Interview: Timothy Brownie and Fania Records' Unexpected Collaboration [MEX/ARG]

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Electropop, psychedelia, and a theremin: this is not a checklist typically associated with iconic New York salsa label Fania Records’ catalog. As the label looks to reinvent itself and branch out to a broader audience through sometimes surprising collaborations, they’ve recently added the cosmic visions of Timothy Brownie to their roster.

The Mexican-Argentine band, known for wrapping up their live sets by handing out brownies filled with who knows what (is that legal?), debuts their “electro-disco rooftop funk with Latin rhythm” ritual in New York tonight, Thursday July 10th, at Fania Records’ Armada Fania party at SOB’s.

Get to know a bit about the guidance they’ve received from whatever this psychic realm they’ve tapped into, which has brought them the good fortune of a New York City tour and a solid partnership with one of the record label greats.

So who’s this Timothy Brownie you reference?

Andrés Cruz: He is a creative spirit from the past who got into us somehow and gave us a reason to unite and complete his musical recipes. Timothy Brownie is an energy that gives us inspiration, and guides us through the path of life with signals.

Your sound’s been described as “electro-disco rooftop funk with Latin rhythm.” This isn’t typically a sound associated with Fania Records. How did this collaboration come to be?

Andrés: We belong to the ODM (Organic Dance Music) movement…we mix things from the past, with technology of today, creating things for the future…

The single “Buffalo Beat,” which is also the title of our EP that came out July 8, was a song we created with tracks that Fania provided us long time ago. When we were ready to release the song, Fania stopped us, and said, we want you to be part of us! Fania looked after us, because we were doing something that they wanted, and they have what we needed. It was an instant connection. Somehow we became part of this incredible label, and become part of the history of Latin music.

Has it always been a dream of yours to play here in New York?

Uriel del Toro: I think it’s a dream for anyone, to be here somehow. NYC is the place where many bands we love were born, and were many movements of different art disciplines were developed. It’s a blessing to us to have this chance to share the music of Timothy Brownie with the people of this special city.

So, about those brownies…

Andrés: The recipe was given to us by the spirit of the Maestro Timothy Brownie; it came to us in different ways. For Mariano, it came to him in a dream, for Uriel in the middle of his yoga class, for Carlos on the bubbles of a beer, and Andrés in the smoke of an incense.

Mariano Lanus: The recipe is quite secret…we can say it has lots of cosmic magic powders, and it gives the people who attend the [Timothy Brownie] ritual a special power that we called “the power of dancing.”

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