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Matias Aguayo
Ay Ay Ay Julian Marszalek , November 11th, 2009 12:24

And lo, as it appeared to the wider listening public that 2009 was to be little more than a tired retread of the 1980s served up by a gaggle of talentless fame seekers trading on memories that were never theirs for the sharing, along comes Matias Aguayo with all the gusto of the cavalry arriving to save a beleaguered wagon train with one of the most curious, satisfying and playful releases of the year.

If truth be told, 2009 has been a great year for music. Ignoring the hyped-up, retro-dwelling cack that's stunk up the airwaves with all the force of a broccoli-fuelled attack of the farts and clogged the arteries of the media like a blood clot waiting to cause a cultural haemorrhage, the last 12 months or so have continued to delight, surprise and confound in a way that can only offer hope as much as joy.

Ay Ay Ay is a stunning album. To all intents and purposes, Chilean-born, Cologne-raised Matias Aguayo has fashioned an a cappella album that could only have been made in the 21st century – a multi-layered fusion of vocal beatboxing, humming, singing and whatever else his vocal chords deem necessary as they join seamlessly with deliciously low frequency bass lines and beats aimed squarely at the feet.

The realisation that the ridiculously catchy opener 'Menta Latte' is fashioned by a voice rather than instrumentation is at once disorientating and utterly compulsive. Hypnotic in its repetition, Agueyo's chants are euphoric in their execution and the realisation soon begins to unfold that something truly special is unfolding; this like listening to TV On The Radio for the first time but with joy firmly in place instead of claustrophic density.

And joyful it is. Elsewhere on 'Mucho Viento', Latin rhythms come to the fore while 'Koro Koro' is a delightful and unlikely collision of 'Sweet Jane' with Ladysmith Black Mambazo that ends up sounding like nobody but Matias Aguayo. And therein lies the album's strength: not once does it veer into the territory of novelty. Instead, it forges a language entirely of its own making whilst setting almost impossible standards of creativity and clarity of vision. Ay Ay Ay demands your urgent attention and it demands it now.