Alex Figueira – Platanito / Guacuco
Music With Soul strikes again with a Double Sider Dancefloor Stormer that will leave critics arguing forever what genre it should be filed under. While they try to figure that out, play this 45 at your next wedding party, family reunion, corporate get-together or grandma’s birthday and watch people come to you in a matter of seconds to shout an inevitable “What the f*** is this?!” at you. It’s been exactly like that since the first time we played it.
This promise is easy to believe as the needle drops and you start hearing the Funky bassline on “Platanito”, setting your musical radar on and anticipating the Groove storm delivered right after the opening drum fill. “Oh yeah, i feel it, it’s groovy, it’s funky, but it ain’t Funk. It’s Afro but it ain’t Afrobeat”.
You are not even 30 seconds in and you are already asking yourself what the hell you are hearing. That is precisely the effect we are seeking to induce with our releases. Welcome to the Music With Soul congregation.
“Platanito” is an uncompromised crossover between classic 70’s Heavy Funk, Ghanian / Nigerian Highlife, Angolan Semba and Venezuelan culinary traditions: the only lyrics on the song emphatically celebrating two of the most popular delicacies in the country: “Platano Frito” (Fried Plantain) with “Guasacaca” (a traditional green sauce made mostly out of avocados, pepper and celery. Try it and get hooked). Mouth watering indeed, just like the song paying it homage. Watch the dancefloor reach boiling point after the tension built up during the break gets released with an outburst of Dikanza - led extra grooviness that will let no shoes stay in contact with the ground.
In typical Music With Soul fashion, the other side carries another burner of equal proportions, so you can freely decide what you want to call side A or B.
“Guacuco” refers to a Venezuelan sea food delight, said to have extraordinary aphrodisiac properties and usually sold across the many coastal towns in the country.
Featuring a prominent place for the beloved Steel Drum, this great instrumental incorporates a fairly healthy dose of African and Brazilian percussion, acoustic and heavily Wah’ed electric guitars, all elements meticulously colliding until the improbable grand finale, when you will see yourself finally reaching that gorgeous caribbean beach you’ve been travelling to, welcomed by the frenzy of a Batucada block and a generous dose of Guacuco, closing your eyes to enjoy the mild breeze of the late afternoon to then open them and find that astonishing soundset right in front of you. You wish that hypnotic rhythm will go on forever, but it’s vinyl so you have to wake up, place the needle back at the beginning of the record and start the trip again.
Having made a name with multiple musical endeavours in the past (Fumaça Preta, Conjunto Papa Upa, etc), the founder of Music With Soul Records presents the first creative effort under his own name in the highest DIY fashion: every single aspect of the manufacturing of this record, apart from Mastering (Artur Jolly at Reco Master, São Paulo, Brazil) and Pressing (My45.de, Germany) has been done by the artist himself. Your ears will not believe it but the fact is, this is a one-man effort. Maybe that’s all you need to mention when that puzzled listener comes to you shouting the guaranteed “What the ….” question.