Published Jul 25, 2008Two of the hardest working Latinos in showbiz Martin Perna (Antibalas, TV On the Radio) and Adrian Quesada (Grupo Fantasma, Brownout) have teamed up once again to create one of this years most exquisite and complex albums. The Alchemist Manifesto mixes psychedelic Afro Latin, spacey dub funk and freaky chants and beats to create the soundtrack to your next peyote trip. Much like their first album together, El Niño y El Sol, Martin and Adrian have created moments on this album that are completely atmospheric and eerie, then follow them up with heavy head-nodding moments of straight-up groove. Although in the case of The Alchemist Manifesto, the compositions have become far more complex and layered with sonic elements, creating a vastly unique and powerful album that represents a new step in experimental (but always funky) Latin music. Ocote Soul Sound and Adrian Quesada have created something very special in The Alchemist Manifesto, successfully combining the sounds of the past with elements from the present to create an album that symbolises the future of Latin music. Perfect for head-nodding, head-tripping or just plain tripping, The Alchemist Manifesto will be one day looked upon as a vital stepping-stone in the ongoing evolution of Latin music.
It seems to me that the music that you create looks back towards the ancestors but still pushes our culture to another level. Is that intentional?
Adrian Quesada: For Ocote Soul Sounds, thats somewhat intentional and a little bit of us doing what comes natural. But, yeah, Martin and I for the most part, are just students of the music of the past. Theres a lot of stuff we respect but we feel like theres just so much to learn from the past and, taking the tools that we have around us today, and the message that needs to get out there in the music, we sort of combine that to make Ocote Soul Sounds.
One of the heaviest issues on the minds of Latinos everywhere is the whole immigration issue. How has this issue affected you and your music?
For me, growing up on the border, it wasnt really an issue for a long time. It just seemed such a natural thing to be going back and forth along the border. For Martin and I, we wrote a song called "La Reja that addresses sort of physical or even psychological barriers or fences between cultures like that. We really tried to make it an issue that not only Latinos along the border could relate to but something for a broader issue, for example Israel-Palestine, addressing it as a more global issue. (ESL)