The mercurial, experimental music of Berlin-based, Colombian artist Lucrecia Dalt assumes another form in her new album for RVNG Intl., ‘¡Ay!’. While recent solo, collaborative and soundtrack works have seen her exploring eerie electronics and supernatural sonic terrains, on ‘¡Ay!’, she returns home, sculpting 10 tracks inspired by the sounds and senses of her childhood in Colombia. Her taste for strange, sci-fi sound design comes with her however, and the resulting combination is one of uncanny worldbuilding and intoxicating songcraft.
Dalt’s voice is prominent as she sings in her native Spanish on themes of consciousness and atemporality. Rhythms and musical motifs pull lovingly from bolero, mambo, salsa, and merengue traditions, but transform into hallucinatory audio adventures; flourishes of kosmische and trip-hop emerge amid subtle brass, strings and wind arrangements. As ever, Dalt’s songwriting is precise and intentional, and feels more fully realised than ever here. ‘¡Ay!’ is out now, and you can buy it here.
It’s an atmosphere that’s reflected in her Selections, which span pure ‘70s salsa and early 20th century Armenian folk music, experimental jaw harp and vocal recordings, pioneering electronic minimalism, abstract slowed-down dembow and more.
“Salsa, pura Salsa, maravillosa. Meridian Brothers know how to craft music, preserving the best features of the genres, making them their own with the most impeccable mixes and humour. This collaboration with El Grupo El Renacimiento from the ‘70s is just perfection.”
“I keep craving and longing for a moment from a show that Aaron and I played together in Toronto. He started with a tape loop to test the room, jumping out of stage to listen through the PA and check the right volume. We were instantly magnetised with a loop of something jazzy, trapped in time. ‘Blue Studies’ reminds me of that very moment I’ll never ever forget.”
“Fine tuning the craft of combining jaw harps, mouth harps and maultrommel along with voice modulations. Darcy Spidle has been so generous to share with us on his Instagram about a unique way of doing sound with this mouth pieces. The sensation is raw and primordial.”
“This record has accompanied me through the years. I had a coffee with Ibon on a terrace in Madrid, he was explaining how he imagined this album to be. I was then thinking about a warm cloud of sound, he must have received that; music that comes with a dustbowl and you are irremediably changed after its passing. ‘Oscuridad Completa’ is a favourite.”
“Rated Z. No one is allowed to see it.”
“A character trapped in time? Svenonius is the timeless creature. The very missed and excellent Soft Focus! I saw him with the gang in Barcelona many years back, at a place called Sidecar, it looked like the sm58 shaped his teeth with precision. Following his Instagram at present and nothing seems to have changed: elegantly contained, great boots, great ideas, great poses. We dream about being in one of the group photos with his collaborator Alexandra Cabral.”
“A bit of vanity to share this piece I made together with one of my favourite humans. It’s rare to find contemporary musicians to vibrate with at a lower syncopated pulse; we were instant friends since we shared a laugh, a few minutes later we were in a studio together making an abstract slowed down dembow.”
“Ka Baird! A force. She has such a unique voice and way of doing things. She has a fierceful and powerful energy: simple contained catharsis. The piece ‘II’ is my favourite.”
“To live within the pulses of ‘Safari’. Éliane Radigue knows how to make time a valuable asset: we enter, we get trapped and in this suspense, we are driven through the dynamics almost not noticing when or where.”
“Roméo Poirier, what a fine fine name. Poirier knows how to work out environment, texture, time and repetition with elegance. No wonder this is on Faitiche. A perfect fit.”