Review - President Alien

Artist: Yerba Buena

Deeply steeped in Afrobeat and New York club culture, producer Andres Levin hit upon a winning formula when he collected the players in Yerba Buena to create a new kind of Latin fusion -- one that swings deeply from the hips of Cuban rhythms and shakes from the tremors of post-Fela funk. "President Alien" is a drivingly upbeat sojourn into a new Latin groove, with a dozen cuts that are relentlessly celebratory in tone. Thoroughly defined by its island vibe, it's the small touches the seven-member, multi-ethnic ensemble adds to the mix that make it interesting (for instance the African drum pattern that drives "Bote Bote Va" or the psychedelic electronica of "Solar"). Far removed from the Latin-ized house of Nuyorican Soul, Yerba Buena is raw and energetic, with a personality that's nothing if not unique.