Our exclusive today is a premiere from El Dragón Criollo, Geneva-based Colombian producer, musician and singer Paulo Olarte Toro. “La Brisa” is a breezy number, featuring Paulo’s understated vocals over jangly guitars, shooting synths and a propulsive groove.
On his debut album as El Drágon Criollo, Paulo finds a meeting place between bouncing Caribbean cadences and dancefloor-ready beats that threaten to propel your body into motion. But the references don’t stop there. The twisted guitar lines on “La Brisa” signal the influence of US West Coast 90s rock a la Jane’s Addiction.Buy
‘Pase Lo Que Pase’ (translating as Whatever Happens, Happens) is one of those albums that threatens to take you some place new, in this case to the Colombian Caribbean some time around the 80s or 90s, when analog synths, punchy drum machines and Afro- Caribbean guitar melodies ruled the roost. The fact it was this era when Olarte Toro was growing up in Colombia should not go unnoticed. Now based in Geneva, Switzerland, it’s like he’s dialling back the years to a more innocent musical time, re-imagining what it was like for those early pioneers of reggaeton (long before it became so commercial) and for the musicians on Colombia’s Caribbean coast augmenting their tropical vinyl sets with rough-and-ready samples and lo-fi drum sounds.
On his debut album we find Paulo at his most playful, joyous and paradoxically realist, summoning a mesmeric sound that represents the Colombian Caribbean’s past, present and future.