Thursday 24 Apr

IndianGiver - Understudies

There’s a difference between being derivative and being inspired by something, a line a lot of artists can’t seem to find — or at least don’t care to.
04/22/2014 | Comments 0

Dustin Prinz - Eleven

Few musicians take the time to master their instrument in the way that Oklahoma City singer-songwriter Dustin Prinz has; he’s a guitar virtuoso in every sense of the word, and Eleven gives him the chance to show just how far he can push that skill.
04/15/2014 | Comments 0

Horse Thief – Fear in Bliss

Listening to Horse Thief’s previous release — the haphazardly melodramatic Grow Deep, Grow Wild — felt like a chore. Whatever potential the Oklahoma City folk-pop act demonstrated on the EP was obscured behind a formulaic, contrived and ultimately hollow cloud. But it at least offered a glimmer of promise for a band consisting of, frankly, five pretty talented dudes. Critics saw it; the band’s management saw it; its current label, Bella Union, saw it; and its increasingly fervid fan base saw it.
04/08/2014 | Comments 0

Colourmusic — May You Marry Rich

There’s always a sense of danger when debuting songs in a live setting and playing them well. Without having heard the studio versions, expectations are set according to the live incarnations. But capturing the breadth of free-flowing atmosphere and sheer volume on a disc, vinyl or digital file isn’t the easiest thing to do, especially for a band as vociferous as Colourmusic.
04/01/2014 | Comments 0

Em and the MotherSuperiors — Churches into Theaters

As titles go, Churches into Theaters is an apt descriptor for the debut album from Oklahoma City rockers Em and the MotherSuperiors. It’s a reverential record, one that shares the gospel of classic rock, blues and soul but embraces the need to refashion it for modern times, channeling The Dead Weather, Grace Potter and Cage the Elephant along the way.
03/25/2014 | Comments 0
Home · Articles · Music · Music · Grupo Fantasma's Latin roots...

Grupo Fantasma's Latin roots co-exist with stints as Prince's backing band

Emily Hopkins April 22nd, 2010

Grupo Fantasma 3:30 P.M. Sunday, Main StageLatin roots mix with funky and classic rock influences to form Austin super-band Grupo Fantasma. This is a group extremely cozy with the ever-changing music ...

Grupo Fantasma
3:30 P.M. Sunday, Main Stage

Latin roots mix with funky and classic rock influences to form Austin super-band Grupo Fantasma.

This is a group extremely cozy with the ever-changing music business. Now in its 10th year together, the band has recorded four previous albums and will release its most recent effort, "El Existential," on May 11.

The 10 musicians labeled themselves Grupo Fantasma as an homage to cumbia (a style of Columbian music and folk dance) bands that often incorporate the word "grupo." Although initially sticking strictly to cumbias, it eventually branched out into incorporating elements of salsa and other Latin styles while maintaining a steady influence of funk and rock. Unlike past projects, the new album was written in the studio and will be adapted to suit live performances.

"Our material has always been written for the live show, tested and refined at the show and then ultimately recorded. We actually had the time for this album to write in the studio. We had only a handful of songs going into the recording process, so this was the perfect opportunity to try this out," said guitarist Beto Martinez.

The ensemble's fully developed and complex sound stems from its eclectic mix of instruments. Everyday drums and guitars are incorporated, along with several brass pieces and conga and timbale drums, both of Cuban origin. As compared to more traditional Latin projects, Grupo Fantasma's two guitarists play the role that a pianist or keyboardist would usually take.

"We didn't want to be a typical Latin band, and the sound that we've come to have is definitely a result of our myriad of influences," Martinez said.

The musicians are known for their loud and energetic live shows; as Dead Milkmen's Rodney Anonymous expressed on his blog, "You haven't lived until you've seen these guys come out of a Tex-Mex drum solo into Led Zeppelin's 'Moby Dick.'"

The band is perhaps best known for backing musical legend Prince and performing at his club, 3121, in Las Vegas. Together, Prince and Grupo Fantasma have played such gigs as 2007's ALMA Awards and Super Bowl XLI. In 2009, the ensemble received a Grammy nomination for its fourth album, "Sonidos Gold." "Emily Hopkins
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