Chico Mann

First off, apologies for being MIA for a few weeks. But good things do come to those who wait and today’s post is a can’t miss if you, like us, love music that blurs the borders between genres. The brainchild of Antibalas’ guitarist, Marquitos Garcia, Chico Mann, is what I personally like to call “8-bit Afrobeat” and after seeing them live recently, I stand by that claim. Here is a guy who clearly loves music of all stripes and there are moments from his catalog that sound like the soundtrack to Wild Style had that film taken place somewhere in Equatorial Guinea, the only Spanish-speaking African country.

Hearing “Sin Frenos” (translated as “no brakes”) live, I immediately imagined a parallel world where Stereolab and Fela Kuti were tour mates and constant collaborators. And it wasn’t just the clouds of thick greenery talking. A truly breathtaking and refreshing new sound constructed with nostalgic pieces of the familiar. That’s what they do. And definitely see them live with our friend Telekinetic Cat on the electronics/turntables, Ticklah on keys and Willpilot’s own Mayteana adding to the backup vocals/percussion. Personally, I think the move to a more electronic sound during the recent set at Studio BPM (Manifest Tone Volume 1 was pretty raw, by the numbers Afrobeat production) is the way to go. It propels them from just another Afrofunk quintet to something more unique, something that will appeal to fans of !!!, Outhud and other bands not confined to one distinct sound.

Antibalas, Nomo, Fela Kuti, Outhud, Stereolab, Akoya, The Daktaris, Kokolo