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TORRES

Juan Pablo Torres Y Algo Nuevo

Super Son - 2024 Reissue

    Wonderful record of tripped- out rumbas, psych- Afro- Latin funk and quirky orchestrated tracks with a big band horn section courtesy of Torres' band, Algo Nuevo.

    As well as being the director of Algo Nuevo and Cuban all-star ensemble Estrellas De Areito , the trombonist, bandleader, arranger and producer also released a wealth of albums under his own name predominately on the state-owned imprint Areito/EGREM.

    Post- revolution, there was a contrast in Cuba's musical world. State censorship was at play, but professional musicians were on the government payroll which gave them an artistic freedom. Experimentation emanated in the '70s and '80s and Super Son is a prime example of that. 'Y Que Bien' kicks off the album taking you down a tripped- out, cosmic rabbithole , psych guitars and skat vocals opening up into a joyful funk groove laced with jazzy Afro- Cuban horns stabs. Tracks such as 'Pastel En Descarga' seem to come out of nowhere and are completely unique . Fuzzed- up guitar lines and percussion lay the groundwork, with those jubilant horns adding to the energy of this forever building track.

    Elsewhere, there's the '70s TV theme-tune feeling of 'Con Aji Guaguao', a playful funk number that boils and bubbles with blistering trombone playing by Torres. Or 'Son A Propulsion' and 'Son Riendo', two more brilliant examples of psychedelic funk, wrapped up in a blanket of Afro-Cuban rhythms. The former sweeping you up in rushes of wind as trumpets, trombones and distorted guitars trade off, the latter, an intergalactic fiesta of tradition and exploration.

    Super Son is up there as one of the funkiest Cuban records around , a playful fusion of ideas from a producer, player and group on fine form and, for us, one of our favourite gems to come out of Cuba in this period. A sheer masterpiece.

    TRACK LISTING

    Y Que Bien
    Rico Melao
    Pastel En Descarga
    A Luna Llena
    Con Aji Guaguao
    Son A Propulsion
    Si No Fuera Por Emiliana
    Ey!...Op.1
    Son Riendo
    Super Son

    Juan Pablo Torres

    Algo Nuevo - 2024 Reissue

      Released on Cuba's state- owned Areito imprint , Algo Nuevo showcases trombonist, bandleader, arranger and producer Juan Pablo Torres' unique scope of sound. A melting pot of an album that weaves together jazz- funk and traditional Afro- Cuban genres with tripped- out synth touches and dancefloor grooves.

      The opener 'Pan Caliente' is a fiery celebration, combining a driving groove with Latin percussion, feverish horns and infectious "la- la- la" vocals. The wild, squelching cosmic synthlines give an otherworldly touch to proceedings that sit nicely on a modern dancefloor. 'Guajira 2001' is perhaps Juan's future-focussed take on the vibrant style of Cuban dance- led music called guajira . Blistering bongos, congas and claves moving together with trumpets, trombones and twanging acoustic guitars that you can't help but bounce to.

      Other highlights include, 'Cacao', a Cuban cosmic funk strutter that places the claves upfront, with a scatting vocal line and percussive climax reminiscent of George Kranz electronic disco anthem 'Din Daa Daa' from 1983. Elsewhere, 'Elvira' further showcases the psychedelic essence of many of the album's tracks. A deep Latin workout where tasty percussive breaks and scorching keys blend with trippy vocals and rumbling synths.

      A varied album encompassing a variety of Afro- Cuban genres and rhythms entwined with flashes of mind-bending cosmic influence. Algo Nuevo is a further jewel in Cuba's musical crown of riches, with plenty of dancefloor treats and downtempo numbers held within.

      TRACK LISTING

      Pan Caliente
      Son De Caramelo Para Ti
      Guajira 2001
      Cacao
      Tatagua
      Rumba De Cajon Op 1
      Mangle
      Elvira
      Mayajigua
      Asi Son Con El Son

      Torres

      What An Enormous Room

        What an enormous room is not only the title of the new album by TORRES, it is an incantation, a phrase Mackenzie Scott has had in her head now for several years, for as long as some of the songs found here.

        What an enormous room is an entirely new look at TORRES. Scott’s undeniable skill as a guitar player is still the engine driving her songs, but in “Collect,” it’s pushed through a polyphonic octave generator, creating a sound that is sexy and alien and peak TORRES, a provocative statement of purpose that’s both a call to arms and a call to the dance floor. “Wake to flowers” is a celebration of the unexpected joy of things turning out much better than one could have hoped. It’s on the slinkier side of What an enormous room, exploring new territory for TORRES that Scott attributes to recording with her friend Sarah Jaffe, the Texan singer-songwriter whose inclination to break genre boundaries has led her to collaborate with Eminem and producer Symbolyc One.

