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Si Tu Supieras is the second studio album from latin quartet, Tocamos Mas. The band’s progenitor, The Carbia Trio, is gone now, along with most of the generation that performed and danced to this sound throughout the Golden Era. Tu No Sabes, the first album by Tocamos Mas, is a love letter from an acolyte to tradition. Si Tu Supieras now carries the latin sound beyond the 1950’s San Juan nightclubs and orchestral arrangements.
These songs pulse with a warm glow, languid and lush. This record is a dinner party that ends with the furniture pushed against the walls, and couples making out in the bathroom. In both song selection and sound, this record is an aesthetic triumph for the major latin influences of indigenous, colonial, and African elements that combined define the genre. Every note of this record was produced by hand, and captured in such crisp detail I see dust motes dancing from the strike of a cymbal and hear the clicking of piano keys returning to rest. Latin standards such as 'Cuando, Cuando' and 'Perfidia' establish the band’s mastery of the classics, while 'Por Un Mani' and 'La Realidad' are collaborations between generations past and present. Tom Waits’ 'Come On Up', reimagined as a sultry mambo, is a seductive masterpiece, vibrating with surly tension.
At points throughout the record each musician gets to flex fully in their talent, giving the record the energy of a live show. Yet there are no stars in Tocamos Mas, just the songs and the sound, every solo note and supporting beat serving the whole, which builds with each song into a mood of exalted surrender.
There are many reasons to love this record. It stands as an anachronism in the modern era as it moves with a patient and gracious tempo. Aficionados of the latin genre will appreciate the generational significance of the Carbia family’s musical saga. The main reason though, to love this record, is to feel the brush of fabric against your legs, the nervous grip of fingers in yours, and the weightlessness of falling into your partner as the music fades into the night. If only you knew…
- John Robertson, 2023