Higher Level - Fito Blanko
Like Dancehall before it, Reggaeton (pronounced: reggae-tone) is a growing wave of global flavored influence permeating urban music. This is a potent blend with all of hip hop's street 'tude, all of salsa's spice and all of reggae's heavy drop beat. Fito Blanko is a young Panamanian from Montreal who is taking reggaeton to a 'Higher Level' as the name of his new album would suggest. What makes this collection of songs so great is Fito's keen awareness of where all the musical elements come from. And there's a lot of them. The liner notes are worth the price of admission to this disc alone. He takes the time to explain the wild mash of styles each track delivers from Cuban Timba with Reggaeton, to Son/Hip Hop to Vultron (Panamanian lyricism) over Jamaican riddims.Credit must also be given to Fito's producer and collaborator on the project, Peruvian-born Keith Kanashiro (aka Sensei) who wrote much of the music, but regardless of who gets the props, Higher Level is highly recommended.