When Nillo and Sentidor decided to collaborate in 2015 on the album SIBÖ their aim was to create a bridge between modern electronic music and the mystical chants of Costa Rica’s indigenous tribes. Following that much-loved debut they continue the journey on SIBÖ Revisited, albeit with a cast of like-minded souls from Brazil, Japan, Mexico, USA and Germany along for the ride. These collaborators keep the beauty and purity of the original compositions at their core, while offering up new textures and environments, pushing the album’s sonic palette into unexpected new directions.
The origins behind SIBÖ lie with Costa Rican musician, producer and ethnomusicologist Nillo (aka Johnny Gutierrez). His passion for documenting the native sounds of his home country led him to study the music of the indigenous Ngäbe tribe. After gaining access to an astonishing catalogue of recordings of the tribe he saw an opportunity to shine a light on what he calls the “beautiful musical universe of the indigenous.” Nillo had already met Brazilian producer Sentidor (aka João Carvalho) through Soundcloud – owing to a mutual respect for each other’s music – and soon they decided to work together. The foundation for their compositions came specifically via recordings of one member of the Ngäbe tribe (Unchi) whose voice acts as a spiritual guide around which Nillo and Sentidor wrap layers of electronics, percussion, João’s own vocals and sparse but effective instrumentation, creating what they call an “electronic reinterpretation of the ancestral.”
On SIBÖ Revisited, Nillo and Sentidor asked friends from around the world to create their own interpretations of tracks from SIBÖ, offering further reinterpretations of both those original indigenous recordings and the forward-thinking productions of that release. Remixers include influential names in the global bass scene such as Chico Correa, Pigmalião and DJ FoiMao (all from Brazil), Sainte Vie and SNRNG (both from Mexico), DJ Ground (Japan) and Zouyina (USA). As Nillo explains: “This revisited version of SIBÖ’s songs is even more magical because we are able to see through the eyes of artists we admire, another perspective of our own sonic philosophy.”
The album highlights how electronic Latin American music is changing, taking a step away from the urban capitals and their mod cons towards something sacred, a trip into the expansive jungles, mountains and rivers so prevalent in Latin America. Perhaps Nillo puts it best when describing SIBÖ Revisited: “This is a journey which joins the past with the future, a journey waiting to be danced, along the river that flows deep inside our souls.”
The original versions of these songs can be found on SIBÖ, which is available from supololo.bandcamp.com/album/sib
“Kä Tokwä” features the voice of Awá Francisco García (recorded in Coroma, Talamanca, 1983 – compiled by Proyecto Jirondai)