MTV Video Music Awards

Super Riddim Internacional Vol. 1

This Monterrey, Mexico-based rock trio throws rap, cumbia, reggae, vallenato, ska, world beat, and much more into this set.

This Monterrey, Mexico-based rock trio throws rap, cumbia, reggae, vallenato, ska, world beat, and much more into this set. It's quickly evident that El Gran Silencio has not lost any of its raw, rhythmic energy even as its production has grown more deft and shaded. Admirably not wanting to repeat itself, the group uses its vallenato-ragamuffin-rap fusions as merely a base for uninhibited experimentations that include techno, heavy metal, and R&B. The title track features a twist-rock rhythm with Campa Valdez's accordion standing in for rhythm guitar. "Recuerdo y Lluvia," a melodic, rock-rooted look back at the hungry years, uses the darbuka, a Middle Eastern percussion instrument. Despite the experimentation, there are ample catchy tunes (like the accordion-fueled cumbia "Sabes") to invite much dancefloor action. Overall though, the bohemian feel and indirect barrio-influenced lyrics are likely to confine the group to its alternative and Latin-intelligentsia base.—RB