Hermanos Gutiérrez On Unknown Sundays 2024


There’s is just something alluring, dangerous, and erotic about the desert soundscape.  The Ennio Morricone Italian western mood intoxication, the wonder, and the majestic rolling landscapes coming to live via audio.  I am pure sucker for instrumental mood and sound designs somehow depicting and setting a mood and tone.  Hermanos Gutiérrez on Unknown Sundays is the perfect duo with six degrees of separation as to how I came to find them just at the beginning of last year.  That’s right, I started off with their album, Eternamente, which is a compilation recording.  Usually, that is not where I start, but I didn’t understand the title apparently.  Let me tell you the four degrees of separation that got me to this mood setting, Latin-classical fused duo that I first touted on #album4today on last day of August 2023.  But first, let’s give you a history of this Swiss duo.

That’s right, I said Switzerland, but that’s via Playas, Ecuador.  The two brothers of four were born of their Ecuadorian mother, married to a Swiss father.  So, Zurich it is, where Estevan studied  classical Latin guitar styles of milonga, salsa, and others, while being wavered (no pun intended) by surfer guitar sounds of the time.  Alejandro, eight years younger, has to play fast catch up, making fast work of learning guitar and expanding to steel pedal as well.  Eventually, the duo Hermanos Gutiérrez (obviously, the Gutiérrez Brothers) with Alejandro Gutiérrez (guitar and lap steel) and Estevan Gutiérrez (guitar and percussion).

Their first album, 8 Años, would be derived close to the classical Latin influence of guitar, playing close in style and flow, but in perfect tone, pitch, while evoking that element of mystery, intrigue and soundscape.  A beautiful recording for a first outing in the independent world.  El Camino de mi Alma and Hoy Como Ayer, the next two records, still held some closeness to tempo and Latin classical guitar works, but it is the production here, and the honing of their sound projection which is the stand up and take notice part.  Obviously, all of this coming with slight influences from the sound world around them, but not completely influenced by the western world (and when I say this, I’m talking in both sense of the word’s use).  Influence of Mexico, and the desert of the Western United States definitely shine and set moods and tones throughout the album I probably would put at my favorite, Hijos del Sol.  You can hear the change, maturity and attention to the influences, moods and potential experiences, which heighten the ear-filled experience.  And they have not looked back, retraced a solitary sand step or horse lead hoof — since.  Their latest from 2022, El Bueno Y El Malo, is a testimony to this, and definitely an album that keeps trying to steal my soul’s ear (more on that as we talk about the six degrees of separation that lead me to them).

Now the first degree of separation.  Tito & Tarantula’s work on the soundtrack, From Dusk Till Dawn, the movie by Robert Rodriguez, written by Quentin Tarantino.  ‘After Dark’ was the song, and beyond the vocals (which are cool Tequila wrapped perfection) there’s this hidden world beyond the horizon of the desert.  It’s tempting, dangerous, and mystical.  Oh yeah, I’m in!  From there I go back to the soundtrack to Desperado, another Rodriguez film, that Tito & Tarantula has ‘Strange Face of Love’ and then it’s ‘La Flor De Mal/Flower Of Evil’ from their catalog.  So, I’m ramping up.

Next, it’s Rodgrio y Gabriela, and that female Flamenco intensity and electric guitar virtuosity duo, which I had been listening to since Re-Froc (2006) that somehow brought me closer to the Swiss duo.  And it was during a listen to 9 Dead Alive’s (2014) ‘Misty Moses,’ during a writing session, where Google Play (now You Tube Music) wanted to lead me to Hermanos Gutiérrez, but I didn’t click on it right away — just made a written note.

The third degree of separation is the easiest, which I mentioned above.  Ennio Morricone is a heavy influence in this genre, almost as if, somehow, Italian composer extraordinaire somehow embodied the flavor, setting and dangerous mood of the Latin, Western world.  And for that, the Good the Bad and the Ugly, remains at the majestic mountain top of that soundscape, and an obvious influencer to me and to all those musicians within this mysterious musical environment.

The fourth, fifth and six degrees of separation come together nicely, and in the same circle/wheelhouse.  Third, Calexico, who just might be the best desert, jazz, Spanish tinted quasi-rock band in the industry today. When listening to their latest, El Mirador from 2022, the suggestion again became obvious (it’s funny, now that I try to make it happen it won’t make that connection — damn you algorithm).  So, now I’m taking notice, and I’m nearly ready to take the plunge, but for some reason they slip away from me for nearly a year?  Well, in my fifth degree, I’m doing research that takes me from Zella Day and Marcus King to the surprise producer, Dan Auerbach.  Yes, The Black Keys front man.  What’s his ear in the game?  I’m surprised to see his listing of all the production he’s done.  It’s the perfect anecdotal information that I used on Beyond Your Radio.  Cool, so I’m looking at all the entries, and there it is, 2022’s, El Bueno Y El Malo from Hermanos Gutiérrez.  I’m immediately drawn to the successful ear of the list of that which Dan Auerbach has helped, so they are now a click away from being heard!  And, at the same time, via social media (somehow), one of my favorites in the genre of that desert mood rock-jazz bending bands, Khruangin is remembering/touting the very same band as their soon to be opening act!  Seal the deal, click Hermanos Gutiérrez, and I grab compilation album, Enternamente., for which I’m an eternally grateful to all of these bands that made this journey to them what it was!

Their catalog is extremely tight, and if you love everything I just talked about, this is where you now need to click and land.  Walk the desert instrumental Latin tinged western soundscapes and mystique wrapped up beautifully by this Swiss-Ecuadorian duo.  This is music to cook by, entertain by, or lose yourself to.  Don’t be surprised if they show up in Beyond Your Radio’s Meal To Music series soon!  Bon-ear-petit!

I have not secured a Hermanos Gutiérrez Album For My Collection Yet! (but here they are again in order):
  • 8 Años  (2017)
  • El Camino de mi Alma (2018)
  • Hoy Como Ayer (2019)
  • Hijos del Sol (2020)
  • Eternamente (2021) – Compilation Album
  • El Bueno y el Malo (2022)
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