Since we last corresponded, we’ve been hit with a few fantastic albums that you should know about. So let’s get right to it.
Nicola Cruz – Siku
Over the last several years, we’ve seen an emergence of Latin & South American producers mixing folk and traditional music with electronic beats. Perhaps you’ve spent some time in Tulum or Burning Man recently, where these sounds have become ubiquitous. One of the more prominent names in this scene is Ecuadorian producer Nicola Cruz.
Cruz’s music reflects his fascination with Latin American cosmology, as he evokes the landscapes, rituals and roots of South American identity (its Andean and African origins in particular). In fact, his latest album Siku is named for a wind instrument of Andean origin. Siku is highly symbolic in ancestral rituals, made up of two separate, complementary parts: the arca and the ira. It is a representation of duality, an essential element of the indigenous world view, associated with involvement and complementarity. Take a listen to the second single from the album “Arka” which I believe is an ode to “arca.” By the way, this song was recorded in a cave inside the Ilaló Volcano near Quito, the capital of Ecuador. Imagine that!
Sneaks – Highway Hypnosis
I first became aware of Eva Moolchan – better known as Sneaks – a few years ago with the releases of It’s A Myth (which made my top ten most slept on albums of 2017). At 19 years old, I found her to be a refreshing voice in the otherwise male dominated post-punk scene. Straightforward vocals, bass, drum machine, and electronics are what I’ve come to expect from a Sneaks project. However, Highway Hypnosis, is unlike anything else we’ve heard from her.
After the release of It’s A Myth and between the recording of this new album, Moolchan toured extensively. One can imagine all of the new experiences gained by long stints on the road, and how they may spark just as many new interests. Also, just think for a moment how much one grows from the age of 19 to 22. The combination of these two facts are what informed Moolchan’s creative process with Highway Hypnosis. Even though the album comes in just under 30 mins, it’s her longest project to date and is an evolved reflection of her art. This new album has moments of that post-punk sound and angst that defined her first two releases, but the sound of Highway is more like a fusion of trap and grime created in an ethereal world. A great example of this is “Hong Kong to Amsterdam.”
Oh, yeah, and go Rams – happy Super Bowl 🙂