El Guincho | Pritzker Pavilion, Millennium Park | Rock, Pop, Etc | Chicago Reader

El Guincho Free Early Warnings (Music) Soundboard

When: Mon., July 12, 12 p.m. 2010

The previous album from Barcelona artist Pablo Diaz-Reixa (aka El Guincho), 2008's Alegranza, consisted of rather ordinary pop songs distinguished only by the kaleidoscopic array of international-music samples from which he'd constructed them: cumbia, Congolese rumba, Cuban son, and more. But he sidesteps his shortcomings as a songwriter on the new EP Piratas de Sudamerica: Vol I (due July 13 from XL/Young Turks), which kicks off a series of limited-edition EPs on which he reimagines classic songs from all over South America. Four of the five tunes on the new one are Cuban classics (never mind that Cuba is technically part of North America) originally by the likes of Trio Matamoros and Miguelito Valdes, and their melodies are so infectious that they'd succeed with or without the looped beats, samples, and jacked-up modern-pop feel. Mexican pop singer Julieta Venegas brings some serious muscle to her guest turn on "Mientes," but even El Guincho's own wan singing can make the songs work, thanks in part to the air of obscurity and mystery he creates with his deliberately murky soundscapes. El Guincho also plays a later show on Monday at Schubas. —Peter Margasak

Price: Free

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