        Jaffe provides What an enormous room’s rhythm section, playing bass and drums, and the easiness of her collaboration with Scott made it possible for songs like “Jerk into joy” to emerge like the incantation central to it, and the album itself—after years in Scott’s head in a way that is simultaneously more direct and more sonically ambitious than any TORRES record to date. When she sings “look at all the dancing I can do,” it’s an invitation to awe, and there is much here to be awed by.

        What an enormous room contains wry, Laurie Anderson–esque art rock, Nirvana’s rage, and ABBA’s strut. Rather than fear the unknown space she occupies, Mackenzie Scott has chosen to fill it with as much of herself as possible, an artist unwilling to be stifled. We’re hardly alone in our admiration for TORRES. As Julien Baker attests: What I can say about TORRES is I think the music comes from a convicted place. Not convicted meaning a person is narrowly and foolishly committed to an ideal, or unshakably convinced of themselves, or a zealot, or stubborn.

        I mean dedicated, I mean: If TORRES’ music gets weird, gets brainy, gets funny, gets defiant, provokes, deliberately scandalizes, employs the crass to undermine the austere, courts lofty philosophical truth—it’s all done with the conviction of an artist with the (essential) belief in the worth of their task. I think you can hear it in the songs, someone reaching, leaning over the boundary between known and not, probing the almighty.

        After a decade and six studio albums and however many one-offs and tours and articles read and conversations had, the parts of this pursuit I’ve been able to observe are all marked by a dedication to creation that treats the act ongoing with as much preciousness as the evidence of the act that is left in a record. The modes of being are different: heartbroken, broke, furious (right- and unrighteously), awestruck by love, compelled by desire. sometimes resigned to death, sometimes fascinated by and reverent of the future. Sometimes viscerally present, other times suspended in heady awareness, poised on a fulcrum of observation and participation in the phenomenon that aliveness is.

        The tools are the same: instruments that growl and shriek and moan, a lyrical voice shouting, swooning, chuckling, snarling as the moment commands. TORRES’ music-making is conducted in a melodic vocabulary unique to itself—methods, equipment, circumstances shifting around the impulse to affirm the self within the world, to make art that bears all these little artifacts of the divine and of the real and show it to people and know it is valuable. I think that’s what Mackenzie’s music does. And I think it’s just incredibly good music to listen to.

        STAFF COMMENTS

        Barry says: A stomping, gigantic swell of stadium guitars and bombastic choruses, all topped by Torres' powerful vocal dynamite. It's party synth-pop, part electronica as ever, but the guitar riffs of yesteryear are replaced with swathes of roaring octaved guitars, and i'm all for it. Ace.

        TRACK LISTING

        SIDE A:
        1. Happy Man’s Shoes
        2. Life As We Don’t Know It
        3. I Got The Fear
        4. Wake To Flowers
        5. Ugly Mystery
        6. Collect
        SIDE B:
        7. Artificial Limits
        8. Jerk Into Joy
        9. Forever Home
        10. Songbird Forever

        Torres

        Thirstier

          Torres’ fifth album Thirstier pumps the miraculous into the mundane. It is in open revolt against the gray drag of time, a searing and life-affirming eruption of an album that wonders what could happen if we found a way to make our fantasies inexhaustible. What if we got whatever we wanted and still wanted it, endlessly, with no threat of boredom and no danger of depletion? What could we become if we let ourselves grow incandescent with eternally renewing desire?

          Since releasing her self-titled debut album in 2013, Torres the stage name of Brooklyn-based rock musician Mackenzie Scott has used her pointed lyricism and disarming vocal presence to seek openings in the everyday, prying apart the walls of the real in search of escape. After a pandemic year that toggled relentlessly between numbing dread and active terror, Thirstier explodes the borders of imaginative possibility. It is Scott’s most exuberant and daring record to date, showcasing her in thrilling freefall.

          Recorded in the fall of 2020 at Middle Farm Studios in Devon, UK, Thirstier marks a turn towards a bigger, more bombastic sound for Torres. The anxious hush that fell over much of Scott’s previous music gets turned inside-out in songs tailored for post-plague celebration. Scott co-produced the album with Rob Ellis and Peter Miles, drawing on her experience self-producing the acclaimed 2020 LP Silver Tongue to push her music onto an even broader scale. Guitar-driven walls of sound, reminiscent of producer Butch Vig’s work with Garbage and Nirvana, surge and dissipate like surf in high winds, carrying Scott’s commanding voice to the fore.

