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Similar in flavor and intent to former collaborators Yerba Buena, Descemer Bueno’s solo debut album further explores the new paths that lead to the place where urban and Latino music meet. Descemer’s artistic voice on 2006′s Siete Rayo is much grittier, earthier than what fans heard of him on Yerba Buena projects. With reggaeton-inflected (but not -dominated) tracks, and instrumental influences that harken to his Havana upbringing and education, Bueno is a true original. There are few artists in the increasingly diverse cast on the hip-hop stage who offer such a fresh perspective on what this music can encompass. Similarly, Cuban music is given a fresh coat of paint and a new perspective in Bueno’s compositions. The earthy, rich timbre of his voice, tuneful songwriting, and creative inclusion of folkloric instruments make for an easy yet engaging listen. Somewhat neglected by mainstream media, perhaps because it’s so difficult to categorize, Siete Rayo is set up mainly for an underground following. Anyone who comes across this gem of a record will be glad for it, and quickly join the ranks of the dedicated fans. There are few musicians out there who do such honor to their native tradition and offer such brave vision for the urban music community.