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Carlos Sé’s debut EP introduces the Sé Sound of East LA.

Carlos Sé, a friendly East LA roquero singer/songwriter with a light touch on the guitar and a knack for clever penetrating lyrics, handed me a copy of his debut EP  Ready or Not, Here  I Come a few weeks ago at a Dia de los Muertos event and I am still playing it.  The EP’s six songs are easy to listen to and quickly get under your skin. Playing a  blend of reggae, rock, and Latino fusion born of the La Maravilla Projects in East LA, Sé artfully pulls the varying styles together as a singular music form – the “Se  sound”.

Carlos Se at miccrop. britt sameuls eyeonmedia

Carlos Se’  by Britt Samuels  @eyenomedia

Although Each song is different, the tropical/Latino fusion/reggae rock Sé Sound runs through them all, making them instantly recognizable to his fans. “Asi Lo Quiero” (soundtrack for his animated video) moves with a tropical beat as Sé tells us how he likes life, while “No Quiero Bici” is a harder rock-driven story about the choice of skating vs biking on his path through life. “Van Gogh” moves back to the tropical feel, but the lyrics are delivered with a deadpan, tongue-in-check voice as Sé and his guest musician Professor Galactico wax about many things, including bananas.

CARLOS-SE album cover.jpg

“Esperame” shifts into pop rock with a solid hook, moved along by Fritz Zar’s excellent drumming. “Mi Probre Corazon” stays with the fast tempo but sparkles with accents from Moises Banqueiro on the Glockenspiel, synth and percussion instruments.  The EP wraps up with a big grin of a song, “Negrita”, a danceable, feel-good pop-rock pastel with a serious message.

The Sé Sound is the result of a unique and talented band and combination of instruments. Latin percussion, Glockenspiel, keyboard, melodica, trumpet, trombone, bass, sax, drums, electric and acoustic guitars all come together in a sound that is the Sé signature.  Nothing else comes close.

carlos se from drumkit. creit britt samuels of eyeonmedia

Carlos Se’ live. photo: Britt Samuels @eyenomedia

The band consists of  Nicholas Curiel on electric guitar and melodica, drums and keys,  Joseph Quinones on trumpet and bass, Amanda Campos on sax, David Campos on bass, Estaban Flores Valenzuela on keys and Albert Alexander on electric guitar, and Moises Banqueiro and Nicolas Curiel who co-produced with, Carlos Camacho. The album was recorded at South Central LA’s L.A. Collective Studios. Ready Or Not, Here I Come is a great introduction to the music of Carlos Sé.  I can hardly wait for more of the Sé Sound.

Carlos Se. http://carlossemusic.wixsite.com/carlossse

Reader or Not Here I Come. Available on iTunes, Amazon and all digital platforms

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About musicfridaylive (19 Articles)
Patrick O’Heffernan, PhD., is a music journalist and radio broadcaster based in Los Angeles, California, with a global following. His weekly radio program MusicFridayLive! is heard nationwide and in the UK. He focuses on two music specialties: emerging bands in all genres, and the growing LA-based ALM genre (American Latino Music) that combines rock and rap, blues and jazz and pop with music from Latin America like cumbia, banda, jarocho, and mariachi. He is a cyclist, dancing fiend and also likes to watch his friend drag race.

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