Archive for Afro-Beat Reviews

Diano Garcia busts all rules, slams together hip-hop with world and jazz

Reviewed by Howie Mitchell

Diano Garcia/Turn It On

Do you want to hear the future of hip-hop? While thousands of rappers, on major labels or out of them, are recycling the same shuffling rhythms and pulsating keyboards, Diano Garcia takes the essence of hip-hop, the funky urban vibe, and slams it together with pop, world music, jazz, and whatever the hell this gentleman can find. Sure, label it as Afro-Beat if you will, but that doesn’t begin to describe the dizzyingly eclectic and wildly original vision that is showcased proudly here.

The exhilarating “Music Music” is awash with punchy horns and a breathless, marathon-running rhythm; you’ll be sweating heavily by the time it’s over. “Vows” rocks even harder as Garcia’s charmingly raspy voice glides across African beats, more horns, and magnetic synthesizers. The tracks which most openly aim for hip-hop – “Culture,” “Soap Box,” and “Something Say” – are unlike anything you’ll hear on the radio as Garcia never follows the rules and simply lets his imagination go bonkers. Lucky for us.