[From Excellent Reception : Episode 2]
You may or may not know Chico Mann by name, but if you are into afrobeat and new school funk, then most likely you heard his work as a guitarist with Antibalas Afrobeat Orchestra and Ocote Soul Sounds. Chico Mann is the solo endeavor of Marcos Garcia.
The Chico Mann project is the result of heavy experimentation. In the studio and on the stage, Marcos combines african grooves with latin rhythms, 808 beats, and dance party vibes. He had somehow found the connection between seemingly unrelated genres and melded them together into something that works amazingly well. His audio research involved an assortment of second-rate musical gadgets like old Casio keyboards, cheesy synthesizers, and old drum machines. The resulting sound is something refreshing and new.
With each album album he searches for new ways to expand the sound of his special brand of lo-fi dance music. Chico Mann’s latest album, “Magical Thinking”, is an amalgamation of spaced out boogie funk and bass heavy merengue. He pays tribute to his New Jersey roots with the latin freestyle undercurrent of his “Analog Drift” album (where Chico can also be heard covering Talking Heads’ “Once In A Lifetime”). But all of his albums are rooted in the foundations laid down on his “Manifest Tone Vol. 1” project, in which Chico Mann creates his own version of Fela Kuti’s afro-beat music with vintage drums machines, synths, and his ever present guitar.
It’s almost impossible to pick a single song that can totally capture what Chico Mann does musically, but since I can only choose one… here is Mayombe off of his album “Manifest Tone Vol. 1”.
This is an excerpt from the Excellent Reception podcast. Each episode our host, lil’dave, talks about the stories and influences around a group of carefully selected songs. Subscribe to the podcast now via iTunes.