Magical Thinking by Chico Mann on Apple Music

12 Songs

EDITORS’ NOTES

With his third studio album released as Chico Mann, musician and producer Marcos Garcia (a former guitarist for The Daktaris and Antibalas) puts his love for Latin funk, Afrobeat, and cumbia on the back burner to craft a more relaxing listening experience. Magical Thinking isn't without its groovy moments, though. With help from Kendra Smith (who coos like “Heart of Glass”–era Deborah Harry), “Same Old Clown” oozes a glossy disco cool that’s somewhat reminiscent of Chico Mann’s 2010 LP Analogue Drift. “Estrellitas (Little Stars)” infuses retro Detroit-flavored dance beats with indie salsa. But the opening cut, “Comes and Goes,” sets a much mellower tone with hypnotic synthesizer riffs and beautifully demure singing by Annakalmia Traver. From the fuzzy blankets of soft keyboard distortion to a pulsing mantra of muted beats, the woozy “Edge of It” is similarly easy on the ears. But “One Day Late” proves to be the catchiest tune here; Garcia's guitar leads toned with '60s go-go style slather the song’s infectious melody across a pillowy bed of electro-soul.

EDITORS’ NOTES

With his third studio album released as Chico Mann, musician and producer Marcos Garcia (a former guitarist for The Daktaris and Antibalas) puts his love for Latin funk, Afrobeat, and cumbia on the back burner to craft a more relaxing listening experience. Magical Thinking isn't without its groovy moments, though. With help from Kendra Smith (who coos like “Heart of Glass”–era Deborah Harry), “Same Old Clown” oozes a glossy disco cool that’s somewhat reminiscent of Chico Mann’s 2010 LP Analogue Drift. “Estrellitas (Little Stars)” infuses retro Detroit-flavored dance beats with indie salsa. But the opening cut, “Comes and Goes,” sets a much mellower tone with hypnotic synthesizer riffs and beautifully demure singing by Annakalmia Traver. From the fuzzy blankets of soft keyboard distortion to a pulsing mantra of muted beats, the woozy “Edge of It” is similarly easy on the ears. But “One Day Late” proves to be the catchiest tune here; Garcia's guitar leads toned with '60s go-go style slather the song’s infectious melody across a pillowy bed of electro-soul.

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2:42
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About Chico Mann

Chico Mann is the alter ego of guitarist Marcos Garcia, of the Daktaris and Antibalas. He was a founding member of both bands. As Mann, he is a solo artist and producer.

Mann/Garcia grew up the son of Cuban émigrés -- his mother was a pianist and disc jockey; his father a record label boss and producer of merengue records. Surrounded by music, Mann soaked up the influences of salsa -- particularly Willie Colón's bands -- early hip-hop (in particular the genre-blurring sounds of Afrika Bambaataa and Lisa Lisa & Cult Jam), and Fela Kuti. He took up piano, guitar, and breakdancing in earnest.

His first band, the Daktaris, recorded the acclaimed Soul Explosion, which was issued by Desco in 1998. The band's sound combined the Afrobeat influence of Fela Kuti with the soulful sounds of Kool & the Gang and the grooves of Funkadelic. Mann and some bandmates united with members of the Soul Providers and King Chango to form the Antibalas Afrobeat Orchestra (later trimmed to Antibalas), who became globetrotting purveyors of the sound, and actually spearheaded its popular revival in the early 2000s.

Mann's own interests could not be restricted to those of his band, however. He released Manifest Tone, Vol. 1 in 2007, on which he played all instruments, produced, and sang -- all the vocals were in Spanish and melded Afro-Cuban, hip-hop, and soul sounds with Afrobeat. His next offering, Analog Drift, appeared on Wax Poetic in 2010 to positive reviews internationally. Here, salsa, Afrobeat, proto-hip-hop-soul, and the sounds of DJ culture came together in a frenetic, infectious gumbo. Mann released the Hanukkah single "Light of Love (featuring Alecia Chakour)" in December of 2012 via his Bandcamp page. His third album, Magical Thinking, was released by Miles Cleret's Soundway label in March of 2013. In 2017, Mann teamed up with world-traveling Brooklyn-based DJ and producer Captain Planet for the funky and eclectic Night Visions, which was issued via Bastard Jazz Recordings. ~ Thom Jurek

  • ORIGIN
    New York City, NY

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