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SLIXS: funking on the PLAYGROUND

in My Leipzig/Reviews by

You know when it’s love. That paradox of excitement and calm has you smiling as you go about your otherwise mundane day. All the sudden you are more aware of the beauty in your world. You feel inspired.

Local group SLIXS has just released their new album PLAYGROUND. I’ve had it for a month now and I know all the words to every song. I even find myself singing from it when riding my bike.

Self-proclaimed vocal bastards in the a capella world, SLIXS is not what you’d expect.

I really thought they had added instruments for this album, but I was wrong.

I talked to Gregorio Hernandez to find out just how they had accomplished that. Except for “Heroes”, a tribute to David Bowie, they wrote all the songs themselves. It’s not just writing a song and putting down some chords. It’s more like you are a composer. You have to do all the arranging, know what every instrument sounds like and how to denote it on sheet music. Usually one or two work on the song and then bring it to the group where they tweak it together if needed.

Though they already sounded impressive to me on stage, the album allows them to take it to another level through production. An original funkster, I love the sound.

It is luscious.

And after 10 years of singing together, they are tight.

Gregorio told me he used to listen to his dad’s records all the time. His collection ranged from Latin sounds from his Cuban homeland, to funk and rock and all the way to classical. I’m sure this ear for quality influenced Gregorio.

He told me that recently he had met one of his teachers from his childhood. She told him she knew he was meant to sing. He had forgotten how he used to sing all the time in class. It was just in his nature. While others played piano or violin, his voice has always been his instrument.

Get PLAYGROUND and other music here. 

Maeshelle West-Davies gleans her varied life experiences to expose a personal perspective through a multitude of mediums. Sound, video, photography, dance, performance and public art are the tools she uses to convey her message. Her work is a response not only to a physical journey, but an emotional one, as with all of us who walk along or beside our individual paths.

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