When you’ve got Prince’s seal of approval, little else matters. Grupo Fantasma, hailing from Austin, TX, have long been the Purple One’s band du jour. They’ve played various tour dates with Prince, performed at after parties, and logged a two-month residency at his Las Vegas nightclub, 3121.
Sonidos Gold is the best document of GF’s cumbia-salsa-funk fusion to date. Led by guitarist/producer Adrian Quesada, the GF orchestra is in fine form operating as a cohesive unit, always in-tune with each other.
The production is perfect and exactly what the band requires. The excitement and raw energy of its live shows are translated brilliantly to record, with little if any post-production fluff. Hearing Grupo Fantasma live sounds a lot like this album. The horns carry all the necessary punch, the drums speak to the soul on a spiritual level, and the vocals are just about all that carry any signs of post-production, with reverb adding psychedelic air to the words.
Grupo Fantasma turns in an inspired performance on Sonidos Gold, and remain one of the most exciting bands out there right now; just ask Prince.
For my ATL folks, mark your calendars for their show on December 6th at The Earl. It’ll surely be the hottest thing goin’ down in the city that evening.
The latin funk collective Brownout is a side project of Grupo Fantasma members and their debut album Homenaje was released earlier this year and has already made international noise as the real-deal latin funk. Two and a half years in the making, it was recorded in the rare down-time from the GF schedule. The band hit analog tape machines, home studios and laptops to create their full length introduction to the world, chock full of Latin, afro, funk and psychedelic sounds that will challenge you to sit still without snapping your neck. Con el Brownout no se juega!
Brownout has received numerous accolades in the Austin music scene. Among them is being one of the best live acts and having the best horn section for three years running at the Austin Music Awards. Their music is both timeless and honest keeping the spirit of 70s afro-latin and funk music alive while honoring their South Texas roots.