Album Release: Congo Sanchez - 'Dealin' With This'

Herb Records is proud to announce the release of Congo Sanchez's first full length album. 'Dealin' With This' is out today and ready to hijack your soundwaves. The originality and passion that went into the creation of the record can be heard in every track. Click play on this and let your ears do the talking. Listen to and buy the album here:

For more insight into this album and the passion that forged it see the official press release.

New Single Release: Congo Sanchez - "Dealin' With This"

Our night just got better because Congo Sanchez has gifted us one more sneak peak, and its the title track off their new album that drops tomorrow! This song really drives home the theme of this records and the message behind the project. Haile Supreme's heartfelt chorus surrounded by Flex Mathew's crisp lyrics gives this song it's soul. An array of drums and synths supported by a mysterious keys section maintain this album's uniqueness. Don't forget that you can buy the album tomorrow on iTunes!!

"The album's title track, "Dealin' With This," stems from the original sessions where the band first started to collaborate. The song opens with a sample recorded on Congo's phone while he was sitting in traffic one day. He was listening to a program on first hand accounts of Japanese Americans during World War II, and their accounts of being segregated out of society and put into prison camps. This particular excerpt is a Japanese woman discussing her experience and that of an American "white boy" who's sympathy for the imprisoned Japanese Americans became to great, so he had to leave knowing that the society around him was not sympathetic towards the situation of the prisoners. Before Haile's vocal even comes in, the listener already feels the depth of this song. The chorus represents the disbelief that one goes thru when dealing with loss, tragedy, war or depression. The band has dedicated this song to all who have lost a loved one, and was inspired by the loss of the youngest in Jeffrey's family, his little brother Nicholas Toms Franca. The words of Flex on this tune hit very close to home when aware of the topic at hand. Coupled with Haile's pre-chorus chant and desperate vocal melody, the trio shines to the fullest on this one. The rhythm of the beat is very unique with the characteristic world percussion layers of Congo's productions. An atonal synth pattern and dense production style is representative of the chaotic feeling of a life out of control flying by without slowing down, and the strength that it takes to get back up to speed, merging back into the lane that takes you back to your path."

-Congo Sanchez            

Vapor, Smoking Reinvented

Herb Records is a collective of musicians, innovators, and creative thinkers, and we encourage living outside the box. A new life experience is something to be savored, so I wanted to share my most recent enlightenment with all of you. It started when I accidentally walked into my first vapor bar last week. I was intriguingly perplexed as to what was going on in this new age facility. It looked like a normal bar from the exterior but there weren't very many people inside. It smelled like a hookah lounge but there were no hookahs in sight. Everyone inside was sardined around the elegant oak bar reaching and pointing over each other. At the bar there was a frenzy of avid patrons that I suppose were all looking to try the hot new flavor. Each "vaporizer" (someone who vaporizes?) seated or standing at the bar was clutching a metallic device which I only assumed to be the vaporizing apparatus.  During my brief stint standing in the doorway with my jaw on the floor, I gathered that customers could rent out the apparatus while at the bar and sample various flavors of vapor. Everyone was intently staring and gesturing to the repurposed wine rack lining the wall behind the bar tenders. Once apparently satisfied they would then point to a selection on the wall and the bar tender would hand them their choice. Each flavor was scrawled on a white adhesive label and stuck to a metallic container. I thought for a brief moment that they were serving medical cannabis in an open bar setting, but common sense took over as I knew that could not be true.

Then I noticed the discheveled looking 18 and 19 year olds sitting on the post-modern furniture lining the exterior of the room. They all looked as if they were gasping for their first breaths of oxygen in a few hours. None of them were speaking, but they were all staring into their various electronic devices. This was the moment my bewilderment faded and I realized what had attracted my attention in the first place. It was the heated chess game going on in the front window. Now with my horizons expanded once more I moved on along down the street towards the next string of pubs while still pondering what I had just seen. Our grandparent's generation went to cigar bars and dipped their Cubans in brandy. Now we vaporize artificial flavors on space-age carpentry while narcissistically posting about it on five different social media networks. I'll stick to walking.

Read the recent study released about e-cigarette health risks here: 

New Single Release: Congo Sanchez - "Out On The Road"

The life of a touring musician is not as glamorous as it's made out to be and the perils of fleeting relationships are a common song. Everything hits home in this track starting with the dancy beat lead by Haile Supreme's powerful chorus. Lacing it all together with true-to-life verses is the groups resident rhyme sayer, Flex Mathews. The cherry on top of this sundae are the original voicemails provided by the band members that open and close this tune. Enjoy track 6 from Congo Sanchez's new album 'Dealin' With This'.

