With their Explosive, wildly percussive independent self-titled debut, guitarists Robert Chini and Jorge Camberos follow in the world-grooving, pop-flamenco footsteps of the well-known duos Laura & Reyes and Struntz & Farah. But Chini & Camberos do it with the unique twist of occasionally adding a Carlos Santana-like electric guitar edge to the mix, giving many of the songs a rock flavor. The opening track "Cosa Nostra" is a spirited, soundscape-laden acoustic guitar jam--colorful, melodic and fun. The keyboards, strings and horns come courtesy of the versitle new age icon David Arkenstone. Just as we're swaying along to the dual acoustic charms of the easygoing "Balboa's Garden, " Fattburger's Tommu Aros (percussion) and Rene Camacho (bass) from Strunz & Farah jump in with a quick and intense rythym change, and the tune evolves into a fiery Latino Rock explosion. Another Joyfully schizophrenic tune is "Jordan's Song," which moves back and forth between a dreamy ballad mode and a hip, reggae rhythm. The all-acoustic "Summer Girl" is full of all the balmy tropicality of the island sunset depicted in the cover photos, but "Why Not?" gets Chini & Camberos back to the electric funk--this time with one of the disc's catchiest melodies. "Destino" features the type of incredible fingerstyling-runs that Strunz and Farah and Lara & Reyes are famous for. The feisty, up-tempo passages are the most enjoyable, but Chini & Camberos show a deeper sense of artistry on th emotional, melancholy closing track "Emelia." Overall, an impressive debut worthy of lots of smooth jazz/world beat attention.

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