Los Amigos Invisibles 

The Venezuelan Zinga Son Vol. 1

When Martha and the Vandellas told us that Summer's here and the time is right for dancin' in the streets, it was an implied call to revolution that lit up hearts and souls as it raced up the charts. Back in the day, there were no synthesizers and samplers to propel your restless feet -- just funky drummers and mean bassmen who played real instruments in real time. Although they originally come from Venezuela (the band relocated to NYC a few years back), Los Amigos Invisibles grew up listening to the Motown gang, Funkadelic, and other African-American masters of the groove, and dedicated themselves to keeping that groove alive, in real time, with real instruments.

For The Venezuelan Zinga Son Vol. 1, the Amigos have stepped into the '70s and crafted an ode to summertime that salutes the work of Chic, Sergio Mendes, Blondie, Curtis Mayfield, George Clinton, Silver Convention, and other dance floor denizens. The groove is as smooth and cool as a piña colada, and goes down just as easy. Despite the production expertise of New Yorican heavies "Little" Louie Vega and Kenny "Dope" Gonzalez of Masters at Work, the album maintains a tranquil Euro-groove -- each song morphs effortlessly into the next, growing more desirously sugary and enjoyable as the fourteen-song set progresses. Standouts include "Playa Azul," a shimmering pop samba with trebly organ, a velvety male chorus and cheesy Fender Rhodes solo; "Una Disco Llena," a percussion driven bit of house-meets-jazz-lite fluff; and the deep funk of "Superfucker," with its hint of Ohio Players sleaze and Commodores sophistication.

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