For his latest sonic transmission Switched-On, musician Pachy García, aka Pachyman, challenged himself to steer his dub-drenched dispatches towards another dimension. The follow-up to 2021’s The Return of Pachyman, out September 29th on ATO Records, Switched-On is an homage to the generative artistic era when musicians first began manipulating synthesizers to emit gloriously off-kilter bleeps, bloops, and whooshes. It also gestures to García’s chirring synthesizers that form the spine of these songs, particularly the effervescent electronic interlude “Mi Sala.” While conceptualizing Switched-On, García gravitated towards listening to Lovers’ Rock-era reggae and transmissions from the iconic Studio One Records — a thread that surfaces in “Goldline.” The song, inspired by García’s job at a hifi listening bar that plays a lot of disco and funk at night, intentionally pulled at a “Studio One disco-soul vibe” with a splash of dub mixed in. His ear for expansiveness comes through the winking “Trago Coqueto,” a cheeky love song crooned through the prism of a cocktail that’s named after a flirty lemon-ginger drink. In a uniquely Pachyman twist, it acts as a poignant ode to his life growing up in Puerto Rico. It couldn’t be a more fitting testament to SwitchedOn’s ethos, which meditates on García’s conviction to move his art forward while simultaneously honoring his roots.
Described by NPR’s Alt.Latino as an “otherworldly presence,” Combo Chimbita is the creative unity of Carolina Oliveros (vocals, guacharaca), Niño Lento es Fuego (guitar), Prince of Queens (bass, synthesizers) and Dilemastronauta (drums), who together transcend common concepts of time and nationality.
Afro-Caribbean transcendance, bewildering chants, booming drums and psychedelic distortion lay the rhythmic foundation for IRÉ; a testament to the ever expanding scope of Combo Chimbita’s sonic palette and their modes of resistance in realms both spiritual and terrestrial.
“Within the saga of Combo Chimbita,” reflects Niño Lento es Fuego about each of the band’s releases, “El Corredor del Jaguar (2016) finds this eternal being lost outside their realm and returning to Abya Yala (2017) in order to heal and restore peace to the continent. Ahomale (2019) appears as a guiding energy of resistance and now IRÉ (2022) represents those chosen to lead the revolution and materialize the good fortunes foretold in their divinations.” Like the jaguar before them, Combo Chimbita carries on; delicate, resilient and roaring.