A few days ago I broke my promise of never downloading a record for free that has been released within the last year. It is a shame I broke such an ethical commitment given that the record in question is worth far more than any shop would charge for it. While a lot of digital ink has already been spilled over El Guincho's (aka Pablo Diaz Reixa) Alegranza record (Discoteca Océano, 2007) I simply can't resist writing about it here and urging evryone to seek it out immediately.
Fittingly, the last new record I downloaded for free was Alegranza's closest sonic and qualitative parallel, Panda Bear's Person Pitch, which I think we can all agree was the record of the year in 2007. El Guincho and Panda Bear's share a joyful use of samples, rich yet ghostly Brian Wilson inspired harmonies, tranced out euphoria, and generally inhabit the same hallucinatory forest.
My first perceptual response when listening to Person Pitch was the feeling of being tenderly wrapped in a warm and thick sonic blanket. Hence why initially quite awestruck by its harmonies and textures, I have given it a great deal much more play in the winter months. But as I start looking to Spring, Alegranza is an absolutely perfect accompaniment. The entire record is like laying in the hot sun, particularly that moment when your skin is warm in a lovely way right before it gets too hot. Everything is immediately sensual and alive while inside you feel calm and content. El Guincho has achieved the exceptional paradox of being ecstatically maximalist yet deeply atmospheric.
I can't help likening it to the best qualities of Michel Gondry, so endearing in its dreamy inventiveness that it overwhelms one's critical defenses and inhibitions. Imagine a dream wherein the very structure of the city comes alive to create a bombastic percussive soundscape, in the vein of Tropicalia, Calypso, Krautrock, African Psychedelia, and Ricardo Villalobos. Just when your enraptured and realize what a great dream you are having everyone you know starts uncontrollably dancing in the street, chanting rousing harmonies in Spanish. 40 minutes pass in dream time, and you immediately want to hear it again.
Well, if you are still reading this, go buy it or peep Eat My Art Out for a copy.