"The beginning of "Out on the road" sets the mood perfectly for the topic of the song to come. The band chose to sample actual voicemails that they've received over the years, to paint a picture of the different types of relationships that one may encounter when living the life of a touring musician. The chord progression on this jam is full of emotion with an old school driving house bass line. The band shows their skills in all directions featuring Haile's versatile voice on the intro and choruses, and the stellar MC work of Flex Mathews on the verses. This is the band as you will see them live in their pure form, as they have been for the first year of their existence. The energy level of this song is high, and the beat, an up tempo 4 on the floor with sounds of the brazilian underground, blended with the deep vibes of Chicago and Detroit. "Out On The Road" is a playful, polyrhythmic, dance masterpiece"

-Congo Sanchez           

New Single Release: Congo Sanchez - "Love Lost" feat. Mr. Lif

Love Lost, a theme that tears at your heartstrings and stirs deep emotions. To keep you centered Congo has teamed up with another of his Thievery Corporation bandmates and underground hip-hop regular, Mr. Lif.  Backed by ghostly female vocals, Mr. Lif tells the lonesome tale of a woman in search of her lost love. His unique delivery weaves symbiotically with Congo's west coast approach to this track. Synths and a nostalgic 808 are just the beginning to why this song will keep you listening over and over. 

"Love Lost," a collaboration between Congo and Mr. Lif, finds it's spot batting clean up on the record and does nothing short of knocking it out of the park. The song, based on a melody from Turkish Psychedelic Singer Kamuran Akkor, describes a journey in which a girl follows her heart all over the world in search for her lost love. She goes through physical and emotional perils leading almost to her death. Mr. Lif's vocals paint a clear picture evoking emotion throughout the verses. He presents many archetypal instances of love and shows his depth and wisdom with his creative approach. The beat on this track will take you back. Filled out with a hypnotic modal guitar, accompanied by an 808 holding down the low end, and just enough vintage synths to bring you into outer-space and back, this song will find its way into your timeless folder for sure."

-Congo Sanchez          

New Single Release: Congo Sanchez - "Stand Beside Yourself"

If you haven't yet been entranced by the feeling and soul that has been woven into this album you will hear it ringing loud and clear in this track. "Stand By Yourself" is the third song from Congo Sanchez's new album 'Dealin' With This', and it is soaked in the band's passion for life, originality, and appreciation for the moment. Inspiring lyrics accompanied by a myriad of electronic and recorded sounds confirms another success from the anticipated full-length release. Pre-order 'Dealin With This' here.

"Since the inception of the collective, Haile, Flex, and Congo have been writing together, collaborating on new ideas, and reworking old sketches into fruition. "Stand Beside Yourself," is a brand new collaboration that features a fresh take on rhythm, paying homage to the bands love for dub style music. Haile's soaring vocal depicts a message of humility and understanding. A humble response to the various facets of our world that continue to condemn others who come from a different culture or belief system. In 2014 we have seen a resurgence of bigotry and a further separation of the people. This is supposed to be behind us as a society but the political agendas seem to be perpetuating this style of rule. A moment outside of thyself is what this song is about. A pure moment where all is seen for its true purpose not monetary or political value. Special Guest Ras Nebyu continues with a verse describing his process for which he achieves these moments in his own life, and the struggle that sometimes arises when he tries to stand beside his-self. Polished off with a blend of live and electronic sounds, the moments created musically in this track are equally as euphoric as that moment when you can truly remove and reflect."

-Congo Sanchez                        

New Single Release: Congo Sanchez - "Are You ready"

As promised, Congo Sanchez has released track 2 off their upcoming album, 'Dealin' With This', and it is a banger! This song will keep your mind in the realm of hip-hop while getting your dancing shoes moving. A groovy dance beat lead by the soothing and sensual vocals of Brittany Tanner, keeps you strangely calm yet motivated to adventure into the night. Put this one on repeat because its going to be your evening's theme song. 

"Are You Ready," introduces the soulful voice of the girl next door, Brittany Tanner. Brittany's vocals are longing for love and not just of any kind. She is thirsty for fresh culture, for love of time well spent, and feels as though her music can open the eyes of people blinded by her societies agenda. She wants desperately to give her love to somebody but struggles to find a like minded mate so she puts her energy into music in belief that following her passion will lead her to the true love she seeks. The verse recited by Congo, ties the message together and further calls out the mindless repetition of a society blinded by the dollar. The production on this song stands out with flourishes of jazz marimba, blended with an up beat two step dance beat. A deep approach to hip hop made to free your spirit on the dance-floor."

