Ten years ago, in the unlikely town of Extremadura, in southern Spain near the border of Portugal, singer, songwriter, producer, and guitarist Fernando Echave, a.k.a. Gecko Turner, discovered Afro-beat master Fela Kuti. Gecko quickly absorbed and later applied that African sound to the bands he was involved with at the time, especially one called Perroflauta. As part of a new generation of Spanish musicians, Echave/Gecko prepared a mental soup for the hips, where everything sounds great for late nights at the club. Guapapasea! features a blend of reggae, bossa nova, jazz, blues, samba, hip-hop, and rock with Spanish, English, and Portuguese lyrics. The opening track is an outrageous Spanish-language reggae-swing version of Bob Dylan's "Subterranean Homesick Blues," though you'll find yourself rather entertained, and slowly humming along, throughout the album. Highlight: the Brazilian-tinged "Limn en la Cabeza."
Get the Music Newsletter
Keep your thumb on the local music scene with music features, additional online music listings and show picks. We'll also send special ticket offers and music promotions available only to our Music Newsletter subscribers.