The Return of El Santo

Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Mark Schwartz
In the years since King Chang?'s 1996 debut, the world of Latin alternative music has exploded, and what was once cutting edge -- the mixing of Latin rhythms with Two-Tone ska, for example -- has become commonplace one could argue that Ricky Martin's "Livin' La Vida Loca" is the most successful Latin ska track in history. So what's left for New York's self-styled Latin ska champions? Plenty. For Return of El Santo -- the title name-checks the masked legend of Mexican wrestling -- the band fold in styles from dub to lovers' rock to drum 'n' bass, hip-hop, and beyond. And from the celebratory first track, "Finalmente" -- a hooky mel?nge of samba shuffle, turntable ...
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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Mark Schwartz
In the years since King Changó's 1996 debut, the world of Latin alternative music has exploded, and what was once cutting edge -- the mixing of Latin rhythms with Two-Tone ska, for example -- has become commonplace one could argue that Ricky Martin's "Livin' La Vida Loca" is the most successful Latin ska track in history. So what's left for New York's self-styled Latin ska champions? Plenty. For Return of El Santo -- the title name-checks the masked legend of Mexican wrestling -- the band fold in styles from dub to lovers' rock to drum 'n' bass, hip-hop, and beyond. And from the celebratory first track, "Finalmente" -- a hooky melánge of samba shuffle, turntable scratches, piano montuno, and ragga chant -- Changó sink every stylistic basket they aim for. It's a measure of their musical growth that the album's two standout tracks are markedly dissimilar. "Brujería" features the folkloric strumming of a quinto, then breaks down into an exhilarating joropo for real South American roots flavor. Hot on its heels comes the skittering "Tuvera D-Trip," the most successful stab at Latin jungle since Sidestepper's immortal Logozo Sidestepper mainman Richard Blair is one of the bevy of remixers and producers on board. From these twin high points, Santo slides somewhat into a frenetic blur of Latin and reggae that alternates as frequently as Blanco jumps between Spanish and English. But the lovely ballad and live favorite "Sin Ti," with its Billy Joel-inspired chorus, and sitar-spiced trip-hop breakdown "Lil Sister" leave enough surprises. As do Changó's roster of collaborators, which includes the Ozomatli horn section and rapper Baby Powa of MTV's Lyricists Lounge. It may have taken four years, but the Kings are back, and they're ready to rumble.
All Music Guide - Peggy Latkovich
Just when it seemed that ska was in danger of becoming a dot on the horizon, King Chango comes roaring back. Hardcore ska is only part of what this hot New York Latin band is about, however. Dub, trip-hop, punk, and drum'n'bass are all slammed together with reckless abandon. The resulting sound is a relentless assault on the senses that leaves the listener exhausted and ultimately satisfied. It's been four years since the band's self-titled debut, and they've spent the time exploring the edges of the gutsy, eclectic sound that they laid down on that one. Here they experiment more with electronic manipulation of sounds, giving the whole a trippier, more ambient, but no less muscular edge. The crisp, powerful percussion and wailing horns are still there, as are the precise, rapid-fire vocals. The joyous "Finalmente" kicks things off with a solid groove laid down by percussion, scratching, and charango. The charango also drives the tropical craziness of "Brujeria," a number that draws on Venezuelan roots. "What Politicians Say" is a rabble-rousing, reggae-tinged political rant. They do manage to mellow things out a bit with "Sin Ti," a ballad shored up with smooth horns and cheesy organ. But even on this one, there is a brief growling dub interlude. "Step Me Down" is an industrial tour de force, with screaming horns, factory-sounding clanks, and electronic beeps and swoops. The Return of El Santo is a strong sophomore release, and is worth the long wait.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 6/28/2005
  • Label: Luaka Bop
  • UPC: 680899003827
  • Catalog Number: 90038
  • Sales rank: 363,135

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 Finalmente (4:33)
  2. 2 El Santo (4:01)
  3. 3 Brujeria (5:11)
  4. 4 Tu Veras (6:28)
  5. 5 What Politicians Say (3:15)
  6. 6 I Don't Care (4:03)
  7. 7 Sin Ti (4:47)
  8. 8 Best Dressed Pimo (4:01)
  9. 9 Lil'sister (5:13)
  10. 10 Full Time Business (2:51)
  11. 11 Step Me Down (4:20)
  12. 12 Champion Sound (6:17)
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
King Changó Primary Artist
Richard Blair Piano
Ulises Bella Tenor Saxophone
Asdrubal Sierra Trumpet
Asfru Sierra Trumpet
Jose Espinoza Alto Saxophone
Babee Power Background Vocals
DJ Dodgie scratching
JB Eckl Guitar
Funjimenez Piano, Hammond Organ
Francisco Gallardo Guitar, Guita Flé
John Pantle Trombone
José Espinosa Alto Saxophone
Technical Credits
David Byrne Executive Producer
Richard Blair Producer
Yale Evelev Executive Producer
George Michailow Booking
Jeff Poe Engineer
Trevor Sadler Mastering
KC Porter Producer
Andrew Blanco Art Direction, Illustrations, Photo Illustration
Doug McKeon Producer
Darren Nash Engineer
Blanquito Man Producer
Ramo Nova Producer
Darren Nash Engineer
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