El Guincho: Afro-Pop in Hispania

el-guincho-promo-2010Not a very nice name is it?  El Guincho. You have to look and actually practice before saying it (gwin-cho).  It’s a verbal wince.  Luckily his music that comes with it is light, airy and very worry free.

Pablo Díaz-Reixa and his solo moniker began in 2007 with his Folías and then his official label debut: Alegranza (2008).  His journey has followed along the Tropicália (a bit of a trippy samba) and underwater-pop routes, and he’s returned home with a souvenir for every girl and boy called Pop Negro.  And what a swell gift it is.  You’ll play with it for ages.  The Canary Island native dropped out of music school at 14 to pursue the illustrious careers of “Tennis Star” and “Soccer Hero”.  He is currently neither of those so we have to assume he was too good for both.  Instead, he settled in Barcelona, formed/joined a couple bands (Coconuts/Los Feriantes) and made some outstanding tunes.

Pop Negro can ebbbbb and swell, but it also explodes in a red flavor at points, and you’ll dance away scalded.  It’s mostly made up of a composed back beat heavy on percussion with double, sometimes triple layered vocals that reach up and out to the listener.  The lyrics are in Spanish, so the beats and the mood become the forefront for a non-speaker, but even then it’s a tide pool to dip in.

The secret weapon on the new album is “Bombay”; full of steel drums (siiigh steel drums) and choirs of ooooooooo’s.  It’s an easy chair-listen and a fitting coast jaunt.  But if you are truly game, the true treat is next.

The video for “Bombay” is outrageous in it’s content but brilliant in its execution.  The clip begins with a Carl Sagan spoof of how we’re all just really “star dust” but then sails off, just like the golden tape, into the clouds.  There is much, MUCH nudity, and all done in a fantastical way.  You’ll wonder if it’s all just a common scene in the lands across the sea (is it Glenn? Breasts and Sparklers everywhere?).  So beware this is NOT SAFE FOR WORK. But you should watch it anyway, cause there’s gold boobs and rocket cycles.  In truth it’s all just a trailer for an actual movie directed by Nicolas Mendez and featuring a score by El Guincho.  If 5 minutes of this is outrageous, a feature film will be scandalous.  Stay tuned.

Until then, watch the trailer/video for “Bombay” below and listen to album highlights below below.  You’ll forgive the namesake and revel in the waves.

El Guincho – Pop Negro Sampler by The Wounded Jukebox

[El Guincho Myspace]

el-guincho-pop-negro-cover-art (Pop Negro is available now via Young Turks/XL Recordings)

-Matt

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