Aurelio – Darandi

Album Review | Real World Records | Review by Allan Wilkinson | Stars: 4/5

During his thirty-year career in music, Honduras-born musician Aurelio Martinez has become known as the master of Garifuna music, specifically the style known as paranda, which is imbued with infectious and inviting dance rhythms.  His fourth album to date, Darandi, once again features a plethora of raw melodies together with lyrics covering everyday topics, each injected with the brightest of dance grooves, which are not too dissimilar to the music of his Cuban and Colombian neighbours.  The tradition this music draws from is both rich and varied, with a balance of African or Caribbean roots; which means when you hear those grooves, the sun automatically begins to shine.  The songs are probably more familiar than you at first think as most of them have been recorded previously.  Here though, the songs are given a distinctive live feel, due in no small part to the fact that they were recorded at Peter Gabriel’s Real World Studios, where the songs were recorded live from the floor, with the singer noting afterwards “We got into a zone where we felt like we were in our own community, playing Garifuna music for our people.  It was a special feeling”.  Joining Aurelio for the sessions are Guayo Cedeño on lead guitar, Emilio Alvarez on bass with both Onan Castillo and Joel Martinez on Garifuna drums and vocals.  Enjoy the songs either once again or for the first time in the way they are supposed to be heard.