-Congo Sanchez               

New Single Release: Congo Sanchez - "Gentrified Children"

In the honor of telling the real story behind this album, Congo Sanchez will be debuting each song in the order in which it plays on the CD. Over the next week and half, a new track will be released for streaming each day until the release date. Along with each track release comes a personal note from the group about the inspirations of the song and what the lyrics mean to the bandmates. Today marks the release of Track 1 of 10 from Congo Sanchez's brand new full length release titled 'Dealin' With This'. 

"Gentrified Children," brings the listener in close with a beautifully orchestrated introduction that sets the tone for the record. Once settled into the groove, the vocals enter with a mixed choir of familial youth, and the bands singers. The first lyrics are sung from the perspective of a child living in a world where gentrification is running rampant, and the beauty of variance and randomness is tarnished by a society on repeat, only finding comfort in that which is familiar. This message is further depicted by Flex Mathews' verse on the bridge section where he describes the affects of gentrification on his own neighborhood as he has witnessed it in Columbia Heights, Washington DC. The track finishes out with a blend of live and electronic beats accompanied by a rock solid bass line and a psychedelic wash of voices, dripping synths and organic sounds. An AM radio then tunes into the next song, paying homage to the vibrations in the atmosphere that pass through us everyday unknowingly."

-Congo Sanchez              

New Single Release: Congo Sanchez - "A Shadow Left Behind"

Congo Sanchez teases our ear drums today with the release of this very vibey single, "A Shadow Left Behind", from the upcoming full length album 'Dealin' With This'. All members of Congo Sanchez are featured on the track exhibiting their vocal and lyrical prowess, including a feature by the Washington Slizzard's very own Ras Nebyu. With layers of MPC and live drums this track rolls out of the speakers and keeps your foot tapping. Later in the cut a melodic xylophone that takes your mind and weaves you into the composition, blends perfectly with the heart-felt, and painful guitar solos constructed by Colin Thomas. This song is a looking glass into the message and passion behind this album. In the sincerest words of creator Jeff 'Congo' Sanchez, "This is the opus, the heart of the record."

This album drops on November 18th but the pre-order is available today! Show your support for independent and conscious music here:

'Dealin' With This' Tour Dates Announced

While you sit and wonder when you might have the opportunity to vibe with the positivity and creative rhythms of Congo Sanchez we are happy to deliver your answer. Today the Congo Sanchez crew posted the dates of their brief tour following the release of the new record, 'Dealin' With This', which is due out on November 18th. This trio, made up of a master percussionist and producer, and two of DC's finest lyricists, is going to be kicking up dust on the road this November. They will be joined for the majority of the tour by Herb Record's own audio man of mystery, DJ/Producer extraordinaire, and big wave couch surfer… Sofa King. All tour dates are listed on the tour flyer below, visit our event calendar for more information here:

Shed The Dreads

Leading into his first full-length release, Jeff "Congo" Franca, creator of Congo Sanchez, has shed his signature dreadlocks in support of less toxic treatments for childhood cancers.  Having suffered the loss of his younger brother to Neuroblastoma, Congo holds this cause very dearly to his heart. The idea to raise money and shed the dreads was met with an overwhelming amount of support. Within a few days of announcing his fundraising campaign he had cleared his goal of $15,000. He has since raised over $23,000 and there is still two weeks left to donate! If you would like to donate please click here: All of the money raised goes to Band of Parents, an organization that has been set up and is run by the Franca family and other passionate individuals. Although the campaign continues onward, the dreads have not. Enjoy this message from Congo and his family as they celebrate the life of his brother and the official shedding of the dreads!

Congo Sanchez - 'Dealin' With This'



Album Drops November 18th, 2014

"With all of the injustices that are going on with the world, we feel it is important to make music that documents our feelings and perspectives during these times. Our music is a reaction to police brutality, unjust war for profit, pharmaceutical poisoning of the youth, the caste system, media exploitation, gentrification, societal ignorance, religion, sexism, racism and love."

- Jeffrey James Franca

‘Dealin' With This,’ the first full length LP from Congo Sanchez is an amalgamation of musical influences symbiotically continuing the unique sound achieved by producer and creator Jeffrey James Franca, AKA "Congo". The album features the vocal talents of band members Flex Mathews and Haile Supreme, as well as special guests Mr. Lif, Ras Nebyu, and Brittany Tanner. The most unique cameo of the album is a choir comprised of the bands nieces and nephews featured on the opening cut, "Gentrified Children". Each song on the album tells a different story, touching on the real life experiences of the band. Experiences ranging from the perils of life on the road, broken hearts and dreams, to deceased family members and political protest pieces. ‘Dealin' With This’ takes a real approach to composition and pushes the boundaries musically and socially. It is a refreshing, relatable presentation of word and sound, with a relevant and thought provoking message.

