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Wednesday, February 21, 2024

Even with a nomination for a Latin Grammy, an appearance on MTV2 and extensive touring worldwide (including to the prestigious Roskilde Festival in Denmark), Miami's electronic/Latin darlings Spam Allstars still enjoy appearing in Gainesville regularly.

"We try to make it to the Atlantic about once every other month or so," said Spam Allstars' Andrew Yeomanson, more commonly known as DJ Le Spam.

It must be that time again, because the band will be performing there Saturday.

The Spam Allstars blend improvisational electronic elements and turntables with Latin, funk, hip hop and dub to create a unique sound - electronic descarga. A musical descarga has a main theme groove backdrop followed by variations on the theme and then solos.

Considering their music attracts salsa dancers and breakdancers, you?ll find an eclectic audience at a Spam Allstars show. In fact, local band Umoja Orchestra was partly inspired by them.

"(Other members) and I saw them at Atlantic, and it more or less was what opened us up to playing Latin/Afrobeat/world music in the first place," said Umoja Orchestra member David Borenstein. "We pretty much decided that night we saw them to form a band."

The Spam Allstars has nine main members, but they?ve welcomed many guest collaborators, including Page McConnell of Phish and John Medeski of Medeski, Martin and Wood.

Their instruments and equipment include turntables, samplers, FX, bass, guitars, timbales, saxophones, flute, trombone, conch shells, congas, bata and the Cuban tres.

The band will be promoting their recently released CD, called "electrodomesticos," which was produced by DJ Le Spam himself.

The CD took roughly 18 months to record, and it's no wonder considering they had more than 200 shows within a year during their recording, and they played about three or four gigs a week.

To see them in action, catch the Spam Allstars at the Atlantic Saturday at 10:30 p.m. Doors open at 10 p.m. To make it a Spam sandwich, the band will play two 45-minute sets, with the break filled with a DJ set by Le Spam.

"Watch out for when Tomas tries to throw and catch his drumstick," Yeomanson said. "Half the time, he drops it and an audience member has to give it back to him. Also, I'm bringing my special alligator records, like the Alligator Strut. Come and enjoy!"

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