HISTORIAS EN REVISIÓN
NOMADIC SOUND SYSTEM
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East Los Angeles jam geniuses Slowrider have proven during their three-year existence that jamming isn't just about droning on a perfect riff forever, but that jam bands should incorporate other everlasting chords until the results are as fiendishly beautiful as a Bach fugue. Such is the main attraction of their Historias en Revisión, a half-new tracks, half-remixes release that could blast as easily in a jazz club as at a political rally. Most songs on the album do fixate on the One Groove and wisely return to it, whether it's via a creepy organ explosion, bass zip, grating record scratch, or spacey guitar flutter. But Slowrider make sure to improvise epic tunes around these riffs, employing jam-friendly genres like wicked raps, outta-sight mid-'70s funk/soul, and the ghostly cumbia of "La Vida 4 la Causa." More impressively, Slowrider invite guest vocalists ranging from Quetzal queen Martha González to the furious spouts of hip-hoppers Acid Reign to lend a social consciousness to otherwise instrumental tracks. The most important singer is Slowrider's own MC Olmeca, whose firm lecture commands his troops toward the choicest beats and progressive thoughts. Olmeca appears too rarely on Historias en Revisión, but makes the most of his cameos by laying out grooving arguments on why people should care about bettering the world, especially on the fabulously titled "Lessons Learned From Ghost," where he gives shout-outs to such revolutionaries as César Chávez and Brazil's Movimento Sem Terra. With Historias en Revisión, Slowrider drives the art of the monotonous jam away from rudderless excess and toward something amazing. (Gustavo Arellano)