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NICOLA CRUZ

I Lost My Poncho In Istanbul presents to you a fresh selection of bomb tracks from Ecuadorian mastermind Nicola Cruz and the Brazilian label honcho Pigmalião. The new release ILPI003 exposes new identities from both artists and a pursuit of representing some of their South American references comprised by either local indigenous expressions mixed with afro rhythms exploited in a more obscure, avant-garde and electronic intended soundscapes.”

Calypso is back with a new instalment of their world exploration in the search for new sounds. This time and with the help of Nicola Cruz they choose to showcase the city of Quito. In Nicola's own words: "From the highlands of the Equator, an eclectic sound develops in multiples forms: tension, gravity, drums...un-dusted elements from old records, retranslated to tape in order to revive the emotion. All the tracks in this compilation have been assembled through different experimental methods, as this is something that characterizes our creation around here. The work of FE, Quixosis, NTFL (from the city of Ibarra) and my self represent in this record some of the underground fields that this city offers". Indeed an experimental way to experience this city through the sounds of this 4 amazing producers.

Nicola Cruz, fresh off his sophomore album, returns to Multi Culti with HYBRIDISM, an expansive EP that sees the Ecuadorian producer present a modern exotica of North African rhythms, ethereal Persian melodies, and chants from distant and imagined cultures.

'Aima’, named after the refrain sung by Igbo girls from Nigeria, creates the illusion that you’ve dusted off a lost LP. The aesthetic details recall expertly produced French exotica from the 70s, an overall feeling of warmth and character rarely pulled off with such panache.

‘Naeku,' in Cruz’s words, is "a sorrowful song in minor tonalities, but with a warrior energy, strength and forward vision: a soul departs, but a new one arrives in the name of Naeku, a maasai child. Not all grief needs to be a suffering; a feeling which I can relate to the place I come from with a Quechua word: Llaquilla - triste, pero feliz (sad, but happy). As always, the 303 adds that heart touching feeling.” If there’s a template for Multi Culti’s ethos, Cruz has synthesized the formula: Masai lamentation filtered through Quechua wisdom with a touch of 303 for the soul.

'Drom Tradisie' is a nostalgic vignette that captures the fantasy of a scenic horizon on a lost beach, a portrait done with the FM domain of synths that somehow associates with tropical imagery.

'Third Eye Dub’ takes things deeper, exploring the fractal realm of concentration, a point where the Oud (played by Nasiri) acts on the pineal gland. This inward journey through the cavernous depths of the subconscious sails on a smooth modular groove that transports the listener across this psychic expanse, a filigree of Persian harmonies (in Shur, to be exact) tracing outlines in the dark.

Finally, 'Kawe’s Dream’ ventures even further into the imaginary spaces of the mind. It is an aural reconstruction of the Tibetan Bardo Thodol, or ‘Book of the Dead’, a sacred text that guides the spirit through the passage out of the body. In Nicola’s words "To paint that depth, I had these Tibetan chants in mind, that I ended up crafting with Ableton's vocoder over a piece of Ayan’s vocals (sung in a made-up language). A few notes, and it gave the gravity I was looking for in the song.” Stuff that only a producer as capable as Cruz could pull off.

Hybridism’s five tracks are sonically diverse, yet all possess an ephemeral quality, a pastoral, transitory feeling that travels through the music - we listen to the sounds pass us by, we might even catch a hook or two, but the feeling is of sand running through our hands, deep, elusive, beautiful.


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