The first release from South American based project Monsieur Job, conceived by Basswalk Latino head Jose Fernando Holguin, is a track penned by band members Stan Kolev and Toby Holguin entitled “Chow Chow eyyy Pow Pow”. The three and a half minute radio edit of this initial offering from the quartet is augmented by the presence of guest star Martin Cintron, lead singer for the band No Mercy, and the Bronx born vocalist is the added cherry on top of what will likely prove one of 2018’s more delectable musical confections. The band are, primarily, Columbian natives with the lone exception of Kolev, a Bulgarian born talent who brings a strong European influence to the Latin/Caribbean cauldron bubbling throughout this track. It makes for a wildly vigorous hybrid. Despite being delivered in Spanish, the song will appeal to a vast cross-section of musical lovers and even hardcore devotees will find much to admire thanks to the obvious substance helping it stand apart.
It makes some demands of the listener, but none they won’t be happy to oblige. The demands are centered on how artfully “Chow Chow eyyy Pow Pow” upends expectations for pop music in this vein thanks to its strong musical pedigree and vocal presentation. The performance is unfailingly accessible, but there’s a real sophistication present in the song as well. Much of that sophistication is present in the instrumental layering that distinguishes the radio edit – synthesizer, guitar, drums, and some other subtle musical touches make this a far deeper aural experience than we’re accustomed to from music in this style. The band’s flawless fusion of Latin rhythms with urban, hip hop/EDM influenced beats is a spectacular success and never seems to strain for its effects. Instead, this music unwinds with a hard strut that hits listeners quick.
We don’t hear any of that strut with Martin Citron’s singing. Instead, Citron underlines the immense stylishness underpinning many aspects of the performance without ever diverting the spotlight away from the musical contributions. He conjures some real atmospherics with his singing and a little post-production assistance, but there’s always genuine gravitas in the way he delivers the lyric. The words are Spanish, but even those who don’t speak the language will find a lot of pleasure in his vocal performance regardless of that obstacle. It’s sensual, a little bluesy, and aching with tangible emotion. Citron’s contributions to the song are enormous and he really makes himself a part of the track’s fabric. The tapestry of “Chow Chow eyyy Pow Pow” is colorful and makes for a gripping contrast with the Stan Kolev remix paired with this release. Kolev’s remix is a little longer and definitely favors a more electronic, less organic, approach but deserves its admirers as well. Monsieur Job has enough stylistic dexterity already apparent to sustain a lengthy artistic and musical journey, but we can be sure they will only improve and expand their range with time. There’s really no telling where they may go from here, but it will be interesting to watch and listen.
Originally published in No Depression magazine.