For almost two decades Adrian Quesada has been a fixture on the Austin music scene. Though he made his name as a guitarist in Latin groove machine Grupo Fantasma and instrumental funk powerhouse Brownout, over the last few years he’s also developed a reputation as one of Austin’s top producers. Of the many musical projects he graces, Echocentrics is the closest to a solo project, with all the music driven by Quesada’s unique vision. The new album “Echo Hotel” is a collection of songs he’s been working on sporadically for five years. It’s has a scrapbook feel, Quesada’s signature sounds parsed together with snippets of rhythm and haunting melodies collected on dusty Texas back roads near the border.
At the release show on Thursday at the Parish, Quesada brought it all to life with a full band and a host of special guests. The evening was rich with heady atmospherics and cinematic grooves. Though a haze of psychedelic fuzz was a constant, the show moved through a variety of sonic changes driven by dramatic rhythmic switches and a rotating cast of vocalists. Black Angels’ frontman Alex Maas brought an indie rock vibe that morphed into a lilting twang when Jazz Mills joined him on a duet. But the star of the show was Argentinian vocalist Natalia Clavier who sultry alto carried the deep emotion of the evening.
The show was hosted by local public radio affiliate KUTX and the thick crowd that packed the Parish around 10:30 p.m. thinned considerably by midnight. But for those of us who hung around for the whole trip, it was a lovely journey indeed.