As I Hear It Vol.#1

Published on: March 5, 2015

Filled Under: Right to Music

Views: 11698

As  I  Hear  It  Vol.  1  By  Eleanor  Lucille  Gomez



QUITAPENAS,  one  word  all  caps,  four  syllables  all  claps,  just  to  give  you  a  taste  of  rhythmic  contagion  revealed  in  their  self-­‐titled  debut.  Borrowing  aesthetics  from  the  radical  60’s,  70’s  and  80’s,  each  song  echoes  a  remix  of  history  and  invites  one  to  engage  in  the  liberating  evenings  of  Angola,  Peru,  Colombia,  Brazil  and  beyond.

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Photos by Carlos Quinteros Jr.

One may never guess at first listen a group of five California natives hailing from the heated  Inland  Empire  would  evoke  such  cultural  richness.    Throughout  the  full  length,  Dany  “Choco”  Gomez  plucks  a  tico/soukous  style  of  rhythmic  and  melodic  fusion.  The  drive  of  the  band  further  pronounces  mostly  Punta,  Puya,  Champeta  and  Merengue  in  a  solid  three  piece  percussion  back  bone  chaired  by  Eduardo  Salvador  Valencia,  David  “Dirty”  Quintero  and  Mark  Villela,  grasping  congas,  caja  and  guacharaca.    Finally,  the  quintet  is  carried  through  with  bass  and  sometimes  sax  by  Hector  “Toto”  Chavez.  A  call  and  response  set  of  chants  illuminate  vocals  led  by  Choco  and  sometimes  Toto,  forcing  movement beyond  hips  and  feet.

The album hits the ground running with single  Valle Moreno, which’s title may sound  like  an  Inland  Empire  city,  however  paces  a  trance  into  that  of  a  1970’s  Luanda  nightclub.  Choco  grazes  guitar  rhythms,  as  the  collective  clutch  an  impeccable  clap  track.    Another  pun  titled  track;  Os  Quitapenas,  invites  homage  to  the  parties  of  1960’s  psychedelic  Peru,  however  the  name  foreshadows  an  Angolan  highlife  festival  in  its  instrumental  reckoning.

Guayabo,  my  personal  favorite,  written  by  Eddie  and  arranged  by  QUINTAPENAS  themselves,  perceives  as  a  fusion  of  emotional  Tropicalia  singing  and  strumming,  held  together  by  grooves  of  an  everlasting  afro-­beat.   However,  this  jewel  is  actually  a  true  story  on  Eduardo’s  trip  to  San  Basilio  de  Palenque.

Also  included  in  the  work  are  previously  released  singles Justicia and ever so flirty Papaya,  which perform  more  like  occasions  rather  than  songs.  With  consistent  playful  timbres  and  tempos  Eddie,  Dirty  and  Mark  carry  the  party  in  every  meter  and  measure.

The final track, Vamos a Mi Casa sets free the Palenque roots of Afro-Columbian culture  with  the  simple  story  of  get  the  girl,  but  complex moves of  Toto’s  bass  dance,  and  Choco’s  melodic  octave  jumps.

With  production  by  Alberto  Lopez  of  Quetzal  and  Jungle  Fire,  and  artwork  by  digital  artist  Deladeso,  the  album  is  a  prevalent  contribution  to  the  remix  of  a  remix  culture.    Fall  deep  into  the  crevices  of  QUITAPENAS,  and  you  will  find  earnest  innovation,  as  each  track  truly  is  a  gem  for  the  books.

To follow the album’s journey visit:

Artwork by Deladeso


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