• Chico Mann

Considering that he plays guitar in Brooklyn’s Antibalas it should come as no surprise that Marcos Garcia refracts the cross-generational, pan-stylistic sounds of his solo project Chico Mann through the prism of Afrobeat. “Harmonía,” the opening track on his recent Analog Drift (Wax Poetics), serves as well as any of its tunes as a model for his approach: hypnotic post-Fela organ riffs, brittle funk guitar, primitive beatbox rhythms, synthetic bass ostinatos, soulful but scrappy Spanish-language singing, and a countermelody that seems cribbed from Sheila E.’s “Glamorous Life” combine to deliver a giddy but low-key celebration of New York’s multicultural 70s and 80s. The low-rent beats and chintzy analog synths bridge the gap between the early electro of Afrika Bambaata‘s Soul Sonic Force and the more mainstream manifestation of Latin freestyle music, while Garcia’s insistent guitar and rhythmically sharp vocals—which suggest a familiarity with Fania-era New York salsa—balance the somewhat robotic feel of the electronics with an earthy presence. The only real misfire is an unnecessary cover of the Talking Heads classic “Once in a Lifetime.”