Ghandaia

Texas Platters

Phases and Stages

Ghandaia

Uno (Xochipilli) An elephant stands alone on the cover of Ghandaia's first album, Uno. It's a visually poetic description of the album: immense, stately, capable of great ferociousness and sublime serenity. That's saying something for a ninepiece local Latin ensemble armed with horns, percussion, guitars, bass, bells, and more. Yet, Uno never overpowers. Instead, it seduces like a seasoned lover. Starting with Alex Marrero's muscular vocals on "Lo Eterno," the album makes a hearty Afro-Cuban start with lyrics that entice listeners to "let themselves go." Smooth Latin rock in "En el Alma" turns up the heated rhythms without breaking a sweat, while the title track excites with a contagious pop beat, bends into reggae, then hops into a can't-stop ska. "In & Out of the Way" is an aggressive Afro-jazz number that segues effortlessly to a sweet salsa, "Marieta." Other choice cuts include the liquid samba-bossa "A Côr do Som" and the Brazilian jam-rock "Dharma ... Nos Eixos." Three old friends are the heart of Ghandaia; Alex Marrero (vocals, guitar, percussion), Frederico Geib (vocals, percussion, guitar), and Pablo Larios (bass) bring out the best in each other and surround themselves with a masterful horn section and jump-to-your-feet percussionists. A lyric from "Lo Eterno," sums up Ghandaia's premiere disc best: "Silence is beautiful, but music is divine." (Ghandaia celebrates the release of Uno Saturday, May 10, at the Vibe.)

****

READ MORE
More Music Reviews
Summer Jams Clearance Sale
Brownout
Over the Covers EP (Record Review)

Kahron Spearman, Aug. 11, 2017

Texas Platters
Kiko Villamizar
Aguas Frías (Record Review)

Thomas Fawcett, April 28, 2017

More by Belinda Acosta
Margaret Moser Tribute: Marcia Ball
Marcia Ball
“She’s a music writer who writes to enlighten”

June 30, 2017

Margaret Moser Tribute: Eliza Gilkyson
Eliza Gilkyson
The best advice she ever received? Keep your dogs clean.

June 30, 2017

MORE IN THE ARCHIVES
NEWSLETTERS
AC Daily, Events and Promotions, Luvdoc Answers

Breaking news, recommended events, and more

Official Chronicle events, promotions, and giveaways

Updates for SXSW 2017

All questions answered (satisfaction not guaranteed)