Nicola Cruz – Prender El Alma (LP)


Gatefold vinyl (2018 Reissue)

Released by ZZK Records

If Chancha Via Circuito’s Rio Arriba signalled the need to take digital cumbia seriously as a genre in itself, then Nicola Cruz’s debut was the unpacking of digital cumbia, showing that it was not necessary to be confined by cumbia, that Latin American electronic music could have influences from the Andes, the Amazon, the city, but that it needed to have its own imprint. Cruz’s style, which got called Andean step and Andean bass, amongst other titles, was the path to folktronica that we needed. An absolutely essential release.

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Press Release:

“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.

ZZK are at the forefront of this burgeoning music scene. With artists such as Frikstailers, La Yegros, El Remolon and Chancha Via Circuito, they are defining a new and exciting Latin American music culture.”

Additional information

Weight 300 g
Dimensions 31 × 31 × 1 cm