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Thursday, July 12, 2012

‘Brownout’ Keeps The Focus On Latin Funk

The Latin funk band Brownout. (Facebook/Brownout)

What does “stick to the roof of your mouth Latin funk” sound like? That phrase has been used to describe the band Brownout, the alter-ego of the Grammy Award-winning Latin collective Grupo Fantasma.

Grupo plays a mix of mambo, merengue and other Latin beats, but the band’s members also wanted to hone their funk skills, and so they formed Brownout as an offshoot.

“It keeps our funk chops up,” Brownout and Grupo Fantasma member Adrian Quesada told Here & Now‘s Robin Young. “In a way it makes both bands better.. it really keeps both exciting.”

The groups take advantage of the fact that they have the same members, and sometimes play, one after the other, at concerts.

“We’ve even changed clothes, but I think it’s fairly obvious that it’s the same band,” Quesada said. “We just think it’s hilarious. Maybe no one else thinks it’s funny.”

Quesada said at one point they tried to create a fake rivalry between Brownout and Grupo Fantasma at the Austin Music Awards.

“Brownout won the award that Grupo Fantasma had won the year before. And [we] got up there and said ‘It’s about time someone takes it from those Grupo Fantasma chumps.’ It didn’t really make any waves, but we tried to start a fake rivalry.”

Brownout’s new album is called “Oozy” and they are on tour in the U.S.


  • Adrian Quesada, band member of Brownout and Grupo Fantasma

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Robin Young and Jeremy Hobson host Here & Now, a live two-hour production of NPR and WBUR Boston.

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