The Austin Chronicle

Texas Platters

Reviewed by Austin Powell, July 24, 2009, Music

Ocote Soul Sounds & Adrian Quesada

Coconut Rock (ESL Music)

Coconut Rock is as good a clarifier as any for the sublime frequencies of Austin's Ocote Soul Sounds, an evolving fusion of Latin funk, sedated Afrobeat, and Hot Buttered Soul. The third collaboration between now-local founder of New York City's Fela Kuti-inspired Antibalas crew, Martín Perna, and Grupo Fantasma leader/guitarist Adrian Quesada delves deeper into the keyboard textures developed on last year's more abstract lunar eclipse, The Alchemist Manifesto, most notably the luminous, glockenspiel-accented title track and the hypnotic cumbia "Tu Fin, Mi Comienzo." The retro astro-funk of "El Diablo y el Ñau Ñau" vaporizes amidst the genie-bottle command of Antibalas' Chico Mann, while Brazilian songstress Tita Lima lends her sultry vocals to the seductive "Vendendo Saude e Fé," which sizzles in comparison to its male counterpart, the biting capitalism critique "Vampires." The grooves are looser this time around, but Ocote's co-founders still know when to tighten the reins. Perna's butterfly flute leads the horn-line march of the opening, Oscar Zeta Acosta-inspired instrumental, "The Revolt of the Cockroach People," and Quesada's fuzz-guitar detonates the blaxploitation incantation "Return of the Freak." Consider this cross-pollination at its finest.


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