Advertisement

Pop Music Review

A Surprise Bloque Party at LunaPark

October 09, 1998|ERNESTO LECHNER

The ultimate Latin live outfit, Bloque is the kind of band you wish would perform every weekend at the joint down the street. You would never guess that beneath the monotonic, relatively pretentious first studio album, "Bloque," lies such an explosive act, but the Colombian group's Los Angeles debut on Wednesday at LunaPark was a revelation.

Bloque plays a new subgenre of Latin pop that might be described as tropical punk. Its eight members use Colombian rhythms such as the African-based currulao as a starting point, then add the purifying rage of punk and the rhythmic urgency of rock. They presented one of their songs on Wednesday as a cross between the salsa of Hector Lavoe and Led Zeppelin's "Babe I'm Gonna Leave You."

The focus at LunaPark was on guitarist Ernesto Ocampo; background singer Mayte Montero, whose joyous dancing was as memorable as her vocals; flutes and assorted percussion; and Ivan Benavides, a lead singer with anarchic tendencies and an easygoing but assured command of the material.

The band's arrival may be the defining step that confirms Colombia as the most musically exciting country in Latin America. The nation is currently producing the best salsa (Joe Arroyo and the resurrected Latin Brothers) and rock en espan~ol (Aterciopelados and now Bloque) in the world. It is safe to assume that more wondrous things will arise from such an exciting musical environment.

*

Bloque plays Sunday at JC Fandango, 1086 N. State College Blvd., Anaheim, 9 p.m. $12. (714) 758-1057. Also Monday at the Garage, 4519 Santa Monica Blvd., 9 p.m. $5. (323) 683-3447.

Advertisement
Los Angeles Times Articles
|
|
|