Bastard Jazz

Toribio - Tongue In Cheeks (EP)

$13.99
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If the name of this collection of traxxx offends you, move on — there’s no hope for you here. If, on the other hand, Toribio’s salacious fun-pun cracked your cool exterior, here’s an introduction to a set of bangers that helps exemplify New York’s increasingly exuberant dancefloor, and what producer/DJ Cesar Toribio brings to it. His is a ribald, rhythmic take on dance music, neither for the weak of musical character (purists need not apply) nor for the weak of ass (-shaking). In fact, the proof is right there, in Toribio’s label and monthly party’s name: Bring Dat Ass (BDA). This command is not optional, but *the* key ingredient for a good time.

The four tracks Toribio has created for “Tongue In Cheeks,” BDA’s first release, comprise a horny melting pot of tribal house and Linn-drum plug-ins, minimalist synth textures and basslines, hi-hats reminiscent of electro and freestyle classics, some of which are infused with New York’s Latin club history and futures. The lead-off track, “No Pare,” is based on the producer’s 808-driven reinvention of the call-and-response hook from Proyecto Uno’s 1993 merengue-house smash “El Tiburón,” marking the first time the group has ever cleared a sample of this Nuyodominican classic. We predict that “No Pare” will be a Fall 2023 monster.

“Cimarron Palace” may embrace Peoria’s Bacardi drums, while “Anti Narcoleptic” is a hyper-hectic patch-heavy take on Berlin minimalism. But they both re-emerge in New York’s funk. A guest vocal appearance by The Illustrious Blacks also shows the breadth of Toribio’s regard for the local community, especially how the Neo-Afro-Futuristic-Psychedelic-Surrealistic-Hippys Monstah Black and Manchildblack infuse a dollop of booty into “Work Dat Shit.” There’s really no unifying formula, but if there was, it would be: Make it sexy. Make it (consensually) grindy. Make it funny to the point of ridiculous but so funky that the laughter becomes more fuel to the joyous momentum propelling the movement. Then make it home — or try to. 

Cesar Toribio’s home is, originally Tampa — and the DR, where he’d spend summers with family. He was a drum-corps prodigy who went to Berklee to become a jazz drummer and more like Gil Evans. He idolized Miles’ orchestral arranger’s work as much as he did Dilla’s beats, but then Cesar discovered house music, so it was a wrap. The 2021 band album Toribio made under the name Conclave — which included his sister Sharin and musicians from such great projects as Standing On the Corner, No Regular Play and Irreversible Entanglements — unearthed the work of a singer-songwriter-arranger-producer of immeasurably nuanced, soulful jazz-house music. But when Toribio started DJing more and more, he decided to listen to the devil on his shoulder who told him to Bring Dat Ass. As Cesar damn-well knows, it’s the devil who has the better jokes and holds the better parties, so his ears perked up. “Tongue in Cheeks” is the music Toribio says he made to play at these parties, because he can’t find it anywhere else. It’s hard to disagree

No Pare

Work Dat Shit (feat. The Illustrious Blacks)

Cimarron Palace

Anti Narcoleptic

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