Tue Oct 21 2008
Time Out Ratings<strong>Rating: </strong>5/5
The emergent anchors of the neotribal movement are a sui generis breed: Bands like Yeasayer, Gang Gang Dance and Animal Collective distinguish themselves with unintelligible chants, African-timed beats and obscure samples. And while it looks backward for cues, the genre is painstakingly progressive, sometimes favoring oddity over harmony. Bum-rushing the already-energized scene is a 24-year-old Barcelonan named Pablo Díaz-Reixa, who’s known as El Guincho, a one-man-band savant.
Díaz-Reixa records on a Roland SP-404 sampling workstation and belongs to a group called Coconot, which may prompt easy comparisons to a certain Noah Lennox, a.k.a. Panda Bear, who plays in Animal Collective and used a Roland SP-303 for last year’s solo breakout, Person Pitch. But while there are surface resemblances—the cherubic wail at the beginning of “Fata Morgana” even sounds like Panda Bear’s—Díaz-Reixa uses lively native rhythms to his advantage. Certainly the two records have very different goals, but El Guincho’s Iberian beats (and cuts of bands like Os Mutantes) add an extra layer—and more globalized flavor—to the neotribal experiment. These tools make rising hymns like “Buenos Matrimonios Ahí Fuera” a six-minute realization of Freytagian drama structure. Add that to the acoustics of the elegant, vowel-heavy words (and noises) of the Spanish and Catalan languages, and you have a paradigm shift for a significant style.
Buy Alegranza! now on BN.com
El Guincho plays (Le) Poisson Rouge Dec 2.