¡ESSO! AFROJAM FUNKBEAT
"...This album will become a go-to dance record in your collection. While your brain might not jump to it immediately, I defy anyone’s claim that these 8 tracks wouldn’t be a hit at your next house party. Just make sure your turntable is on solid ground..."
"We caught up with Armando Perez as the Chicago-based funk band Esso Afrojam Funkbeat prepared to release a 2016 remix of Pueblo Unido on Sonic Octopus Records. He discussed this new project in an exclusive Something Else! Sitdown, along with his early influences, the formation and future of Esso Afrojam Funkbeat and how the issues facing immigrants shape their work …"
"The “Fela inspired Fania blends” ring true across 12 solid tracks that sway from tropical beachside anthems and reggae hip hop to funky cumbia tributes and spoken word cumbia rebajada. From beginning to end, there’s a refreshing surprise throughout.¡ESSO! is an urban sound amalgam of Latino roots. It’s Chicago magic all around."
"...Esso Afrojam Funkbeat works because the group speaks to something burgeoning in contemporary society. They understand the ways in which we consume music: voraciously, eagerly and indiscriminately. More important, they understand why we do so... Esso is more than just the music. Rooted in the lyrical and instrumental content of the ensemble's music is a unifying goal of camaraderie and openness."
"Latin locals ESSO Afrojam Funkbeat merged onstage with Los Visios de Papa and blew the festival into orbit. With more than 10 musicians jamming onstage (all of them playing with an intensity, joy, and passion which could only be described as rapturous), the set went bonkers when rapper Logan Luis jumped off stage and ran through the audience with a rainbow flag in a show of support for the LGBTQ community. Without making a political comment, the band telegraphed the importance of solidarity and community that was spontaneous, popular and refreshing. -Windy City Media Group (July/2017)
"...the history-making Ruido Fest reminded me why I love alternative music in the first place and I’m anxiously awaiting next year’s lineup. This past year was huge for local artists like Esso Afrojam Funkbeat who are getting much deserved recognition in other cities. I think we might be at the cusp of a new generation of artists and music and the outlook is hopeful.” -Fernando Garza via Chicago Voz
"Groove-tastic local band ¡Esso! Afrojam Funkbeat mix up a swirl of global sounds—their massive musical range covers funky Fela Kuti-style Afrobeat, Hendrix-flavored psych rock, Latin boogaloo, and more. ...You'll want to put on your dancing shoes every time you hear 'em! The group released a thumping new self-titled LP recorded during the past year or so at Belmont Electric Studios, and it's a nonstop blast of dance-floor power." -Chicago Reader
"Best New Band" & "Best World/International Music Act" 2016 - Chiago Readers Poll Award Winners