          “I wanted to channel my intensity into something that felt positive and constructive, as opposed to being intense in a destructive or eviscerating way,” Scott notes. “I love the idea that intensity can actually be something life-saving or something joyous.”

          From the sparkling country romp of “Don’t Go Puttin Wishes in My Head” to the sour grunge bite of “Keep the Devil Out” and the unabashed, overflowing devotion of the album’s title track, Thirstier clasps together love songs from all angles. Romantic love, platonic love, familial love, self-love, and freeing spiritual love all commingle, all feeding one another and vaulting toward the horizon. Scott sings of love that never knows scarcity.

          “The more of you I drink / The thirstier I get,” she pronounces on the title track’s chorus a thesis statement for the album as a whole, and its resolute striving toward abundance. “Keep me in your fantasies / Even though you live with me,” she sings at the song’s climax, enclosing transportive, alchemizing desire inside the pedestrian without dulling any of its glow.

          “We’re always fantasizing about something that’s out of reach. That’s what a fantasy is. It’s something you can’t have. But I wanted to turn that idea around and ask, ‘What if your fantasy was the thing that you have, this endless loop of fantasy?’” Scott says. “It’s a way to be in this fantastical, magical realm forever. I want to make that space for myself. I want to create a reality where my day-to-day is actually my fantasy. That’s what I want more than anything.”

          With Thirstier, Torres clears the way to that wellspring and invites others to follow her there. “I’ve been conjuring this deep, deep joy that I honestly didn’t feel for most of my life,” she says. “I feel like a rock within myself. And I’ve started to feel that I have what it takes to help other people conjure their joy, too.”

          TRACK LISTING

          SIDE A
          Are You Sleepwalking?
          Don’t Go Puttin Wishes In My Head
          Constant Tomorrowland
          Drive Me
          Big Leap

          SIDE B
          Hug From A Dinosaur
          Thirstier
          Kiss The Corners
          Hand In The Air
          Keep The Devil Out

          Torres

          Torres

            Mackenzie Scott currently records and performs as TORRES. She was raised in Macon, GA and now resides in Brooklyn, NY. She was also voted class clown her senior year of high school, though you’d never know it.

            ‘TORRES’ is the self-titled and self-released debut album, recorded at Tony Joe White’s home studio in Tennessee, and originally released in 2012. Subsequent albums have been released on labels such as Partisan and Merge.

            TRACK LISTING

            A1. Mother Earth, Father God
            A2. Honey
            A3. Jealousy And I
            B1. November Baby
            B2. When Winter's Over
            C1. Chains
            C2. Moon & Back
            C3. Don't Run Away, Emilie
            D1. Come To Terms
            D2. Waterfall

            A person whose words are so potent that they cause the people and beings around them to vibrate is said to have a “silver tongue.” It’s apt, then, that Mackenzie Scott—who has spent the 2010s making boundary pushing pop music under her TORRES moniker—has chosen to call her fourth album, and first release on Merge, just that. Recorded at O’Deer in Brooklyn, New York, Silver Tongue is a full-scale realization of the world Scott has created over TORRES’ last few albums. Even when singing in more subdued tones, Scott’s voice is fervent, her lyrics stirring and unyielding as she draws from both the divine and the everyday. It’s also the first TORRES record produced solely by Scott. After having shared production duties on her first three albums, the latter two alongside PJ Harvey collaborator Rob Ellis, she found the process liberating: “I made exactly the record I want, and it feels very ‘me.’”

            Silver Tongue fastidiously chronicles the impulses that make up desire from the dreamy first blushes of infatuation through the slightly terrifying wonder that accompanies connection with another. In between, Scott wrestles with the highs and lows of what “being in love” might mean over heady guitars and swirling synths. While potent vocal hooks punctuate songs like the sparkling “Dressing America,” which combines New Wave glitter with hovering frustration, and the brooding “Good Grief,” which gently pokes at the idea of fetishized sadness, the knottiness lurking underneath reflects Scott’s realtime processing of her emotions while making the record. Silver Tongue’s musical world is vast and at times seemingly infinite. Edge-of-the-world synths add gravity to the vulnerability of “Two of Everything,” and refracted guitars offer a gnarled counterpoint to Scott’s increased determination at the end of “Last Forest.” On “Gracious Day,” one of TORRES’ most forthright love songs, Scott’s voice hovers over a starlit landscape in a way that transcends the mundane and enters the otherworldly as she sings. TORRES’ music has long navigated the space between the physical and the metaphysical, and Silver Tongue faces that conflict head-on, examining the ways in which the actions of others can stir up deep-seated feelings and seemingly alter the space in which one exists.

