ÉSSO collect their pandemic output on one funky LP of Afro-Latin fusion beats | Gossip Wolf | Chicago Reader

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ÉSSO collect their pandemic output on one funky LP of Afro-Latin fusion beats

Plus: David Singer & the Sweet Science release a timely glam-rock opus, and the Logan Center hosts an outdoor sound-art exhibit in partnership with the Busan Biennale.

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  • Courtesy the artist
  • ÉSSO

Ever since ÉSSO dropped a self-titled album of dance-floor fillers in 2015, the groove-tastic local band's fusion of Latin music, Afrobeat, and psychedelic rock has set Gossip Wolf's toes to tapping. As if in response to the despair of the pandemic, ÉSSO decided to release their next album one song per month, to spread out the fun—last spring and summer, they put out five singles and videos, including "Animal," "Izquierda," and "Chico Chango" (which features Latin soul crooner Lester Rey). Producer and front man Armando Pérez also released a solo cumbia EP called Raza in September. On Friday, June 4, Pérez's Sonic Octopus label will release the LP Xicago, which combines the singles, the EP, and three previously unissued tracks; it's available for preorder via Bandcamp.

  • The five tracks from Armando Pérez's EP also appear on Xicago.

Local singer-songwriter David Singer fronted Kid Million in the 1990s, and since then he's become a founding board member of Intonation Music, directed the 2016 jewel-heist film Imperfections, and released soundtracks, solo albums, and records with his band the Sweet Science. Singer says their new glam-rock opus Vicious Kicks is "about our inexorable search for something/anything that can break through the boredom, the desensitization, the target advertorials, [and] the doomscrolling." The album arrives Friday, June 4, and that night Singer and the band play a low-capacity show at SPACE.

On Saturday, May 22, the Logan Center for the Arts debuted an outdoor sound-art exhibit as part of a yearlong series of projects extending the 2020 edition of South Korea's Busan Biennale in Chicago. The exhibit, "11 Musicians for 11 Writers Outside," includes work by Nagoya footwork auteur Foodman, Taipei experimental artist Meuko! Meuko!, Seoul electronic musician Odæri, and the inimitable Kim Gordon. The installations will stay up till Monday, June 14.  v

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