Antena: Camino del Soul (Les Disques du Crepuscle)

Belgian-based Antena may have been associated with Factory Records, but their sound was far from dark, broody post-punk. If anything, it was an antidote to that then prevalent style, offering up Latin-inspired jazz, a little samba here, a little bossanova there, all tempered quite nicely by the cooing of lead singer Isabella Antena. Alongside bands like Everything But The Girl, early Sade, Kalima, and Working Week, Antena were purveyors of cool music. They released their first EP, Camino del Soul, in 1982, and it appears here, alongside contemporary singles, as well as a live disc that, while rough around the edges, shows that the band had the ability to bring that sound to the live stage. Original songs like “Achilles” and “Ingenuous” are pleasant numbers; when the band tries to ape their contemporaries, like on “Joppo & Eno,” does the band slip. With “On The Boat” and hey come close to disco, but they pull back quickly. Oh, and their cold, detached version of “The Boy From Ipanema” is both odd and enjoyable. Antena would give way to Isabella Antena, while continuing to release the occasional Antena record. Camino del Soul was an interesting, enjoyable start to a unique band’s long, storied career.

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