Ocote Soul Sounds: “Primavera”
Adrian Quesada heads up Grupo Fantasma and Martin Perna leads Antibalas Afrobeat Orchestra, but when the two team up for Ocote Soul Sounds, they create a new beast altogether. The Austin group’s new album, Taurus, is another collection of tight Latin-tinged funk and soul that’s hard to resist during the summer months.
Perna and Quesada met by chance through a friend of a friend a few albums into Perna’s Ocote Soul Sounds side-project. But after a few jam sessions, it became obvious that the two operated on the same musical wavelength. Ocote gives the two a chance to experiment with Latin and African rhythms while dabbling in darker melodies and sonic textures that differ from their other projects.
The two have a dynamic songwriting partnership that makes Ocote’s more than a sum of the parts. Usually, one of the members will bring an unfinished snippet of an idea before the other adds their own elements, often resulting in fascinating mixtures of funk, soul, Latin, jazz, psychedelia, and hip-hop. Taurus finds the band incorporating some electronic elements to the sound, as well as branching out melodically. As lead-off track “Primavera” proves, even with only sporadic vocals, Ocote’s instrumentals are fiery enough to stand on their own.