Chico Mann: Artist You Should Know

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From KCRW DJ Mario Cotto:

Remember Sega Genesis? Ok. Well this isn’t about that, but I wanted to let you know where I’m going with this. Ok. So, with a vocal delivery (and name) that recalls Manu Chao, Marquitos Garcia of Antibalas (a.k.a. Chico Mann) is taking years of musical cannibalism and throwing an awesome sonic BBQ. And it’s REALLY GOOOOD. Unlike Manu’s stripped down street anthems, which you would expect to hear outside as you’re buying a hot dog from a street vendor.

Stream “Ya Yo Sé”

analog drift artChico Mann’s music has a gloss informed less by the street and more by the digital realm. This is the music you’d hear driving your pixelated Ferrari Tesstarosa to a make believe fast food restaurant to buy saucy smoked ribs, if you could actually pull over. He reclaims the new wave Latin Afrobeat and reggae sounds that the Talking Heads, The Police, and Tom Tom Club made pop. He founds his style on their take of those sounds — and then pushes them in a really playful direction. It’s next level post-post-modernist pop music. And tracks like “Ya Yo Sé” and “Anima” are remarkable examples of how something can sound familiar while being completely NEW.

And if that’s not enough, the cover to his new album “Analog Drift” is an Aztec pyramid made of a collage of various synthesizers floating in space. I want to play whatever that game is over and over again.

Mario Cotto