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El Guincho: Hypnotic Dance Music

Is it possible to feel sad listening to El Guincho? On a cold winter day in Seattle, when Pablo Diaz-Reixa (a.k.a. El Guincho) brought his Tropicalia-inspired rhythms to the KEXP studios, I felt like I was standing next to him on a warm beach in his native Canary Islands.

Accompanied only by percussionist Aleix Clavera, El Guincho re-created live the sounds of the album and its amalgamation of cultures: a swirling mix of Afrobeat, dub, Calypso, American rock, Latin pop and many others. If the tribal rhythms don't get you dancing, the hypnotic chanting certainly will. Fans of Animal Collective will recognize a similar reverb-laden experimentalism, and like its American counterpart, El Guincho benefits from just the right amount of complexity. Beneath the ethereal harmonies and airy washes of sound lies a certain tension, as the music seems both reassuringly familiar and totally alien.

Ultimately, El Guincho's music is a celebration of sound. It's happy, buoyant music that ought to have you grinning until next year. It sounds like the key to happiness itself.

Originally recorded Nov. 24, 2008. Engineered by Kevin Suggs.

Listen to the previous Favorite Session, or see our full archive.

Copyright 2009 KEXP

Cheryl Waters
Cheryl Waters hosts The Midday Show on 90.3 FM KEXP Seattle, and online at KEXP.org. As the On-Air Events Coordinator, Waters also books the artists that perform at the KEXP live in-studio performances, live remote broadcasts and KEXP events.