March 11, 2004

Test Spin: Sergent Garcia

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When listening to Sergent Garcia’s La Semilla Escondida one desires with utmost sincerity to be transported to a warmer climate where full-figured women and palm trees are in abundance, bartenders never say, “You’ve had enough,” because they say, “Has tenido bastante,” and R’s roll off the tongue like sweat off a love-ravaged body lying in a summer flat without AC. Garcia’s troupe, over 20 members strong, blends Latin club music with a dirty Creole flair that liberally alternates between Spanish, French, and the occasional English. Songs such as the steady and melodic “Long Time” and the sparse, African percussion sing-along “Tu No Sabes Na” display the group’s mastery of street sounds and nearly a warehouse full of instruments. Despite their fondness for simple vibes, the group does not shy away from a healthy dose of synthesizers as in “Que Corra La Voz” where its seems they took a trick or two from Moby. The nine-minute ballad “El Regresso” is an instant classic: first the piano plays with almost a drunken abruptness that surprises with every note. Then a respite in the vocals leads to a meandering trumpet. If there is any justice in the universe, La Semilla Escondida will find fertile soil in which to sprout and be properly recognized. But in this tundra called Ithaca, this may be just a reverie of false hope.

Archived article by Chris Kakovitch