Most of the artists on the Higher Octave anthology Fuerza are Spanish, and they wield an energy rarely heard since the heyday of punk and considerably more sophistication. Reggae and ragga run wild, with an emphasis on the wild, via Barcelona band Macaco’s dub-crazy “La Raiz,” which breaks into accordion runs reminiscent of Colombian vallenato and sports a Ziggy-esque lead vocal. Basque band King Mafrundi turns Cuban standard “Hasta Siempre” into a Jamaican-style romp, while Sergeant Garcia mixes raggamuffin and salsa on the infectious “Amor Da Mi.” Meanwhile, French upstarts P18 transmogrify the Rafael Hernandez chestnut “El Cumbachero” into a techno swirl of trumpet and drum machine on the delirious “Kid Chocolate.” In such youthful company, Buena Vista Social Club alumnus Eliades Ochoa seems like an odd inclusion, though far be it from me to knock “Que Humanidad,” which unfurls with so much vigor, it barely seem out of place. –Bob Tarte (www.technobeat.com, copyright 2001)————————————————————————1.   La Trampa performed by Capotone, Tonino / Chao, Manu – 3:372.   Amor Pa’ Mi performed by Garcia, Sergent – 4:283.   Hasta Siempre performed by Mafrundi, King – 5:244.   La Raiz performed by Macaco – 5:515.   Le Cha Cha Cha performed by Dusminguet – 2:556.   ¡Qué Hummanidad! performed by Ochoa, Eliades – 3:577.   Peligro performed by Negra, Mano – 2:548.   Decadencia performed by El Gran Silencio – 3:479.   Urrun performed by Muguruza, Fermin – 4:3910.   Les Negresses Vertes performed by Les Negresses – 5:0311.   Hi Hello performed by Anouk – 2:5312.   Kid Chocolate performed by P18 – 4:14

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