Album Review: Boogát – San Cristóbal Baile Inn [Label Maisonette, October 2017]

Boogát’s new album, San Cristobal Baile Inn (Label Maisonette), is a very danceable, cumbia, hip-hop, and electronic-infused journey through his dual identity as a Canadian/Mexican artist. With his blistering third album, the Juno award-winning artist reflects on his journey to explore his Mexican roots and dedicates it to San Cristobal, the patron saint of (dancing!) travel.

Merging the unmistakable sounds of cumbia and Latin and occasional reggaeton beats with urban and electronic sounds, he adds a number of special guests to the album which all add an extra bounce. “Sabes Muy Bien” – the collaboration between Andrés Oddone and Frikstailers – is an open letter to family, love, and friendship, exploring how our choices define the ways we live our lives. The opening track for the album is both romantic and danceable and kicks off the fusion of Latin, urban and electronic vibes.

Miss Bolivia supplies guest vocals on the infectiously bouncy cumbia sounds of “Cumbia De Las Naves” along with “Tanto Tattoo” – which features Nina Dioz on guest vocals – and showcases Boogat’s great vocals in a duet with strong female vocals. Frikstailers guest again on the reggaeton beats of “Wali Wali”, which takes a sideways swipe at the commercial side of the music business, giving a very non-commercial message packaged with a more commercial reggaeton beat. This is emphasised in the catchy “Eres Una Bomba”, which again uses reggaeton beats for a song which is about empowering women and mocks the laughable over-sexualisation of the genre.

Boogát ends with what seems to be the epitome of the Montreal artist’s journey back to his homeland and return to Canada a year later. “Au Revoir Mexico” is the only song sung in French and not Spanish on the album and swings along to an infectious cumbia beat, detailing Boogat saying goodbye to Mexico even though he knows he will miss it.

San Cristobal Baile Inn is a great journey through traditional Latin rhythms and is even melancholy in places, but the driving cumbia, hip-hop and electronic beats will be sure to keep you moving and coming back to your favourites on the album.