Based in Austin, Texas, Superfonicos will drop their debut album – Suelta – on October 5, and is already scheduled to play the Austin City Limits Festival on October 14. The band’s sound represents the confluence of Columbia, Africa, and the U.S., reflecting cumbia and afrobeat blended with cool funk.
Made up of Erick Bohorquez (guitar, vocals), Andres Villegas (guitar, vocals), Nico Sanchez (bass, vocals), Daniel Sanchez (drums, vocals), Nicholas Tozzo (percussion), Jaime Ospina (vocals, gaita), Raymond Johnson (tenor sax), and Evan Marley Hegarty (keyboards), Superfonicos came into being when Sanchez and Bohorquez kicked around the idea of creating a group revolving around Afro-Columbian rhythms. Hooking up with Sanchez and Villegas, the quartet set about establishing their essential sound.
As the band’s sound coalesced, they added members to complete Superfonicos. Once whole, the band performed at the Levitation Music Festival, KGSR’s Blues on the Green, and SXSW 2018, where they were recognized as an Austin “Breakthrough Band.” NPR’s Alt.Latino placed Supefonicos on their Tiny Desk Concert list, calling them a “LatinX Artist They Loved.”
Suelta, meaning “let go,” comprises six-tracks, opening with the title track, a cumbia-flavored rock tune steeped in funky horns, tight braying colors from the organ, and Villegas’ blistering touch on his axe. “Rio Negro” rides an afro-funk groove with Latin psychedelic savors. The music builds until it takes on heady cumbia energy. The bassline in this song throbs with muscle.
An instrumental number, “Ethiopian Dust” pays tribute to the Ethiopian composer Mulatu Astatke. This tune embraces a smooth, sensual flow simmering with energy, and features a dazzling fuzzed-out guitar solo by Bohorquez.
“Merecumbe” mirrors the tasty merecumbe beat introduced by Columbia’s Pacho Galan, upbeat and funky. The sax on this tune is stellar, imbuing the tune with bright intensity. Columbian Merengue flavors drive “El Miedo,” whose title comes from the lyrics: “No tengas miedo no, el miedo mata si” (don’t be afraid, because fear kills).
The last track, “Sigue Pa’lante,” travels on a tune merging afrobeat, gaita, and rock elements. A potent bassline and syncopated percussion highlight the rhythm of the number.
Suelta is off the chain fantastic, showcasing dynamic grooves, funk and cumbia, along with delicious vocals. Superfonicos has it going on!