El Guincho
(Young Turks/XL)


“The party never stops for Pablo Díaz-Reixa,” who records as El Guincho, said Jon Pareles in The New York Times. The 24-year-old was born in Spain’s Canary Islands, and is now based in Barcelona. His U.S. debut, Alegranza!—a term derived from the Spanish for “joy”—is an exultant carnival of world-beat brilliance. The fete kicks off with “Palmitos Park,” a lightsome, swaying melody that begins and ends with the cheers of a crowd. That warm welcome leads into a hypnotic, heady mix, said Henry Freedland in Paste. El Guincho cannily pulls together a “worldwide array” of musical styles (calypso, tropicalia, Afrobeat, salsa) and sounds from Africa, Brazil, the Caribbean, and elsewhere. A one-man band, he mingles drumbeats, wonky synths, repetitive loops, sampled psychedelics, and multitracked Spanish vocals to create a transporting musical experience. The disparate elements all add up to a “dizzying collage of sounds hurling along at breakneck speed,” said John Burgess in the London Guardian. Forgoing traditional song structure for entrancing repetition, El Guincho throws convention to the wind and takes the listener on a glorious, ecstatic trip.