Los Amigos Invisibles Arepa 3000: A Venezuelan Journey Into Space on 2LP + Download
Reissued in Celebration of Luaka Bop's 25th Anniversary
Los Amigos Invisibles began work on their 2000 Luaka Bop album Arepa 3000: A Venezuelan Journey Into Space with a disco sensibility. Admiring French DJ/producers the band sought a heavier house sound in contrast to the retro and lounge elements of 1998's The New Sound of the Venezuelen Gozadera. Arepa 3000 is live instruments, start to finish.
"Amor" is a prime example - a bumping slice of SalSoul-era disco beefed up by Masters At Work-style production. The ridiculously catchy anthem is actually the work of a little-known Venezuelan composer Jorge Spiteri and his band Ma–ana. Even better, the Amigos know no stylistic boundaries.
Sexy tropical dance tracks like the hyper merengue "El Sobon," the classic salsa "Llegaste Tarde" and electro bossa nova "Si Estuvieras Aqui" demand respect on Latin dancefloors. Mixing house, funk, and Latin elements with nods to hip-hop, drum 'n' bass, and lounge, Los Amigos' versatility is unmatched.
The divertingly arch, multi-kulti hodge-podge plays like a soundtrack for an imaginary Latin nightclub with a selectively demented door policy. The essence of Sergio Mendes trips in first, trailed by a rap that emerges from under a '70s disco conceit swathed in silky choirs and cheesy synths. Brazilian Tropicalismo via Caetanao Veloso bumps butts with a naive pop organ riff that London hipsters circa 1968 would recognize, until the congas lash out and the whole thing turns into vintage Santana.