Every summer, the city of San Francisco has a free concert series featuring noteworthy bands, and some that are yet-to-be-noted — at least in the United States, anyway.Â Â Case in point, Bajafondo — the South American “electrotango” band whose members come from Argentina and Uruguay.Â I had no idea what “electrotango” would sound like, but I was game, so off I went to see them perform live at a free concert. To my surprise, the place was packed with fans, and it was instantly understandable why: their music has a wonderfully cosmopolitan vibe that fuses a number of styles.Â For those who are fans of Shakira, you might find some of Bajafondo’s electrotango sounding a bit like Shakira’s 2002 single, “Objection (Tango).”Â Other times, the band has a kind of Russian sound with songs like “Hoy” that bring to mind Zvuki Mu.
However, Bajofondo is not a evanescent bit of exotica that screams “flavor of the week.” Their sound has certainly captured the heart (and ears) of artists like Elvis Costello and Nelly Furtado — each of whom contributes vocals on the album, Mar Dulce. Interestingly, the rather relaxed vocals of Furtado on “Baldosas Mojadas” makes her trademark nasally voice almost disappear–leaving the listener with a greater appreciation of her singing abilities.
Other guest vocalist, like Mala Rodriguez from Spain, add a nice flavor to “El AndÃ©n.” But really, the band shines on their instrumentals like “Pa’ Bailar” (the first single off the album) and “Grand Guignol” which has a kind of cinematic quality to it.
For a band that only has two albums under their belt, it’s clear that Bajofondo is comprised of some wonderfully talented and accomplished musicians who, as luck would have it, have a chemistry that keeps a signature sound fairly consistent throughout their genre-hopping fusion of styles.