Soca music is a modern iteration of calypso music that originated in Trinidad and Tobago in the 1970s, particularly in the capital city Port of Spain. Soca artists combine the Afro-Caribbean rhythms of traditional calypso with the music of India and dancehall beats that gained popularity in Trinidad and Tobago during the 1970s. Effectively, Soca music is a combination of West Indian and East Indian rhythmic traditions. It is also distinct from calypso in its use of multi-track recording technology, which allowed Soca musicians to commit more sophisticated rhythmic ideas to recordings.
Currently players like Oral Saxman Rodriguez, who comes out of Trinidad and Tobago, is keeping the Soca industry in vogue. Rodriquez has performed with the top Soca artists in Trinidad and Tobago for more than twenty years.
He has spent time performing with bands like XTATIK (featuring lead singer Machel Montano known as the Soca King), Asylum Band (featuring Bunji Garlin & Fay Ann Lyons), and Destra Garcia. He is currently performing with D All Starz and is also a member of the TTPS band. Rodriguez has now begun his solo journey with the single, “Soca Sax”.
Many emotions are traversed on the journey through “Soca Sax’s” densely layered sound jungle, but the majority of it is resplendent in shimmering rhythm. Resonant horns heave and sigh atop gauzy keys, and chimes which twinkle across busy percussion.
Sounds are manipulated to create tactile joy in puddles of sonic warmth. The whole experience is highly infectious, referencing the language of Calypso to convey Oral Saxman Rodriguez’s extravagant world of Soca sound.
Bold melodic saxophone lines and captivating sound design, creates a vibrant musical restlessness. This is an inspired single and potential goldmine of samples for future generations. Every sonic element of “Soca Sax” is nothing short of pure perfection.
The track was executive produced by Mychael Reid, produced and mastered by Stadic, and mixed by Garvin Marcelle at GNote Studio. It really shows off Oral Saxman Rodriguez’s finely tuned skill as sax player. His playing is warm, emotive and strong without being too showy.
As can be expected, “Soca Sax” is sassy and brassy, with Oral Saxman Rodriguez’s saxophone taking center stage throughout, while the spirited beat struts alongside him. There’s a colorful joy in tracing the movements of a song like this, watching textures and rhythms coalesce and dance like ripples in wildly flowing river.
Soca stands for “soul of calypso,” and it was pretty much invented in the 1970s by Trinidadian artist Lord Shorty. Soca has since evolved into dance-friendly, studio-produced music for any generation, and Oral Saxman Rodriguez lays it all on the line so sweetly.
Oral Saxman Rodriguez makes this track so bright, vibrant and colorful, to the point where you’ll be looking forward, in sheer anticipation, to his next release. Perhaps it has something to do with the fact Rodriquez has kept very good musical company over the years.
Along with being tremendously gifted on his own, when you take such a talent and meld it with other great talents, what you end up with is a very special artist who has fine-tuned his skills through all of his musical experiences. Overall, “Soca Sax” is a scintillating release.