More than anything, local fans of groovy global sounds probably know Toto Gonzalez (AKA Mr. Pauer) for his behind-the-scenes activities.
After founding the Fabrikalink newsletter and promotions arm more than a decade ago, he's served as a curator for all kinds of multilingual and interesting happening in Miami.
And as a DJ, Mr. Pauer is known for equally cross-cultural, exuberant sets, which draw heavily from both his background in Venezuela and his more recent years exploring indie culture in the States.
His blend of more straightforward tropical beats with cutting-edge electronic music, rock, and New Wave has gotten both sides of the musical fence dancing in harmony. It's a feat that's led him to score warm-up slots for influential Latin alternative acts like Novalima and Los Amigos Invisibles, and to spin at both the Latin Alternative Music Conference and the Latin Grammys last year.
In the meantime, though, apparently Pauer's been in the lab cooking up his own productions. The first slab saw its major public light of day yesterday with the release of his debut studio album called, appropriately, Soundtrack. As expected, it blends together many of the sounds with which fans are familiar from his DJ sets.
"Living back in Venezuela I grew up listening to Anglo and Spanish rock, my mother used to listen to boleros, my dad to traditional Venezuelan music, my older brothers to American '80s pop, and to socialize I had to learn how to dance salsa and merengue," he says. "Magically after years, I connected dots unconsciously creating an array of sounds that identify with the culture I grew up with."
Still, the tracks themselves are heavily electronic based and, perhaps, even a bit more avant-garde than expected. An example: This free MP3 for the song "Cumbión Del Sur," which features vocals from Locos Por Juana frontman Itagui. Here he waxes ragga over a stuttering, minimalist beat that enjoys just enough warmth from occasional touches of synthesized brass.
Download it below, and check Crossfade for an upcoming Q&A with Mr. Pauer. In the meantime, you can hear him spin three times starting tonight! Tonight, you can hear the whole album at its official listening party at the Blue Piano. Then on Friday, he spins at Transit Lounge before sets by Lanzallamas. Then on Saturday, he and Panic Bomber warm up for the awesome Barcelona global-electro duo the Pinker Tones at the Awarehouse.
Mr. Pauer. 9 p.m. Wednesday, February 16. The Blue Piano, 4600 NE 2nd Ave., Miami. Admission is free; age 21 and up. 305-576-7979