stream Chico Mann (Antibalas) & Captain Planet’s new album ‘Night Visions’
Chico Mann (real name Marcos García) of Brooklyn Afrobeat band Antibalas is releasing a new album with frequent collaborator Captain Planet (real name Charlie B. Wilder), Night Visions, this Friday (2/24) via Bastard Jazz (pre-order). The duo spoke to Bandcamp about the new LP…
Your productions skip across continents, from Jamaican dancehall to Afrobeat to American funk and electronic music. What led you to create music that spans a multitude of regions?
García: I grew up in the music business listening to all kinds of Latin music. My dad was a record producer, and my mother was a DJ. She also played piano and wrote songs for some of the artists on my dad’s label. There were always musicians coming over. I was raised in New York and New Jersey. I grew up listening to Evelyn ‘Champagne’ King—the R&B and popular music of that time. I also love Michael Jackson. As I got older, I got into punk, and then eventually every kind of music. Being a Cuban-American in New York, it was all there in front of me to soak up—all these different cultures and music happening side by side.
Wilder: Neither of my parents were musicians, so I wasn’t really surrounded by musicians. But my parents were always playing records, and they loved music. I got into music as a little kid, getting into Michael Jackson and wanting to be and dance like him. I just became obsessed with music as a teenager. Both me and Marcos found our outlet, even though they were different surroundings. We were both in bands and obsessed with records. One mixtape would lead to the next. Somebody would turn me into one thing, and I would want to keep learning about that. I was in punk bands, then I got more into hip-hop, and it spread out into dancehall, Latin music and so on.
My first steady DJ job was at a Latin club called Bembé in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. There were live conga players, and a lot of people came through—like, professional salsa dancers. I quickly had to learn a lot of music in order to please the regulars. They would come up and make requests, and I had to write them down. This was before Shazam and before you could easily get what you want from the Internet. So people would make requests with a firm CD, and they were like, ‘You need to know this.’ My Latin music education expanded exponentially from there. That definitely pushes you on a high level. And then, living in New York for more than 10 years exposed me to a total mix.
You can hear that “total mix” early — a full stream of the new album premieres below.