Round 2 – Buenas Almas

Round 2 of pre-production for the record Almas Buenas (Good Souls) begins this week. All songs have been demo´d with new arrangements and given to the musicians. Jorge Soldera is the producer and co-arranger for this record and I couldn´t have been luckier in choosing him to mentor me through the project and music scene here. Jorge has extensive experience in most forms of Latin music and has worked with some of the big names in Argentina. Importantly, he has a big heart and great ear not to mention his list of contacts which he used to put together a great bunch of musicians which we will begin rehearsing with today. The record will be recorded live which makes the project more difficult but I hope it will give it the edge of drama I am looking for. We record on the 17th-20th of this month. Jorge is also coaching me on my singing in Spanish and his patience is the kind that people attribute to Saints. His lovely wife and family also look after me and feed me as I am never out of their place.

The artwork for Almas Buenas will be done by the rising comics star Sergio Martín Carrera who is most known for his graphic novel The Eternal City which is set in Buenos Aires. It is available on iTunes/Android and will soon be put out in a compendium print in Spanish. It is a story of a reluctant agent of Death who escorts expired Porteños (Buenos Aires folks) to the afterlife. For me Eternal City is a love story to Buenos Aires by Sergio and throws light on not only the characters of the grand city but provides the city with a face too showing the different districts, landmarks and buildings. I went out for drinks with him and his friends the other night and it was great fun and before I knew it I found myself p*ssed at 6am staggering into a cab in San Telmo. They were a smart bunch and gave me great insights and anecdotes about life in the city. The lead character in The Eternal City was based on one of Sergio´s friends who was also out drinking with us and it was odd to have a sense of accelearted familiarity with him as he talked, stood or sat in positions echoing the scenes in the novel – almost like meeting Peter Parker or Wolverine.

My boxing continues and after some rounds of anti-inflammatories my back has settled down meaning I can get through the sessions without agony in the last hour. I will miss the club when I go. Sparring exercises with people who don´t speak English always have the extra element of danger and I can see the look in their eyes saying ´Does he know what we are meant to do and is there is going to be an accident?´.

My house-disco song (When You Go You Take The) Garden With You will be complete by the end of this week and I am really happy with it. All final mixes for Garden With You have been done. There are two main mixes and two remixes. Track listing is :

  1. Main Mix by UK´s Glen Nicholls who has worked with Prodigy, Bee Gees, Depeche Mode and a host of others.
  2. Alternate Mix by Arimaka aka Manuel Jiminez from Los Angeles who has worked with the likes of Madonna.
  3. Dub Mix by Emiliano Gomez from Argentina at the DubSalon – a rising star of dub.
  4. Sleeping on the Couch Mix by Boofa. A dark electro mix by this NZ multi-media artist who is the other half of the 12000 Miles album.

The artwork is also underway which promises to be something special and hopefully a little risqué .
One singer that Jorge has inroduced me to is the legendary Argentinian singer Mercedes Sosa. Unfortunately she died last year but left a massive legacy behind. Some say that if the soil of Latin America could sing that it would have her voice and I tend to believe it. Her last album was a series of duets with some of the most famous musicians in Latin America and the record was called Cantora (a double album also featuring a documentary). The position she holds in Argentina is a little like the position that Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan holds in Pakistan which is of a statesman that helped give the country a musical, philosophical and cultural cornerstone. She was much feared by the repressive government in Argentina and many times had to flee for her life. I reccomend you check her out.


Scale by Drongomala for Sale – Press Release and BUY link

Drongomala is set to release his first solo album Scale on Flying Mountain Records. Scale came to life in many locations including Southern India, a Greek island and the UK, before being mixed in the famous Hyde Street Studios in San Francisco – a life-cycle that gives the album a truly border and genre-busting feel.

This exciting new release makes a break from the hyped dynamics of today’s records, taking a particularly strong lead from collaborative performances by some of the top Indian classical musicians in the southern Indian region of Kerala. All is finally unified by Drongomala’s powerful emotive voice and acoustic guitar.

Opening with the fanfare of Rise and Fall the stage is set for the album’s themes of power, love, addiction and disconnection. ‘Be A Bird’ has a Nick Drake influenced mood of gentle introspection, ‘Money’ hosts a broken and bluesy feel reminiscent of early Beck records, ‘Poppy Flower’ phases in and out of focus like a drug dream surrounded by beautiful Santoor playing while ‘Out of Them All’ takes an 808 drum machine and flute for a ride through dreams of gold and the confusion of choices in life. The record is stuffed with jewels.

Drongomala was born in Manchester,UK, to an Irish mother and Scottish father. He spent most of his childhood in broken mining towns in Scotland and on the border in Ireland. Playing in indie rock bands during his teens he led the Scottish band Baby Bartok to great heights before they spectacularly imploded after an appearance on a primetime weekend TV show hosted by the enimitable Jonathon Ross.

After a period of recovery Drongomala went on to work in the drum and bass scene in Edingburgh with turntablists and musicians releasing through compilations and online communities, but soon the double time beats of jungle gave way to the percussive flurry of Indian tabla beats.

Scale is the record that captures Drongomala’s fascination with all things Indian. It is a unique love letter from India – a must for World music fans and a door into Indian music for those who find fusion to be too spicy for their taste.

Track Listing
1 Rise and Fall
2 Be A Bird
3 Out of Them All
4 Fear Is a Tree
5 I Am Me and She Is She
6 Love Is a Lifeboat
7 Money
8 Dig Up Yer Ancestors
9 No Man Is An Island
10 Poppy Flower
11 Stay Before I Go (aalap)
12 Stay B4 I Go
13 Pieces