Ecuadorian producer Nicola Cruz is releasing his debut album ‘Prender el Alma’, on ZZK Records, October 30.
Following his collaboration with Nicolas Jaar’s Clown & Sunset label, Cruz has self-produced and self-recorded this landmark album.
‘Prender el Alma’ is a new strain of Latin American music Cruz calls ‘Andes Step’. Influenced by new digital technology, blended with local influence, Cruz builds his tracks layer by layer, instrument by instrument, drum by drum, exploring local indigenous and Afro-cosmologies in a modern setting.
From atmospheric opener ‘Sanacion’, the 10-track album journeys through short, sharp acoustic guitar riffs on ‘Puente Roto’ and the percussive ‘La Mirada’, to the electronic ‘Prender El Alma’. Down-beat ‘Equinoccio gets a vocal kick from Ecuadorian singer Huaira, ending with the blissful, lo-fi ‘Cocha Runa’ featuring Tanya Sanchez. ‘Prender el Alma’ ebbs and flows through a range of production of local sounds, feeling like a digital awakening.
This digital revolution is spreading through Latin America like wildfire, and nowhere is this more exciting than in the heart of the continent’s bustling music scene, where Nicola Cruz is leading the way.
Led by forward-thinking young producers and musicians, Ecuador is beginning to experience its own digital folklore revolution. A new crop of producers and musicians are using homeland traditions and rhythms to build on a vibrant history of visual and sonic art, catapulting them into the 21st century.