Nineteen Eighty-Two, Brussels: Living on busking wages and next door to Tuxedomoon, Antena manage to make a contemporary bossanova record that provides the missing link between Antonio Carlos Jobim and Kraftwerk. The original Camino Del Sol has been given back its spacious mini-LP quarters, recasting this short-lived combo’s forward-thinking mile marker as a modern-day masterstroke.
Though titled to suggest that its thoughts concerned the path of our closest star, the five-track 12″ was a musical move toward the western hemisphere’s tropics. “Achilles” invokes myth to remind a mother about her invincible warrior child; the track’s shouting Latin intro and coda border a staunchly electro main text. “Bye Bye Papaye” beats Sade to the sounds that brought her to the pop charts, while “Sissexa” takes a bass-and-guitar jaunt to Carnaval. And if “Silly Things” lounges in Brazil, with hand percussion, brass, and whispered vocal, then the gorgeous title track (a “desperate vacation,” according to Isabelle) departs for a lush American beach resort complete with bird song and an icy synth midsection. Isabelle’s voice whispers a tale-by-listing of jetlagged lovers at the pool, taking drinks and tennis and parking the Jaguar; “Camino Del Sol” marks the band’s first defining moment.
A still-life of sunlit domestic emptiness fully captures the Antena aesthetic, hinting at a mysterious trio who sat together only long enough to sip at fruited cocktails before hearing Europe’s mechanized pop signals on the air, following them for a spell, and disappearing.