Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Paz Antiguana on Holy Cane Spirit Records

Paz Antiguana sent me both of their singles on their own Holy Cane Spirit Records, the first I ended up grabbing was this "Tropical Soul" single from this seven piece based in Paris. They're working with the two fundamentals of latin funk; the drums and the trombone, specifically the timbales and conga variety of percussion. I think when you have a group this size creating anything, it's hard not to get caught up in the energy of this contemporary take on the spanish funk and coming out of Paris has to be another story all together.

On A-Side's "Tropical Soul" the congo opens up on this woodblock and timbales. Weird keys bits falling in with ultra high fidelity that seems to come from everywhere, Cari's vocals direct right up front, perfectly captured with no bleeding or blowing out and frequency which I guess shouldn't be the exception but an absence of sonic texture sounds strangely silent against the usual fuzz and hiss. The trombone comes in with little bursts perfectly measured out. Cari doesn't sound too tight or controlled she's keeping things feeling spontaneous in the midst of this heavily orchestrated sound with a lot of precise moving pieces. The backing vocals from the rest of the band almost come off louder than Cori's level and things stay tight. You can almost see that tiny box that this thing is bouncing off the walls in. There's a slight Joanna newsome quiver from Corina telling you your going to lose control. This bossanova style feels very measured and rigid with those very particular steps engrained in any movement, so that losing control vibe comes off like Devo telling you to get crazy.

B-Side "First Round" has the underwater bass taking control on the first measure setting up that line for the rest of this to hang from. The trombone picks up more of the melody and is layered in, doubling up echoing each others phrases. The piano fires away across the keys breaking out with cowbell style. The band members all comes in for this chorus letting Cori take the second verse. Hard sharp piano notes with just a hint of the congo back there, the trombones hogging as much of the front stage as that piano. Cori seems to match that piano line delivering the lyric as fast as the playing charges up the scale. They really make this rhythm the center after that bass has long since disappeared.

Great sleeve with a drawing of the indigenous business man spotted on urban transportation. Printed on high gloss cardstock, from the band direct.

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