Not so many times a band’s astonishing debut is followed by an even better second album. But such is the case of Argentina’s Gigantes Magnéticos. If their “Jamaica Old School”, released in 2013, came out as a total revelation, these ten new tracks are guaranteed to exceed all expectations.
Both LPs were conceived and recorded mostly at the same studios: Kingston Factory, in the neighborhood of Flores, Buenos Aires City. At this point in history, the recording facilities where much of the worthiest Jamaican roots music is produced in this South American country with such great ear and heart for Caribbean beats.
Nevertheless, the circumstances were very different. While that first album resulted from a string of instrumental jam sessions by a dream team of local artists, the essence of “Power of Choice”, its mighty follow up, was determined by the appearance of a very special guest: Mister Val Douglas.
Yes, the legendary Jamaican bass man somehow triggered this new project, laying down and recording the bass lines for the tracks that the lucky listener now holds inside this artful cover. From the irresistibly groovy sweetness of the opening “Well Well Well”, to the Hammond ridden extravaganza in “Hitting The Beach”, and the serious thumping of the title composition, the pulse of Douglas’s bass seems to set the pace, mark the tone, and ultimately define the rules. Not far at all from what we have learned to hear from him, since the late sixties, as a musician in astonishing singles from Peter Tosh, Ken Boothe, Dennis Brown, and so many more stars, and also nowadays as part of none other than... The Skatalites!
But, by definition, a true joint venture needs at least two parts. So, for this collaboration, Douglas met a talented sonic task force for all things Jamaican: Juan Pedro Oholeguy shows (once again) that he’s Argentina’s most inventive reggae keyboardist. Hernix 1000stein and Damian “Oso” Rocha’s guitars could not be more precise. Esteban Descalzo’s drumming works as the perfect road buddy for Douglas’s journeys to Grooveland. And Pety and Nico Uccello’s voices bring in enough deepness for these tunes to sound even more profound, while Sebastian “HeMan” Klappenbach’s convincing toasting just take them higher every time.
So, dear listener, enough words: now it’s the time to seat back and enjoy the ever precious “Power of Choice”. Consider it your privilege.