            STAFF COMMENTS

            Barry says: Silver Tongue is a triumph in many ways, not only musically but with the thematic intensity of the pieces on offer tempered beautifully with a playful optimism shining through. Scott's voice is as effecting as ever, and clearly is only getting better. Lovely stuff.

            TRACK LISTING

            SIDE A
            Good Scare
            Last Forest
            Dressing America
            Records Of Your Tenderness
            Two Of Everything

            SIDE B
            Good Grief
            A Few Blue Flowers
            Gracious Day
            Silver Tongue

            Torres

            Three Futures

              Torres is the creative alter-ego of Brooklyn-based Mackenzie Scott. In describing the album, Scott says it “is entirely about using the body that each of us has been given as a mechanism of joy.” The 10 original tracks on Three Futures embrace ecstasy, desire and indulgence rather than self-denial, and exude this idea via immersive music. Mechanized grooves are placed at the forefront, providing a framework for perforated electro-pop static, harsh gothic / industrial textures, and insistent Krautrock motifs.

              For Three Futures, Scott reconnected with producer Rob Ellis (PJ Harvey), who worked on TORRES’ last album Sprinter, to record in Stockport and Dorset. David Tolomei (Beach House, Future Islands) mixed the album.

              STAFF COMMENTS

              Barry says: Innately listenable synth-pop / indie goodness on this newest one from all-round bon oeuf and songwriter extraordinaire Torres. It's a heartfelt and beautiful distillation of sexuality, companionship and brilliantly effusive melodicism. Would listen again.

              TRACK LISTING

              1. Tongue Slap Your Brains Out
              2. Skim
              3. Three Futures
              4. Righteous Woman
              5. Greener Stretch
              6. Helen In The Woods
              7. Bad Baby Pie
              8. Marble Focus
              9. Concrete Ganesha
              10. To Be Given A Body

              Adam Torres

              Pearls To Swine

                ‘Pearls To Swine’ maps Adam Torres’ complicated history as a songwriter and musician: it’s the sound of someone who discovered the value in his own devotion to music and how songs and writing are extensions of his own journey. He embeds his own folklore within his high-lonesome sounding, deeply felt and moving brand of folk music.

                ‘Pearls To Swine’ was recorded over eight days in January at Austin’s Cacophony Recorders, which overlooks the Colorado River valley. Working alongside co-producer and mixer Erik Wofford (Bill Callahan, Black Angels, M. Ward, Okkervil River), Torres chose the analogue route, recording and mixing directly to tape to allow for more finality and less overthought. This method in turn lends a natural, warm and almost magical realism atmosphere to the songs - like a high stakes live show captured in a fantastical setting.

                The core rhythm was captured live and augmented by a few overdubs and Torres is joined on the album by the players in his band: Thor Harris (of Swans; on conga drums, vibraphone and percussion), Aisha Burns (violin) and Dailey Tolliver (bass / piano), with drum kit performances by Matthew Shepherd and Rodolfo Villareal III.

                TRACK LISTING

                Juniper Arms
                Some Beast Will Find You
                By Name
                High Lonesome
                Morning Rain
                Daydream
                Outlands
                Where I’m Calling From
                Mountain River
                City Limits

                Torres

                Sprinter

                  Torres knows the darkness. The Brooklyn-based singer-songwriter otherwise known as Mackenzie Scott waits until anything - an idea, an emotion, a memory - gnaws at her, tearing at her fingers and throat until she releases it in song. Her husky voice strains against its human biological constraints like a wild-eyed horse, whispering desperately “Don’t give up on me just yet” on one end and yowling about jealousy with unnerving intensity on the other.

                  Following her self-titled debut in 2013, TORRES pushes herself to even noisier extremes on ‘Sprinter’, a punishing self-examination of epic spiritual and musical proportions.

                  “Atmospheric enough to fill a stadium but also stark and intimate” - The Guardian

                  “A ravaging sea of riffs and piercing electronic screams” - NME

                  “Most stunning” - Pitchfork

                  “A blow-your-socks-off introduction” - DIY

                  “A grunge-rock maelstrom” - Line Of Best Fit

                  “The most exciting music to emerge so far this year” - Rolling Stone

                  “[The] flowering of a major talent” - The Guardian


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