Adam Zuniga, Discoveries is a Latin Infused Discovery That We LOVE!
by Heather Jacks
What more can you ask for than delicious food, amazing wine and great musical entertainment. That is exactly what you will find every Friday night at The Clubs of Cordillera Ranch. Cordillera Ranch hosts a verity of rotating singers and songwriters. One of our most popular, local artist is Adam Zuniga.
I fell in love with the music of Adam Zuniga with almost comical spontaneity. It was the song Faraway Places but I guess it could have been any of the tracks from his second studio release, Discoveries.
Discoveries is a tour-de-force blend of rhythmic jazz, ambient acoustics, and electronic dance music, or IDM. His efforts culminate in what fits nicely on a promotional press package- world music, but it seems to be so much more than that. The tracks do sound boundary-breaking in their ability to pull from many different aesthetics from many different parts of the world; there is a certain inclusion of mainstream ideas that make it less like world music than most what consider.
The greatest example of this is the electronic elements. Most of the tracks on Discoveries seem to pulsate with this electro-pop heartbeat. It is as if Zuniga is following a metronome-based style or pulse, something that is largely foreign to traditional world music. So either Adam Zuniga is not a traditional world artist, or he is turning the very face of the genre upside down. Either way, it is a victory.
This electronically propelled dance groove seems to put him at odds with the jazz inspired free-thinking spaciness of the guitar. This is what makes everything so attractive. ‘Faraway Places’ propels forward with a clear-cut dance groove, and yet the guitar bobs and ebbs with the gigantic pulsing rhythm, making for an instrumental jazz song that is, well, brilliant.
It is a perfect concoction. ‘La Batella’ has string Latin influences that propel the song, but the rhythmic backbone of the song is purely electronic. The duality really is something else.
‘Taking Time’ is your rather straightforward sullen somber track, which exists beautifully and paints a nice musical picture, but lacks the dynamics and overt fireworks of the heavier guitar jazz pieces.
There are many things which Adam Zuniga is not. He is not theatrical. His tracks are broad and dynamic as if they existed all over the world and yet resonate just through the speakers. Theatrics indulge fancy displays of showmanship, concept songs, lyrical interludes, etc… Adam Zuniga lets the music breathe on its own merit, and we all win for it.
Zuniga is a master of the instrument. He is a genre-swayer. You can hear that he is certainly trained classically (and after a brief run through his biography, I was comforted that indeed he was). So in all, Zuniga is a gratifying artist, who takes listeners on a journey that they never thought they would have gone on. Only the best artists (or most popular of course) can sway newcomers to a genre that is unfamiliar. But with the talented onslaught of Discoveries, a newcomer is more than willing to stay for more than just a trendy month. Zuniga has recruited a fan for life; and I will keep my own pulse on his music like he keeps his own pulse on the rhythmic beauty of the beat.
Heather has worked in the music industry in various capacities, since the eighties; radio, production, A&R, booking and most recently as a music journalist. She currently divides her time between the left and right coasts and is completing a multi-media project, inspired by her love for street music, busking and the people who make it. Article used with permission from The Noise Beneath the Apple®