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QUARTER STREET: Fantasia (2015) + Video + title track ltd. free download

Fantasia Quarter StreetWhat do you reckon the chances are of an Australian group in 2015 being able to get anywhere close to sounding like the Fania giants of yore in a way that hitherto few aside from Ray Lugo have? The answer is pretty damn close as it happens – say ‘hello’ to Quarter Street, the Melbourne-based four-piece core of Latin-American heritage whose full-length debut Fantasia drops halfway through this month.

While the album weighs in with only eight tracks, the band make sure that they sustain rhythmic pleasure for a solid forty plus minutes. The title track is a classic opener and sets the tone for an LP which leans more towards pure Habanero salsa soul vibes than the New York boogaloo melting pot of contemporaries like Ray Lugo. Not that you can’t have a bit of a rhumba if the mood takes you with Se Casa Le Rumba. Best cuts include the aforementioned title track and lively second cut Tumba La Cania Jibarito which is basically musical lady-catnip. Muy caliente!
(Out 14 August on Hope Street Recordings)

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