Bareto Impredecible

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World Village
Review by Marty Lipp


The Peruvian style of chicha improbably mixed cumbia rhythms with ’60s surf guitars, and even more improbably, went from being derided by the country’s gentry as “low class” to acceptance to developing a worldwide following. The group Bareto, which began as part of the resurgence twelve years ago, continues to move past the boundaries of chicha and Peru with its latest album, Impredecible.

Bareto takes the clippity-clop beat of cumbia and adds some psychedelic guitar like other chicha revivalists. While some of the modern chicha bands seems to have a self-conscious kitschiness, Bareto shows itself here to capable of sure-footed steps in any number of directions, which is not to say they are not about having fun. With the band’s varied sounds and mixing of genres, it brings to mind at times Manu Chao, that musical Peter Pan.

Like Chao, they can indulge in sleepy, stoned-out rhythms that are pretty intricately put together, such as on “La Semilla” or “No Es Para Mi.” On the title cut, though, they are earnest and thematically adventurous, singing of a hero who wants to experience every moment as if it were his last – and then jump to the next keenly felt moment.

The band goes for reggae on several tunes, but comes home with the Afro-Peruvian festejo rhythms of “El Loco,” which features vocals from the grand dame of the music, Susana Baca. The sly electro-acoustic rhythms are soothed by Baca’s earthy but ethereal vocals.

While Impredecible is not Bareto’s debut album, it hopefully will be an introduction for some new listeners who will welcome this talented bunch of pranksters to the world stage. - Marty Lipp

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