The sounds of Africa have taken multi-instrumentalist Chico Mann-aka Marcos GarcÃa-all over the world. So it’s fitting that on Analog Drift, his second album and first for Wax Poetics Records, he’s returning the favor. Over the course of twelve thumping, impossibly soulful songs, including a cover of Talking Heads’ “Once in a Lifetime,” Chico Mann introduces the rhythms and guitarisms of Afrobeat to the music of Cuba, the Latin freestyle flavors of 1980s New York and Miami, and the synth-heavy electro beats of dance floors across the globe.
“I’ve spent years learning to speak Afrobeat, albeit with a Cuban accent,” GarcÃa says. “What I do is engage Afrobeat in conversation with Afro-Cuban funk, while electro and freestyle set the stage. I’m employing several dialects to make a larger musical statement. They’re all branches of the same tree.”
And that’s exactly what Analog Drift is: a statement. It’s saying something. At a time when most artists are blowing smoke in your face, GarcÃa is blowing soul in your face. Not to mention truth and feeling. Songs like the searching “Mentirosos” and the reflective “Hay Que Correr” are guaranteed to get right to the heart of your matter; plus, synthy rumpshakers like “Anima” and “All That Is Rising” have been proven to get you movin’. So GarcÃa’s music is good for your mind and behind. And it’s always real. The total package.
But GarcÃa says it best himself, on “Go to that Place”: “If you want it you can have it / If you want it, you can take it, you can grab it.” So go out and get what you want, and let Chico Mann provide the soundtrack.