President Alien 3am opens with a dubby three-chord piano phrase suggesting the head-melt builds of tech-house DJs like Layo & Bushwacka! and Mr. C. But instead of… President Alien 3am opens with a dubby three-chord piano phrase suggesting the head-melt builds of tech-house DJs like Layo & Bushwacka! and Mr. C. But instead of… 2003-04-15 Yerba Buena
Music Review

3am (in beats we trust); President Alien (2003)

EW's GRADE
B+

Details Release Date: Apr 15, 2003; Lead Performance: Yerba Buena

3am opens with a dubby three-chord piano phrase suggesting the head-melt builds of tech-house DJs like Layo & Bushwacka! and Mr. C. But instead of a synth-drum vortex, the track blooms into a Cuban dub session with delicate call-and-response vocals and a burbling trombone solo. It's but one bodega in a strange, beautiful, borderless town mapped by itinerant U.K. producer Richard Blair and Colombian fusionist Ivan Benavides of Bloque, proving some of the only fertile ground in the stagnant dance-music scene is on the inter-ethnic front. Yerba Buena are a next-generation New York City salsa outfit down with old-school boogaloo, hip-hop, and downtown art-funk. The rapping is a little weak in spots, but the grooves are calibrated for both Johnny Pacheco fans and their break-dancing kids. FUSION CUISINE Fans of pan-cultural gumbos should also check out the Malian down-tempo jams on Electro Bamako (Palm). 3am: A- Alien: B+

Originally posted May 07, 2003 Published in issue #709 May 09, 2003 Order article reprints
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