Posted by: standing_baba | August 5, 2009

Bike Music: El Guincho

El Guincho, the skinny hipster responsible for this warped video collage of fruit and mustache, is one of my go-to bands when riding. In Texas I remember many early morning bike commutes where I rolled out of bed mid-yawn, wondering if I’d make it to the end of the driveway, let alone to the downtown office to complete a full shift. Unshowered and without coffee, my waking routine before settling into the saddle always seemed a bit robotic….

Grab lunch from fridge. Open front door. Maneuver Surly into outside hallway. Balance Surly against wall. Find key. Lock door. Open gate. Release gate slowly so as not to wake apartment 2A. Wave to Mexican neighbor in adjacent complex who never sleeps and is always on the stoop. Prop Surly against curb. Insert ear buds. Tuck headphone cable into shirt collar to avoid handlebar snags. Plug cable end into iPod. Pedal. Press play….

POW!…kaleidoscope blooms of dancing flowers
BANG!…Caribbean phosphorescence 60 feet down
KA-POW!…the Requiem for Dream scene where heroin and blood become one
BAP!…the smell of Georgia peach stands from rolled down windows
KER-PLOP!…Lemmings with pick axes falling off cliffs
WHAM!…fireside drum circles in Bora Bora
ZOWIE!…cartoon Saturday freedom embodied by Papa Smurf

During one morning commute or another, El Guincho made my awakening more interesting with the above visuals—from R.E.M. sleep to dodging traffic in less than five minutes was not uncommon, which is why some seem more like the continuation of dreams (I’ve never been to Bora Bora!) than a professional’s thoughts en route to work.

In my experience, El Guincho’s music is a soundtrack to whatever you dream up. No matter how groggy the day began his beats, and in particular the song Palmitos Park, with its repetitiveness pacing my pedal strokes, always made me wide-eyed before the world, more acutely aware of the rhythms and sounds that surrounded me.

The rest of El Guincho’s Alegranza album, among others, is just as energetic and dream-provoking. For what its worth, I recommend it, even if you don’t speak Spanish and especially if you need some music to enliven your day.


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