Our first taste of Pop Negro, El Guincho’s followup to BTW-era Alegranza, came via ebullient opener “Bombay.” When asked about what went into the new collection, Pablo Díaz-Reixav mentioned that he “did some research on radio hits/big selling singles in North America, South America, England and Spain in the late 70’s, 80’s and early 90’s” and that he “found out that a massive percentage of these hits were engineered (sometimes also produced) by just around 40/50 different guys.” It gets especially interesting when you dig deeper and then apply it to “FM Tan Sexy.”
I started studying what makes them different but also what they had in common and I found out some really interesting coincidences. The reverbs they used (except for more “so-eighties” kind of tracks, all the rest were more keen on using different tap tempo delays as verbs rather tan proper springs/halls); the backing vocals production (there are super interesting coincidences between Michael Jackson/Quincy, U2, Bryan Ferry/Rhett Davies era productions, Mariah Carey/Walter Afanasyev, Nile Rodgers, Teddy Riley, Paco Trinidad in Spain, etc.); the way most of these guys used line + reamping style instead of mic’ing everything when tracking; the way they used stereo image and how they distributed sounds on space (this is where I found less coincidences and was therefore more inspired). I mean, I could go on and on about this if you want, I’ve been obsessed with this for last 3 years.
“FM Tan Sexy”‘s back-lit syncopation reminds me of a few R&B/pop-radio ghosts at once.
Pop Negro is out 9/14 via Young Turks. Tan, sexy, etc.: