Review Sr. Mendez – Papá del Panasuyo

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Papá del Panasuyo is the second album from Venezuelan Sr. Mendez. It’s an album that shares a certain aesthetic with Mr Pauer’s Soundtrack, released last year by a fellow Venezuelan. They are both full of light grooves, Pacific rhythms and electronic flourishes. The main difference between the two albums is the more rootsy production of Papá del Panasuyo, as well as Sr. Mendez’s voice, which features on almost every track on the album.

The surprising thing I learnt about this album after listening to it a number of times was the fact that it is more a collection of tracks than a piece of work conceived as an album. These were tracks made over a considerable period of time, in a wide variety of locations including Sanjuan Puerto Rico, Merida, Caracas, Miami, New York, Los Angeles and Bogotá. Yet, despite the album switching between styles it never feels cobbled together, always of a piece, and hence testament to the musical vision of Sr. Mendez.

Sr MendezOne of the definite highlights of the album is “Nacido Y Criado”, a collaboration with Venezuelan rapper Rekeson about growing up in Venezuela. It has the kind of easy flow that Arrested Development used to be so good at and a Caribbean Salsa piano lick that never gets tiring. Another collaboration, this time with Palenke Soultribe, on “Choroni” offers something altogether different with a backwards loop and electronic beats that slowly build as the song progresses. It brings to mind Colombia’s Systema Solar, and would surely sound great on a picó sound system.

Papá del Panasuyo was released in August and made available for streaming/download. You can listen to the album in full below:

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