The evolution of this ensemble has happened naturally over the past year and a half. Having already captivated audiences from coast to coast, and now with the completion their first full length record, it is clear that Congo, Haile and Flex are on the rise as a cutting edge musical force. Congo's time as the drummer for Thievery Corporation has clearly had an effect on his ear as he continues to explore the down-tempo, reggae mezcla, with an obvious hip-hop overtone to the composition. Listeners will hear an array of sounds and rhythms, paying homage to the roots of music with thick layers of percussion; signature to the Congo Sanchez sound. All of this accompanied by a conscious message and an authentic lyrical approach creates a superb listening experience.

Revolutionary music of the past has historically been instrumental in social progress and civil change. The group reminds us that our guard cannot be let down, that artists can and must continue to use music as a tool for social awareness. In the words of the great Stevie Wonder, "Have we really come this far through space and time, or is this just a vision in my mind?" Based on the current events of this generation, it sadly confirms that the progress portrayed is merely a mirage, a facade to maintain the blissful ignorance of the general public. With this first full-length album Congo Sanchez draws their line in the sand and invites you to join them. 

Available for Download: Herb Records 2013

The soulfully electronic mix, 'Herb Records 2013', curated by Congo Sanchez is now available on BandCamp! The initial release from Herb Records is offered for free download with an optional donation. Any donations received will be allocated towards our efforts to promote the music of Herb Records artists, spread our positive message of healthy alternative living, while also raising money for charities like our current benefactor, Band of Parents. Herb Records, Congo Sanchez, Hydrophonics, and Groove Status give our thanks to you for listening and supporting our collective efforts.

<a href="">Herb Records 2013 by Herb Records</a>

New Release: Herb Records 2013

Herb Records is thrilled to announce the debut of our first release, 'Herb Records 2013', which includes the musical works of Congo Sanchez, Hydrophonics, and Groove Status. Their complementary skills and sounds are compiled into a 40 minute mix - bringing the vibe of the Herb Records collective to your eardrums for the first time. This organic approach to studio production pays homage to classic downtempo, trip/hip-hop, and dub reggae, with a modern blend of moombah, dance, and world-funk rhythms.

Herb Records 2013 Tour

Announcing the Herb Records 2013 Tour featuring Congo Sanchez, with Groove Status, Hydrophonics, Flex Mathews, and Haile Supreme. The cardinal release from Herb Records, simply titled 'Herb Records 2013', will be available for streaming on November 5, and for free download on November 12. Make an appearance at a show near you and align your mind with the sonic vibrations of the Herb Records Collective. FINAL_Poster_All_Dates

Introducing the Herb Records Collective

Herb Records 2013, which will be officially released on November 5, 2013, includes the musical works of Congo Sanchez, Hydrophonics, and Groove Status. Their complementary skills and sounds are compiled into a 40 minute mix – bringing the vibe of the Herb Records collective to your eardrums for the first time. This organic approach to studio production pays homage to classic downtempo, trip/hip-hop, and dub reggae, with a modern blend of moombah, dance, and world-funk rhythms. This compilation sets the tone for the launch of Herb Records, the music label founded by Congo Sanchez. 1385807_463688753750887_881965987_n

Congo’s time touring and recording with Thievery Corporation has had an incredible influence on his sound; his multifaceted experiences shine through the aesthetic delivered in this mix. His new sounds accentuate his drumming roots, showing a progression into a percussion-heavy mix for the dance floor. Hydrophonics, an experienced producer and live-looping genius, adds a crisp layer of consistently fresh sounds and urban-inspired beats. His track, “Sunrise,” is an awakening introduction to the mix. Groove Status is a master of all that is funky, with a groove-hop flavor that adds a smooth bounce to electronic dance tunes. His first track enters the mix at about twelve minutes in, with a sexy vibe that lives up to its name, “Love Sauce.” The three artists together make up the high-grade sound that is Herb Records.


The three artists together make up the high-grade sound that is Herb Records. You can catch the whole collective DJing and performing live at “Pura Vibra” at Tropicalia, in Washington D.C. on October 25, 2013. This November, Congo will be joined by Hydrophonics for his East coast tour, and will continue into the West coast later in the month - refer to the listing below to find a show near you.