Tuesday, 20 March 2012


This is a lovely little song from El Guincho featuring Chilean indie pop star, Javiera Mena. The song 'Novias' itself was released on El Guincho's 2010 album, Pop Negro.

Also known by his real name, Pablo Díaz-Reixa, El Guincho is a Spanish musician who utilises skills in playing instruments and in samples to create something that's a cross between tropical sounds, electro-pop and Afrobeat. 'Novias', this time around featuring the lovely Javiera Mena (who's in the picture to the right; you can see her in full below - I just thought you might need to know what she looks like), is no exception to this style.

You would not really find this style of music in the UK. Typically, anything remotely Latin-sounding has been reserved solely for our Spanish and South American cousins, and has largely been ignored by us here. Could it possibly be the language that puts people off? Maybe. Could it be the sound, in general? Maybe.

But think of the song below playing on a lovely summer's day in merry old England. Think of sitting out on the grass and putting this song, on some old school boombox if you have one (you hipster), or just on your iPhone (you loser) - how much would it add to that calypso summer mood that prevails whenever the white star of the sun beams down unhindered light from a massive blue sky bouncing off the individual blades of grass making htem shine like little green fingers of flexiglass and there's this little breeze brushing past you every few minutes keeping the heat from ever broiling you too much and there are trees and birds and bees alive all around you.

...You know that kind of day? This song would make a more-than-relevant part in anyone's summer playlist.

Why did I not know about this, like, two years ago?

It's immensely happy, as joyful as it is modest and unassuming. The Afrobeat, dancehall drums lock in with a bass that's a wonderful show of reggae influence - both thumping behind the main crux of the track, in this instance, Javiera Mena's rich, warm vocals. The honky-tonk synth sounds that make up the melody are lovely, too, providing a chilled beach vibe throughout the track. I've listened to the original and have decided that this version, the one above, is much better - if not just for Mena's voice.

The tropical sound then overflows with even more percussion, sounding like a container filled with musical instruments is being shaken in some gigantic maraca by the god of music. It's a really great song, and something that should be made more audible in such sun-deprived countries as ours. You should definitely grab some sunshine with El Guincho and Javiera Mena.

Since his 2008 album, Alegranza, El Guincho has been a pretty prominent artist - clearly not too much in English-speaking countries (not in the UK anyway). For this song he joined forces with captivating Javiera Mena (above), the electro-pop princess of Chile, who's been making music since since 2001 or something like that, and broke through into indie/pop fame with first studio album, Esquemas Juveniles (2006). This was a lovely mix - let's hope they team-up again!

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El Guincho's Myspace page
• Here is his official site
• And his YouTube page/profile

• On the other hand, we have Javiera Mena's Myspace
• Her official site
• And here you can follow her on Twitter
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