Album Review: Kali Mutsa treads gypsy trails on Ambrolina

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Here’s some really wild Chocolat ala Johnny Depp love affair. It’s a cultural mash-up for all you Euro-ancestral traders. You know I haven’t heard something as crisply ‘world’ music since M.I.A. blasted the side of my face and changed my life in 2005.

The careful layering reminds me of Bomba Estéreo but the grit in Kali Mutsa‘s voice takes me back to clarinet and snake charming cabaret Shakira‘s with more conservative sex appeal then Mala Rodriguez. I think this album is better than J. Lo’s latest tragedy and Madonna just got a run for her money. We won’t even talk about Gaga, and Beyonce can both take a lesson in authenticity from the queen bee, Kali Mutsa.

On the whole this is a strong album with very little let down. Every track stays consistently on point. Riding through Chile and Romane cultures and sounds. Celine Reymond Villega is quiet a character. Starting out her artistic career as an actress, our gypsy princess invented a whole persona for her musical alter ego. The first track, “Tunapa” offers a very Mediterranean, world music sounding with harps, trumpets and violins amplify the almost mountainous goat climb on Ambrolina.

The Spanish meets mysticism makes for something unique. “Parachima” continues with water-dripping sonic collage, and “Jauja” gives something trance-like. it drifts into snake charming and ends like a burlesque show in Cicely, playing with a carnivalesque appeal. As she slips into strange references, you realize that Kali Mutsa is more of an experience than it is the kind of music you’d vibe to identify with; instead riding it like a cloud of your drug of choice.

Tue tue” divulges more bird chimes and abstract interludes, while “San Cipriano” continues echoing like a chant or prayer rising up in smoke and incense. There’s a cool haunting in this track — a very layered and controlled pull. “Ton King Dom” narrates a tragic tale of loss and mourning.

Kali Mutsa’s alter ego (the 90 some year old performer) channels through her, in a more subtle piano accompanied chorus, that adds melancholy repose to the album. “El Camello” has strange ’90s pump up the jam meets Bjork sounding elements. It’s definitely one of the more hard hitting sounds on Ambrolina. Kali Mutsa shines on this sleek sound affect, unafraid hammer.

All together this is the link of album that can get you belly dancing while sitting calmly at work. It’s a complicated sound that might not be for everyone, but a definite treat — something worth the experimentation. If you’re at all hesitant, just give it a shot. I promise you won’t regret it. There’s something on Ambrolina by Kali Mutsa that will surely have you spinning in nomadic splendor. This Chilean songstress has performance in her blood and it shows. Dressed like a modern Queen Amidala, there’s an intrigue and mystery to her that is absolutely irresistible.

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