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Soniquete: The Sensational Sound Of Gecko Turner

by Gecko Turner

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  • Compact Disc (CD) + Digital Album

    Comes in a gorgeous cardboard fold-out jacket with several inserts.

    Includes unlimited streaming of Soniquete: The Sensational Sound Of Gecko Turner via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more.
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  • Streaming + Download

    Includes unlimited streaming via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more.
    Purchasable with gift card

      €10 EUR  or more

     

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about

English:
Soniquete: The Sensational Sound Of Gecko Turner features 13 classic cuts selected from his previous four long-players on Spanish label Lovemonk, plus a brand new track. The record includes heavyweight guests like the mighty UK vocalist Eska, Brazilian and flamenco percussionist Rubem Dantas and Cuban pianist Javier 'Caramelo' Masso.

Gecko's artistry as vocalist, multi instrumentalist and arranger shines through a global melange of styles from West African disco to hot-stepping Caribbean descargas. There are sounds and textures of all persuasions – mini-moog, clavinet and mbira sit alongside the cajon and other Latin and Brazilian percussions, yet it's the use of Gecko's language that truly sets his songs apart; the way he twists words and sentences that they become one with the melodies.

Singing in English, Spanish and a tongue only Gecko is privvy to, where local slang, foreign lingo and 'made up' words poetically combine, his songs always come with a nudge and a wink. The way he records, writes, composes and produces everything results in something he calls “soniquete”, a word often used in flamenco to refer to the rhythm and sound. A case in point is the debut single and signature Gecko tune 'Un Limón En La Cabeza', originally released in 2003. Each verse suggests to "put a little lemon on your head", promoting a certain ‘mental acidity’, or 'critical thinking', as Gecko recalls. The horns weave around the words, leaving the listener repeating the interplay way after the track has finished.

Born and bred in 1966 in Extremadura, little Gecko was the son of a local sports journalist, and was soon exposed to the station’s music library, which consisted of a large amount of vinyl LPs and 7” singles. After acquainting himself with a set of new sounds, he soon learnt to play the guitar and songs from his favourite artists of the time like Bowie, The Kinks, Talking Heads and James Brown.

In 1984, the Afro-Cuban sounds of Dizzy Gillespie were stinking hot, and a not-so-little Gecko hitched on dusty Iberian highways in search of the Vitoria Jazz Festival, where Dizzy was billed alongside Freddie Hubbard. Travelling over 1,000 kilometres with paperbacks by Kerouac, Burroughs and Miller stuffed in his rucksack, it was this period of jazz discovery that would turn out to be Gecko's defining moment.

In the winter of 1986, he moved to London and squatted in Camden, busking and living a day-to-day existence with music. He soon returned to Spain, took a job in a bank working in a data centre (to avoid the public and the need to cut his hair). The years passed, and he quit his job in the bank to start working in a recording studio, where he cut his teeth producing and tracking records and formed a band called Perroflauta (the Spanish equivalent of “crusty”) – he worked closely with Brazilian players playing a mix of African rhythms, jazz, soul, reggae and samba.

In 2003 he released Guapapasea!, his debut album proper on the Madrid based Lovemonk. It was the label's first ever album release and Gecko's music perfectly encapsulated the eclectic sound that became, and continues to be, the foundation to the label's music philosophy summed up neatly by an oft-used by-line “discos buenos” (good records).

'Cortando Bajito' is a brand new production on the record with percussion by Akin Elegbede Onasanya, of highly rated Afrobeat outfit OGUN Afrobeat from Madrid. It sounds like Stevie Wonder performing an Innervisions B-side in West Africa, with DFA records sewn into the tapestry. Eska's intervention comes in the shape of 'Monosabio Blues', a grooving down tempo number with Gecko rhyming and rapping in her shadow. 'Afrobeatnik?' and '45.000$ (Guapa Pasea)' both feature Rubem Dantas on percussion, a Brazilian player much revered for his pioneering work with flamenco genius Paco de Lucía. 'Toda Mojaíta' features the Rhodes and piano of Javier “Caramelo” Massó, a Cuban who was part of an incredible export of musicians to Madrid from Cuba over recent decades.

