Review Doma Tornados – Ritmo Latido
From start to finish, Ritmo Latido plunges the listener into a musical journey of epic proportions. At once tribalistic and cutting-edge, the Argentine musician Guillermo Piacenza (operating under the pseudonym Doma Tornados, and slickly translating as ‘Tame Tornados’ in English) manages to impressively fuse sounds of the selva with modern electronic beats to offer up a refreshing instrumental trip through the sound-scape of Latin America.
Piacenza has stated that as Doma Tornados, “apunto hacia un tipo de energía que apela a elementos primitivos: animalidad, carne transpirando, ardor, sexo explícito, el poder del ritmo: quiero a la tribu extasiada dejándose llevar, me excita drogarlos a base de ritmo, es música que me incita a compartir, busco la hipnosis, un orgasmo auditivo y colectivo, hedonismo puro” (“I work towards a kind of energy which appeals to the primitive: animality, transpiring flesh, passion, explicit sex, the power of rhythm. I yearn for the tribe in ecstasy allowing itself be swept away; it excites me to drug them with rhythm… I aim to hypnotise, to achieve pure hedonism: a collective auditory orgasm”).
In effect, Ritmo Latido delivers on every one of these promises. Some songs are pumped along by electronic beats while others are built upon the thumping sounds of traditional instruments, but no two songs ever sound the same. Crucially, for an entirely instrumental effort, everything clicks: each song exists as its own stand-alone journey, but each also weaves in effortlessly to the next, fusing into a hypnotically introspective voyage through the neon-drenched streets of Latin America by night.
What impresses above all is Tornados’s attention to detail; the pacing is spot on, as is clear on “Humita Punita” which begins with a measured heart-beat thump reminiscent of the album’s title and slowly develops alongside electronic tunes which evoke the traditional sound of Andean pan-pipes. In other songs, like the stand-out “Cumbia Arenosa”, the sounds of tribal drums and the prominent accordion – both key features of Latin America’s cumbia sound – are fused with modern electronic beats to create a tune which successfully combines the instrumental elements of the past with the dance vibe of modern electronica.
Ritmo Latido also features some impressive introspective efforts which complement the dance-oriented tunes on the record. The broodier tone of “Bengala” and “Lullabeat, El Neon De La Selva” is assured by their slower, deeper beats which are punctuated with percussive sounds at various intervals and guitar riffs which delicately balance the electronic beats.
Nevertheless, the album’s better efforts are the more high-tempo tunes, which engross the listener with both their relentlessness and meticulous layering. The prominent drums of “Usina Universal De Amor” and the gripping bassline of “Tierra Negra” make for faster, more up-beat tunes which become more and more layered as they go along, sparked off by a simple beat but snowballing into a plethora of compelling sounds which grip you in a techno-trance.
This is also the case for the passionate “Carne Caliente”, which perfectly encapsulates the dance-vibe of the whole album; its song-design is dominated by rhythmic tribal drums and other percussive sounds, with the electronic beats taking a backseat for the first time on the album. Likewise, the title track rounds off the album in some style, with piano notes complementing electronic beats to make for another introspective tune driven by the power of rhythm.
Overall, Ritmo Latido is an instrumental tour-de-force, with its nine impressive tunes fusing to create a flawless, mesmerising trip through Latin America by night. Though Doma Tornados’s songs are often complex, layering sound upon sound on top of heavy and often ambitious bass-lines, his focus on the basics of rhythm and pacing ensure that the tunes sound harmonious and not chaotic. Each and every layer of sound can be appreciated in its own right, but, fused together, they take you on a musical journey which will both surprise and hypnotise you in equal measure.
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