It's hard to figure out Exótico Americano and its creator Frederico7. Frederico7 lived in Brazil, Mexico, and Argentina, and then settled down in "the live music capital of the world": Austin, Texas. His music bounces around the globe the same way: Exótico Americano features Caribbean reggae, Columbian cumbia, Brazilian backbeats, Latin rock, and country and western (often in the same tune), while Frederico7 barks and howls out lyrics in English, Spanish, and Portuguese.
(And why wouldn't you expect a little mystery from a performer named "Frederico7"? What happened, for example, to the other six?)
Whoever he is, he IS upfront about his music. "The inspiration is the American Continent and its people," he explains. "The revelation in the record is that we are ALL 'Exótico Americanos' regardless of race, national background, etc. I wrote the lyrics of the title track 'Exótico Americano' specifically to highlight that universality. It's important to honor the indigenous keepers of the land and paying respect to the suffering source of the blues music. Also understanding that the riches we now enjoy were built upon the backs of millions and understanding we all have more in common than not."
So it's not surprising that out of its many styles and influences, American soul breaks through Exótico Americano more than anything else. "La Mirada del Halco?n," produced by Adrian Quesada (Brownout), floats like a dreamy 1960s love song; the lead vocal in Spanish lends mystery to its almost but not quite psychedelic air. Sung in English and written by Frederico7 for his wife, "Nature of Love" sounds like a simple, hypnotic Sade funk groove played at twice the speed, with drums and production straight from the dancefloor but with counterpointing horns painting broad and mellow jazz colors. From its electric blue guitars twinkling in the background, to its voluptuous rhythm guitar riffs, to its thick and lush production, "Azul Trancendental" grows like a quiet storm rising from the verdant fields of 1970s American soul.
The title track, a space-age electric blues sung in English and Spanish, manages to roll through urban funk, Latin rock, New Orleans groove, and country western, all wrapped like a web in shimmering electronic production.
"Every day I'm reminded that my story is really that of many," Frederico7 concludes. "In my heart, we are all Exotic Americans that bring unique flavors and journeys to this unique melting pot that is America, and that's what makes this continent great."
Exótico Americano; Pérola Negra; La Mirada del Halcón; Nature of Love; Vibran Los Ancestros; Samba Revelation; Azul Trancendental; Ciclo das Galáxias; Ela Ama; Run Free; Pérola Negra Remix.
Adrián Quesada: guitar, bass, synthesizer; Alàn Uribe: bass, synthesizer; Brandàn Uribe: synthesizer; Beto Martinez: guitar; Bruno Vinezof: percussion, drums; Daniel Durham: bass; Greg Gonzales: bass; Jet Jaguar: bass; Joseph Woullard: flute; Joshua Thomson: saxophone; Michael Longoria: percussion; Pete Powers: drums; Sergio Yazbek: electric guitar; Sidão Santos: bass; Stewart Cochran: synthesizer programing; Zumbi Richards: trombone; Frederico7: vocals, rhythm guitars, synthesizer, bass, piano; Greg Jones: electric guitar, EFX, synthesizer.