¡ESSO! Afrojam Funkbeat

El Sonido Sonic Octopus - the name was compelling. I hadn't had a listen yet, but something told me I was about to tangle with a phonic kraken; and it was thrilling. El Sonido Sonic Octopus - just let it sit for a second...


¡ESSO! Afrojam Funkbeat is one of the select Chicago-based artists performing at Ruido Fest next month. I chose to look at them first because, well...they're Chicago. It would be irresponsible to not showcase the city's representation out of the gate. More importantly, ¡ESSO! represents in part what Nuestro Ruido seeks to promote: Unity of diversity through multicultural awareness; and of course - dance!

A bold, smart sound that at times shows teeth, ¡ESSO! never misses an opportunity to pay homage to their Fela Kuti pulse, their salsero fabric, and their Chicago House roots.

Sabrosa, with its refined Cumbia-Funk, exhibits unabashedly, confidence in what it wants you to do - celebrate diversity, feel good, move, and be moved.

Multi-talented vocalist Vivian Garcia adds a soulful thread that never seems to go wrong when all of ¡ESSO!'s tentacles are in effect. Mundo Vale craftily shows it's House roots and silky vocals that, if I wasn't hip, would of guessed was a DJ Spinna or Miguel Migs cut. It's uplifting, groovy, and at moments, feels like the Disco-Funk sound of The Jones Girls and Linda Clifford.

And that's just a splash of what one can find while getting entangled in ¡ESSO!'s sonido.

¡ESSO! Afrojam Funkbeat will perform Sunday, July 12 at Addams/Medill Park.

Next up:
Mariel Mariel