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Various Artists

Porque Este Océano es el Tuyo, es el Mío

(Midsummer Madness; US: 2 Oct 2007; UK: Unavailable)

This album, its mouthful of a title borrowed from Pablo Neruda, is a compilation of indiepop tracks from South and Central America. It’s not a definitive overview, explains one of the compilers, replying to a blog post, but a “general take”, a glance that moves from Mexico southwards through Colombia, Venezuela, Peru, Brazil, Chile, Uruguay, and Argentina. It’s here to give you an idea what’s there. Guitars jangle, people clap, keyboards hum and groan, Radiograd from Colombia rumbles doomily. Coiffeur performs acoustic guitar pop that is unassuming and perfectly proportioned. Brazil’s Filme packs three miniature soundtracks into a single song. El Mato A Un Policia Motorizado ask why it should not be considered the Jesus and Mary Chain of Argentina. Some countries are better represented than others. Brazil has four tracks, Chile three, Peru one. There is no single standout song, but no desperately weak ones either. Speaking as someone who doesn’t have infinite hours to spend scratching around on Latin American MySpace sites for decent bands, this album is doing us a useful public service.

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