Austin’s GRUPO FANTASMA is a traditional Latin band in one sense; they sing exclusively in Spanish and derive their music from cumbia and salsa rhythms. But they’re also a new generation of players. By upping the energy, subtly blending modern touches, and stripping away some of the music’s more cheesy traditions, they’ve found a wildly appreciative new audience. Major labels have taken notice, but the twelve-member band has once again gone it alone with MOVIMIENTO POPULAR (Aire Sol), and everything—the arrangements, performances, even the recordings—has taken a quantum leap from its debut. The way these tracks virtually leap off the CD, it’s not hard to understand why Grupo has continued their DIY approach.

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