Recipes don’t have just one ingredient. The fun of cooking is discovering how flavors come together on the tongue. Music’s a lot like that too. Local act Cilantro Boombox plays with genre like a chef plays with food and flavors. Their fusion of Latin, funk, electro, reggae, and jazz (and more) is a rich, sensuous experience.
Bassist-slash-DJ-slash-producer Felix Pacheco started Cilantro Boombox back in 2010 with sax-man and flutist Joe Woullard (who’s played with Black Joe Lewis, Hard Proof Afrobeat and Ocote Soul Sounds). The pair’s collaboration bloomed into a full-on band with a galaxy of guests, including Frank Orrall, founding member of genre-bridging act Poi Dog Pondering and touring percussionist for Thievery Corporation.
Pacheco produced Cilantro Boombox’s self-titled debut (released in fall 2013) himself with mixing help from Adrian Quesada. The album’s fusion of Latin rhythms and melodies with chilled-out electronica and jazz is just plain cool. It’s the soundtrack to your night at a dark club where the booths are plush, the drinks are good, and the company’s even better. The track that epitomizes the sensuous vibes is the album’s single, “Last Call.” The bedrock beat is punchy, mid-tempo electro. Pacheco and Co. layer Latin percussion, a slinky bassline, and languid horn lines. There’s a smooth-as-silk sax solo near the back-half, upping the sexy that much further. It’s the kind of song you’d definitely wanna hear at closing time.