlie Gillett 2003
For the second time in recent months, a band from Barcelona is top of the heap. But whereas Ojos de Brujo base their sound around flamenco, Dusminguet (pronounced Duss-min-get) is a Catalan outfit that gathers together just about every roots style except flamenco. Most tracks feature accordion, several bounce along on a jaunty Colombian cumbia rhythm, and others evoke the reggae and ska of UK two-tone bands. Acoustic guitars are strummed hard and fast on some songs, and are played with melodic flair on others.
Gois the first record I've heard by Dusminguet, but it turns out to be their third and, like Ojos de Brujo, they started out with help from Dani el mono loco, leader of yet another Barcelona band, Macaco. Danny the mad monkey played an important role in persuading Spanish record companies to take a chance on recording groups who share his appetite for blending and bending several genres into a coherent shape. Another catalyst was part-time Barcelona resident Manu Chao, the French-Spanish singer whose international success with Clandestino proved that there is a huge international market for this new hybrid music.
In many ways, Go is the strongest of its kind since Clandestino, more consistent and enjoyable than Manu's own two follow-up albums. And where some of the other groups in this area have oodles of energy but are let down by their vocalists, Dusminguet's vocalists cut through without being abrasive, leaving melodies floating in the air after the songs finish.
The fast and effervescent title track, "Go", makes an immediate impression, with accordion and guitar driving the rhythm under the catchy words. Near the end of the album, "Cosa Fea" may be even better, with an unusual guitar sound playing a melodic figure that runs through the whole song.If the Specials or Pogues had chosen to go acoustic and try a song in Spanish, they might have come close to "Nitson"."Maneras" and "La Rabia" are almost pure Cumbia and "El Cami" features fascinating interjections from a female singer called Cherif I Aruna, who sounds as if she might come from Rajastan but is more likely from North Africa.
Can't wait to see them live.