You will love this, and your parents will, too. Gustavo Guerrero is a Venezuelan musician who’s been living in Mexico City for quite some time now, and some of you probably know him for being the musical director of Natalia Lafourcade’s live band. Back in the days, when he still lived in Caracas, his work with his old rock band, Cunaguaro Soul, caused a lot of noise in the local scene. But now, he adopted a new name, and with it, a new sound. This is Augusto Bracho.
On his first release under this new alias, an EP called Primer acercamiento al mito, Augusto Bracho explores folkloric and traditional music form both Venezuela and Mexico through his peculiar point of view, and the result is beautiful, fun, and compelling. Album opener “Qué fácil ser mamarracho (in the cruel city of testarudos)” is equal parts Venezuelan music from the fields and Tom Waits, with amazing vocal twists and a vocabulary that is probably hard to understand if you’re not from his country. “Soñé que vi a San Agustín” is a modern day aguinaldo, while the moving “Carolita” lets us hear the inevitable Mexican influence. The EP ends with an afro-Venezuelan number called “Sensemayá,” where Augusto Bracho delivers his lines almost like he’s rapping. This is an excellent surprise and a remarkable and refreshing effort from a very talented musician who knows how to incorporate these kinds of influences into his own music.