Canadian 8-piece band MNGWA drifts on the far northern shore of the blooming Latin Alternative music movement. Their debut LP The Strange One encapsulates their spectral sonic ambitions, with a sound orbiting somewhere between cumbia, funk and psych rock. Featuring 16 musicians from 11 different nations, the record literally spans the globe, incorporating instruments utterly unknown to Latin and rock music such as the Vietnamese dan bau and Middle Eastern qanun.
Over the course of The Strange One's eight seismic songs, elements of hip hop, reggae, pop, bhangra, salsa, and metal wriggle their way in and out of the musical landscape. More peculiar is MNGWA's ability to weave all these disparate rhythms into something singular and coherent. Blanca Escobar's mighty Spanish-language vocals ride the wave of polyrhythms, with lyrics celebrating the beauty and struggle of everyday existence, the mystery of nature, and the power of myth.
This could be considered Latin dance music, but also something far more nebulous, intent on navigating globalization with fearlessness and a sense of wonder. On a quest for experiences both mutant and new, The Strange One feeds.
All songs by MNGWA
Produced by Nick Lagasse
Mixed by JJ Heath
Mastered by Stuart McKillop at Raincity Recorders
released August 16, 2019
Anton Ayzikovsky - Drumkit
Blanca Escobar - Vocals
Boris Mandlis - Congas, Percussion
Igor Barbashin - Vocals, Synthesizers, Piano, Melodica
Maks Bentsianov - Electric Guitar, 12-string Acoustic Guitar
Nick Lagasse - Vocals, Bass Guitar, Charango, Xaphoon, Percussion
Pasha Burakov - Violin
Roberto Cruz - Vocals, Congas, Timbales, Bongos, Percussion
Harold Richter (MC Axiom) - Vocals (1)
Nick Anderson - French Horn (1,2,4,7)
Heather Anderson - Trumpet (2,4,7)
Aiko Sato - Trombone (1,2,4,7)
Fede Vilchez - Electric Guitar (1,3) Mandolin (3)
Bic Hoang - Dan Bau (3) Dan Mau (8) Vocals (8)
Bryan Sutherland - Vocals (1)
Gora Mohammed - Qanun (8)