Everybody’s favourite Canarian El Guincho is back and wants you to wear his music. Mind you, “wear” is not a typo. His forthcoming third album, “HiperAsia“, is going to be released as an NFC wristband and a sweatshirt through which the wearer can access thirteen new songs, visuals and exclusive extra content.
Five long years have passed since the incredible “Pop Negro” came into our lives but Pablo Díaz-Reixa hasn’t spent his time surfing in his native island or idling about in Barcelona. Not all of it at least. He produced records for fellow Spaniards Los Punsetes and Extraperlo, made beats under secret monikers, had a sonic cameo in Javiera Mena‘s pop masterpiece “Otra era” and worked as a programmer on Björk‘s ambitious “Biophilia”, whose unorthodox approach to music formats gave him the idea of a wearable album. Inspiration came also from more mundane sources: “Hiper Asia” is the name of huge stores in the Madrid area where items of all kinds are displayed next to each other with no apparent criterion.
Their sneaking sense of overload is rendered on the album through the use of stereo: voices and beats are heard on the center, while the sides are packed with details, silences, false starts and all kind of surprises which make for a disorienting but rewarding listen. You can check for yourself on “Mis Hits” and “Rotu Seco”, the first taste of what’s to come (or better, to wear).
They are sharp, upbeat and fun tracks as it’s always the case with El Guincho, and while the intense tropical flavor of his previous releases has been traded for something more metallic and robotic, the warmth is still there, intact, suave as fuck. They are very hard to categorize, too. Futuristic reggaeton? Rapless cyborg hip hop? Who needs categories for something so effortlessly cool anyway? Just listen.
But the “HiperAsia” universe can be seen as well. The visuals directing studio Manson produced to illustrate the mechanisms and emotions behind the album feature the worst version of Pablo running, falling and kicking stuff in a videogame-y 3D dimension, an antidote to a virtual world where everybody is always on their fakest best behavior.
If the idea of musical clothing is not appealing to you, don’t worry. “HiperAsia” is going to be released in a more traditional manner on Everlasting Records and CANADA, January 29th.