One of the most used adjectives by journalists to describe Gecko Turner’s music is "effortless", probably because, as an Austrian critic wrote, Gecko’s tunes brighten up the darkest of days. “Gone Down South” is quite possibly Turner’s best effort yet, the one he has worked on the most even though to him it comes naturally.
It’s been four years since “Chandalismo Ilustrado” and since that album Gecko has gone through quite a bit in both his personal and professional life. He has played all over the world shared his music with artists from many different places and has been exposed to all kinds of sounds new to him.
“Gone Down South” is an album on which all those different influences come together to create a bigger picture: the unique, easy-going and sunny Gecko style. The album was recorded in Extremadura, Texas (with Tim Gerron), London (with Antonio Feola), Madrid and California (with Sunny Levine) with a wide range of musicians such as Irapoan Freire with his characteristic trumpet sound, the voice of Spanish soulman Gene García and the stunning piano of Cuban Javier "Caramelo" Masó.
The album starts with "Truly", a grand piece of soul, luminous and fresh like the tunes that are to follow, such as the Afro-Cuban tune "Cuanta Suerte" and the Velvet Underground-influenced "So Sweet". "Tea Time" is lazy funk lit up by the rhymes of Extremaduran rapper Isaya Thomas, while "Ámame, Mímame", "You Can't Own Me" and "Mbira, Mbira" have taken more than a few sips from the old African well, the latter brilliantly mixing it up with rhythms coming from Extremadura-style flamenco. “Holly Hollywood”, “The Love Monk” and “When I Woke Up” do the funk, Gecko-style, while "Let's Stay Tonight" is a ballad that sounds like a Motown excursion to Jamaica. The finishing touch comes in the form of a nice little blues ditty, title track, "Gone Down South".
This, ladies and gentlemen, is a great record that will give you hours of pleasure. Trust us.