gullbuy music review

Sexteto Electronico Moderno


Sounds From the Elegant World




Sexteto Electronico Moderno CD coverVampisoul is a Spanish reissue label which has put out a series of sweet looking reissues like the Cuddle Up With Claudine Longet compilation, Betty Davis' This Is It, and the Maranata album (to be reviewed next week). Sexteto Electronico Moderno's Sounds From The Elegant World is a collection taken from 4 albums by the Uruguayan group recorded between 1968 and 1971, that is tinged with hints of Brazilian bossa sounds, latin rhythms, and a Sergio Mendes instrumental feel with a soulful Stax/Volt vibe. Some superfine discoveries here.

For the groovier stuff turn to the first few tracks on the compilation. Soul Nuevo and My Job are both group originals with a groovy organ sound, cowbell ringing percussion with funky bass and celeste and horn solos. Comin' Home Baby was co-penned by Bob Dorough and is probably best known by Mel Torme, but there were also foreign versions by Sylvie Vartan (sung in French), and featured here in a tweaked out organ instrumental version. Their version of Soul Limbo has an incredible smooth sound to it. Muere Pequena Bestia starts out with a scream but leads into an upbeat organ led instrumental romp. Ramblin' has a sweet samba rhythm that pops with reverb and a bossa organ sound. Samba Diferente is a harmonic highlight from the set, with a refreshing vibe.

A handful of covers appear near the end of the disc which remind me of the Rosinha de Valença album called Ipanema Beat. But where the Ipanema Beat is an utter failure, Sexteto Electronico Moderno is much more accomplished at their covers of I Say A Little Prayer, Je T'aime, Moi Non Plus (which also appears on Ipanema Beat performed by Rosinha), and The Look Of Love. They are mellower than the best found here, but they do have a crisp sound and fine arrangements, which make for impeccable renditions. It's especially nice to hear another version of Je T'aime, Moi Non Plus, for those who collect it.

El Licor Del Albanil has a Midnight Cowboy soundtrack vibe with softly strummed guitars and plaintive harmonica. It's a sound I like, but is kind of saccharine. The only track that stands out as not needed on the compilation is the final track called Despierta Amor, a vocal track which may have been some sort of South American hit perhaps. It would be cool if it grooved, but it's kind of sappy sounding.

---Patrick, August 30, 2005