Alegranza - El Guincho

XL Recordings

Music may travel at the speed of sound, but El Guincho can get you there even quicker. With an ingenious, hypnotic use of tropical loops on his new album, Alegranza, he takes us from the ordinary to the exotic in 5 seconds or less. Pablo Diaz-Rexia (aka El Guincho) is the latest to surface from Barcelona's seemingly bottomless well of global music innovators and experimenters. And, as with all of them, his musical vision is completely fresh and distinctly personal. He grew up in the Canary Islands so he's fluent in the real roots of tropical music. It's what he does with them that's revolutionary. In an interview with worldbeatcanada radio, Pablo explains that the samples which become the foundations for his space-age exotica come from old vinyl, field recordings and CDs. Then he runs them all through his cassette recorder to give everything a unified feel of antiquity. Then he snips and loops and creates a rhythmic compliment for his acoustic drum tracks and vocal melodies. Alegranza is dance music hewn from tribal and organic textures, without comparison (maybe label mate M.I.A's dubby creations come closest). Most notably, there's a playful innocence that resonates throughout the Alegranza which Pablo attributes to the way he put it together. He says he was working with these loops and samples with the wide-eyed joy of discovery, so he really did feel like a kid in a toy store. Alegranza is great fun that appeals to the kid in all of us. Key Tracks: Cuando Maravilla Fui, Kalise