Soniquete is a snapshot of an artist who lives, works and plays with wild abandon, caring little for music industry norms or the big city, much preferring his Extremadura outpost by the Guadiana river. With a life philosophy learned from his experiences 'on the road', he absorbs jazz, global music and literature. With the help of a guitar or a piano, blistering sunshine, a wee dram and a puff of smoke, Gecko is an expert at turning inspiration into expression, clever word play and writing incredibly addictive songs.

The album release coincides with the vinyl represses of his previous albums Guapapasea! (2003) and Chandalismo Ilustrado (2006).

español:
Desde que en 2003 apareciese su primer disco, el deslumbrante Guapapasea!, disco debut del año para la revista Tentaciones de El Pais, Gecko Turner ha sido uno de los nombres de referencia en esa soleada esquina de la música en la que confluyen el soul y el funk con los ritmos de ida y vuelta de África y Latinoamérica.

Soniquete: The Sensational Sound of Gecko Turner presenta una recopilación de cortes clásicos seleccionados de sus cuatro álbumes y un tema nuevo. El disco es una fantástica invitación para aventurarse y descubrir el rico universo del artista extremeño. Un rico universo que ha sido reconocido por críticos y aficionados en todo el mundo, que ha llevado a su música a sonar en las emisoras más interesantes del mundo y en múltiples bandas sonoras de cine y tv.

Gecko nació en Badajoz y ha vivido la mayor parte de su vida cerca del río Guadiana, expuesto a muchas influencias que se reflejan en su obra. Su cancionero tiene la rara cualidad de transmitir un millón de matices, exóticos y cercanos, pero a la vez sonar indefectiblemente a Gecko Turner y eso es algo que cada vez es más raro en un artista.

La maestría de Gecko como vocalista, multi-instrumentista y arreglista brilla a través de un compendio global de estilos, que van desde los ritmos de África occidental hasta las descargas caribeñas, todo bañado por la influencia de la música afroamericana pero también por la vivencia de alguien que creció en Badajoz en los años setenta, donde era inevitable estar expuesto al flamenco. La unión de toda esta mixtura musical con una forma personalísima de usar el lenguaje resulta en un estilo único. Gecko moldea sus letras, las masajea, las dibuja y las desdibuja hasta lograr que sean otro instrumento más. Canta en inglés, español, a veces en portugués, y a eso le añade elementos inventados o adaptados de la jerga local: extremeña o de las calles de otras partes del mundo. La forma en que graba, escribe, compone y produce da como resultado algo a lo que él se refiere como "soniquete", una palabra que se usa a menudo en el mundo del flamenco para referirse al compás, ritmo y sonido.

Para conseguir todo eso, necesita que los músicos con los que trabaja sean cómplices y entren en ese juego de soul afromeño, como también lo han definido. El disco incluye como invitados a algunos “pesos pesados”, como la poderosa vocalista británica Eska, el percusionista brasileño Rubem Dantas o el pianista cubano Javier Massó 'Caramelo', por mencionar solo algunos.

Soniquete es una “foto” de un artista que vive, trabaja, juega, compone y toca de manera brillante y despreocupada. Alguien que no se rige por las normas de la industria de la música o de la gran ciudad, y que ha preferido mantener su residencia en Extremadura, junto al río Guadiana. Con la ayuda de una guitarra o un piano, un sol -abrasador a veces-, una cervecita y un poco de humo, Gecko es un experto en convertir la inspiración en expresión, en usar juegos de palabras inteligentes y en escribir canciones que tienen la magia de la música popular y la pegada de los ritmos globales. Sus cuatro discos a lo largo de casi quince años así lo atestiguan.

El lanzamiento del álbum coincide conlas ediciones por primera vez en vinilo de sus dos primeros álbumes Guapapasea! (2003) y Chandalismo Ilustrado (2006).

'Cortando Bajito' es la novedad en este disco recopilatorio, con batería y percusión a cargo de Akin Elegbede Onasanya (líder de la banda Ogun Afrobeat). Suena como la cara B de un single de Innervisions de Stevie Wonder, grabado en África occidental y con DFA jugando en la mesa de mezclas.

credits

released October 12, 2018

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