February 2, 2016

Gepe | Estilo Libre

TITLE: Estilo Libre
LABEL: Quemasucabeza
Daniel Riveros, aka Gepe, is a singer-songwriter from Santiago de Chile whose music touches on folk, pop and electronica. You could describe him as a Chilean version of Beck or Devendra Banhart. On his fifth full-length album, Gepe is moving more in the direction of anthemic dancefloor pop, but he’s keeping Andean sounds at the center of his music. Start with track 1, a delightful brassy stomp in the manner of Chilean favorites Chico Trujillo, accompanied by the high-pitched strum of the charango, the small Andean lute. 5 starts like an up-tempo folk song but gradually morphs into a horn-driven party with oddly mournful chord changes. 7 is a straight-forward dancefloor filler based on the Bolivian morenada dance and rhythm, propelled by brass and thundering drums. And 2 features a verse from Peruvian traditional singer Wendy Sulca, but here she’s backed by a stuttering reggae rhythm and a 2015-vintage programmed drum beat. Gepe’s synthesis of South American folk traditions and current pop trends is similar to what Bomba Estereo is working on in Colombia, and it deserves a similar international audience.
TOP TRACKS:    1    2    5    7
ALSO RECOMMENDED:    8    9    11

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