Steal This Track: The Circus HouseBy Eryc Eyl | February 2nd, 2012 | 3 comments
If you’re bored with the music that’s coming out of Colorado these days, you’re just not paying attention. From stripped-down, backwoods folk to tarted-up, downtown club music, and points in between that include country, jazz, pop, rock, metal, punk, hip-hop, experimental and anything else you’d ever want to hear, our square little state can’t be boxed in. As if to prove that point, we’ve got a track for you to steal that is almost guaranteed to move your body and your soul, and that you’d never guess was made here in Denver. Read on to hear the Circus House.
The Circus House is the performing alter ego of the Blackout Beat Production Company, the duo of brothers Marcos and Armando Garibay, who make their living producing hip-hop, pop, dance and Latin music for artists from all over the world. They also create and sell instrumentals via their website.
The pair came by their love of music via their mother, Ramona Garibay. While the boys were growing up in Durango, Colorado, she started Ballet Colores Latinos, a dance group that performed folklórico, Aztec, salsa, merengue, flamenco and much more all over the region. Ramona and two other members of the troupe were killed tragically in a car accident while returning from a gig in Kansas in 1998, but the impression she left on her sons is carried on through their continued support of traditional Latin dance forms. Armando and Marcos host Latin dance nights at Fuel Cafe (a stone’s throw from their TAXI-based studio), with their father, Guillermo, providing lessons. This past summer, they even sponsored a multi-state tour by Pueblo-based Ballet Folklórico Huehuecoyotl. The Garibays also honor their mother’s activist spirit by supporting Comic Book Classroom, a local nonprofit that promotes literacy through comic books, as well as the Laboratory to Prevent Human Trafficking, Project VOYCE, Slow Food Denver and other progressive organizations.
Ramona Garibay’s legacy is also carried on through the music of the Blackout Beat. The brothers Garibay released their first original album as the Blackout Beat — the reggaeton-influenced “Blackout Revolution — in 2007, and followed it up in 2010 with the more electro-sounding “TBA.” At the very end of 2011, Marcos and Armando quietly issued a concept album called “The Circus House.”
“The Circus House is the Blackout Beat’s band,” explains Marcos Garibay. “Kind of like N.E.R.D. is the band of Pharrell and Chad Hugo.”
Bubbling with club-friendly beats, shimmering with catchy melodies and sizzling with the Blackout Beat’s radio-ready production, “The Circus House” — produced by Armando — includes captivating vocal performances from Abigail Freed (a.k.a. Abigail Framptious) and Marie Robertson from Denver chamber pop trio Story & Clark. Robertson positively lights up even the album’s more downtempo tracks, like standouts “Dim” and “Smile Again,” while Freed adds sass and punch to tunes like the single, “Messy Heat.” You can steal that song right here, then pop over to the Blackout Beat website to download “The Circus House” in its entirety, absolutely free. Then, make sure you get out to catch the live Blackout Beat/Circus House experience. They’ll be at Lost Lake on Feb 9, and at Leela’s European Cafe on Feb 10.
Please note that downloads offered via Steal This Track are intended to whet your appetite, and are NOT CD-quality recordings. If you want those, please support the artists by buying their music and/or seeing them live.
If you’re a band or musician ready to expose your fresh sounds to the readers of Reverb, email your tracks — along with any interesting facts about them, as well as a photo or album art — to Eryc Eyl for consideration.
Eryc Eyl is a veteran music journalist, critic and Colorado native who has been neck-deep in local music for many years. Check out Steal This Track for local music you can HEAR, and the Mile High Makeout for stories about Denver musicians doing extraordinary things. Against his mother’s advice, Eryc has also been known to tweet. You can also follow Steal This Track on Twitter. Sorry, Mom.