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El Guincho - Spanish Harmony

Author: Jane Stabler
Friday, 2 May 2008

Lots of things trigger thoughts of holidays; the sun, piña coladas, the smell of coconut oil…and the sounds of El Guincho.
Spanish artist El Guincho has created a sound that is best described as pop, tropical and club – essentially a medley of happy harmonies and clattering loops that sound like little else you are likely to have encountered in auditory escapades. So if you are yet to familiarise yourself with his musical genius, the best way to do so is with a lathering of fake tan and a drink you can put an umbrella in.

El Guincho himself admits that his tropical disco sound is fairly unusual when compared with other dance styles, although he says he didn’t deliberately set out to make music that put him in a league, and a genre, all of his own.

“I was writing this album in my bedroom,” he explains, “and I came up with the sampler and from YouTube and I was playing vinyl so it was random. It was naïve, I didn’t really have any plan, I was in my bedroom! I don’t know [how to describe my music]. Maybe dance music [is the term] they relate to, but I don’t know, it’s like pop music.”

However you want to describe it, a lot of people are finding El Guincho’s infectious musical style hits the right chords. One of the key attributes that sets this Spanish musician’s sound apart from so many other dance offerings is his ability to successfully blend a lot of musical styles. Having dreamed of working with music his whole life, it makes sense that he has learned how to combine the styles that he loves to create his own blend of music.

“My dream was to study musicology, so I was really into finding good music and understanding it,” he explains. “I was interested in the music of the islands of the world, like Cuba, and I tried to select music from different islands of the world and I found that most of them, when I happened to mix it, the sound worked really well together, so it gave me that idea, the rhythm sounds so different but the harmony carries the vibe.”

The island theme is certainly inescapable when you tune into El Guincho’s tracks, and as a result his sound is often like the auditory equivalent of being on a tropical island holiday. Although he does take a lot of influence from tropical sounds, El Guincho still insists that he’s just creating the music that he likes and there’s no real reason behind it other than that.  

“When people say your music sounds like this or that, I don’t really know,” he considers. “There’s some really dark songs because of the lyrics, but the major scales makes people think of happy music and I’m really happy that people get good feelings from it when they listen to my music, but it wasn’t my main goal because I hadn’t any main goal.”

WHO: El Guincho
WHAT: Alegranza through Mistletone/ Plays The Supper Club / Metro Theatre
WHEN: Saturday 10 May / Sunday 11 May