July 22 - 2003

Track list
  1. Rumbaskankin'
  2. Yerbas Brujas
  3. Reunanse
  4. I Shot The Sheriff
  5. Viajero
  6. Buscar
  7. Cohimbre’s Style
  8. Solo Los Locos
  9. Recproco
  10. Obel
  11. The Cool Bus Experience
  12. Poder Latino
  13. Soledad
  14. Os Malucos
Rating : from 5 (excellent) to 1 (poor)
Vocals : 3/4 Backing : 3/4 Production : 3/4 Sound quality : 5 Sleeve : 4/5
"Bayanga" is the debut set from the Puerto Rican based high energy band Bayanga, a group consisting of mostly college trained serious musicians onder the musical guidance of their musical director musical director, Eduardo Cabra. They bring us an exciting mix of salsa, reggae, Latin rock and Brazilian styles. After blowing everyone away on the second stage at the 2001 Sierra Nevada Reggae Festival in California, Bayanga convinced veteran reggae producer Doctor Dread to come on numerous trips to Puerto Rico to record their first studio project.
Well, I must admit it took me some time before I could really enjoy the sound of the band with their pulsating riddims build upon a wall of percussion that forms the backbone of nearly every song. One of the most interesting songs here is Cohimbre's Stylee a song which combines Brazilian riddims with the sounds of Australian didjeridoo, courtesy of guest musician Bryant Huffman. A straight forward one-drop reggae riddim combined with a mild dancehall flavor and Latin influences can be heard on Solo Los Locos, whilst Obelé features a surprising kind of "Big Band Jazz" feel. The complete album is sung in Spanish, except for a Latin flavored version of the Bob Marley classic I Shot The Sheriff.
The powerful debut set of Bayanga is a perfect companion for the summer !