Review Wara EP

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With the current upsurge in popularity of Latin-influenced sounds in the English capital, nine-piece band Wara are sure riding the wave of Afro-Cuban-loving-grooves. Their recent tour of festivals such as Glastonbury, The Big Chill, Barbican’s Blaze Festival, and not to mention soon-to-come gigs at Camden’s Roundhouse and Ronnie Scotts, only cement their promising future ahead. With their larger-than-life style comprised of Cuban timba, cumbia beats, raucous rumba and touches of hiphop, reggae and jazz, this should be no surprise at all.

Take their recently released EP for example. The five-tracker comprises of a spectrum of genres that represent the background of the talented musicians, all of whom live in multi-cultural London. Opening track “Flesh and Bone” introduces the band with a heap of attitude, sultry-sounding songstress Euka leads us into a tale of woes, social hardship and identity. With this serious lyricism also comes a blast of Wara at their best, beginning with a Cuban hip-hop style and a distinct taste of Colombian Bomba Estéreo foot-stomping beats. Bringing a definite leftfield-Cuban jazz influence to the table in this opening number is the catchy motifs by saxophonist Chagar, the Cuban-style piano as well as the passion-fuelled-percussion by Olivos aka ‘Lele’. Towards the end of “Flesh and Bone” Wara break into some sexy grooves where socio-political rhymes are performed by vocalist Murmur. The track then breaks into rapid-tempo-rock and an all-mighty, head-banging end to an epic track.

Following tracks ‘Pretty Cliché’ and ‘Caprichoso’ also follow suit, encompassing an endless number of sounds and styles. However, unlike those who attempt to perform a melting-pot of genres and come out with an undesirable spew of humdrum, sapless genres, Wara have succeeded in creating a sound that is uniquely theirs in it’s embracing of global sounds. Acoustic number “Ojos Que No Ven” reflects another side to the band, who perform a simple yet memorable number including smooth female vocals (sung in Spanish), Latin-drenched guitar with the odd burst of valiant sax and ulsating percussion.

The Wara EP is exciting not just for the ears, but for all senses; a hip-thrusting, shoe-tapping record that definitely sets Wara on their journey to success within the international music scene in London and beyond.

Catch Wara at their up and coming dates in October and November including at the Roundhouse, Camden on the 7th of November.

Wara EP was released on 26th September 2011 by Movimientos Records. You can buy the EP from iTunes, Amazon or the Movimientos Records Bandcamp page.


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