When you listen closely, however, you realize that that warm, South American touch is actually a Latin simulation, full of brass samplings and unnatural stops. We’ve been hornswoggled. Señor Coconut is none other than Uwe Schmidt (aka Atom Heart) of Deutschland, who can’t seem to totally shake the schnitzel off his boots. When it comes to music, Schmidt continually reinvents himself, and this time he’s appropriately done it in the company of Emperor Norton, a label named after a failed San Francisco businessman who proclaimed himself emperor of the United States. It seems everyone around followed suit and treated the emperor like royalty, taking part in the virtual game, just as we listeners can take part in the Señor Coconut game.
Bored by Germany, Schmidt moved to Chile, intent on adding the new musical and cultural influences around him into his already established electronic repertoire, saying, “I prefer to break up the artificial with the natural.” And he has, by melding the music of his homeland with the dance beats of his new land. Who can argue with the success of “Tour De France” as a merengue, or finally being able to cumbia to “Trans Europe Express”?
So if you’re tired of Kraftwerk au natural, add some Chilean spice to those old grandfathers of cool mechanical electronica by tasting a little Coconut. You can’t help but shake your American, posing-as-Latin ass.