It had to happen eventually. For a generation of musicians that has now grown up with the sounds of world music, a truly global pop music was just a matter of time. And for the trio Pacifika, “eventually” means now. The trio’s debut album, 2008’s Asunción, introduced their artful blend of indie rock, bossa nova, Afropop, and dub production. With the new SuperMagique, Pacifika have refined that sound – a multilingual, listener-friendly music that marries languid Latin rhythms to a deep dance groove, and offers a high-gloss sheen with some surprisingly sharp edges.
Pacifika’s global fusion works precisely because it is not a fusion. There is no sense of trying to blend one thing with another: this is the work of three musicians, coming from Peruvian, North American, and Barbadian families, for whom rock, Latin, Caribbean, hip hop, and jazz are all part of a single international musical language – a kind of musical Esperanto. Singer Silvana Kane is from Peru, guitarist Adam Popowitz is from Canada, and bassist Toby Peter grew up in Barbados. Using the city of Vancouver as a base, they have set out to create music that reflects their shared interests in Western pop and the traditions of South America, West Africa, and the Far East. The rest of Canada has been paying attention: last year Pacifika was named one of the “Bands of the Year” by the CBC, and they’ve been regulars on national television in their adopted homeland. Over in the States, Asunción was singled out by critics as a “Best of the Year” on Amazon.com, iTunes, NPR and many other prestigious outlets and tracks from the record were licensed for use in a variety of films and television programs like HBO’s red hot, True Blood. With SuperMagique, they are poised for international success.