Pachyman, the LA-based one-man dub band of multi-instrumentalist Pachy García, hails from San Juan, Puerto Rico, where he grew up immersed in the music of local reggae heroes Cultura Profética and classic Jamaican dub records from King Tubby and Scientist. After relocating to Los Angeles, he fell in with the weekly Echo Park reggae night Dub Club and began creating his own dub music, influenced by the Caribbean sounds of his youth, and recording guitar, bass, drums and piano in his basement studio, which he calls 333 House. García began to organically build an enthused following among the reggae community and was recently given the 2021 Discovery Award at this year’s Latin Alternative Music Conference.
García started posting home performance videos at the beginning of the pandemic and got so many responses from people saying the clips cheered them up that he started seeing the goal of the project to radiate good energy and give his audience something to disconnect from the negativity of the world.
It’s 2021, time for The Return of Pachyman, Puerto Rico’s emerging master of rub-a-dub style. The Caribbean island’s paradisiacal lure as a mecca of Afro-Caribbean music is usually expressed through upbeat genres like salsa and reggaetón. But that doesn’t mean it isn’t a place for skanking guitars and echoing fat beats, conjuring up massive walls of sound.
García is perhaps best known as the drummer/vocalist for the L.A.-based band Prettiest Eyes, a unique pop-noise project that reflects his other formative interest, synth punk. He thinks of his new recording, called The Return of Pachyman, the way King Tubby would, an “x-ray” of reggae music, breaking it down to its bare bones. Designed to be a resurrection of sound systems from the past through which we can celebrate a post-Trump future, the record shows that blasting off into reggae’s deep space has never gone out of style. It’s a high-flying journey into a different kind of dub vibe, as García tells it, by composing songs “in major keys, which is not as common with reggae nowadays.”
With The Return of Pachyman, García wants to show how the Caribbean flow is transnational, a vibe that resounds from Jamaica to San Juan to Southern California. "With this project, I was looking to make positive music and radiate good energy; something to kinda disconnect from the negative things that were happening at the moment," Garcia explained. "I am trying to make this project a service for humanity in the sense that I just wanted to shine a positive light.”