Calle 13’s MultiViral contagion started today
“Residente” and “Visitante”: Their challenge was to surpass themselves…
According to reviews, "they did it, once again"
“From the beginning they didn’t want to be one specific entity. They wanted to be the conscience of their community and their crazy, artistic selves (…) On this album, Residente is thinking about bigger things then just politics, which is metaphysics and the cycle of life… deciding that the things that are most immortal are great ideas. They are curious.. follow their muse.. and they do their own thing sonically [The new album has rock, funk, Irish, orchestral arrangements, even a hip-hop waltz. (…) The fact that they can do all this, continually delights and amazes me”.
–Jon Pareles, NY Times
Today we are looking at the results of them giving it all for their 5th music production "MultiViral". Calle 13 finished its last tour on December 2012 in their homeland, Puerto Rico. After that, and for the first time they decided to take a break to work on their new album.
Aside from their first record, the next three albums were written and produced while they were touring around the world. This time, however, they had much more time to concentrate on this project. It was unusual for them to work without the pressure of traveling and performing; time seemed longer and different. On the other hand, the dynamic between brothers, René Pérez Joglar "Residente” and Eduardo Cabra Martínez "Visitante" was positively jolted, resulting in a highly evolved type of contact, as never before: the connection they both sought.
The end result: A production rich in lyrics and music that shows, without doubt, seven intense years of experience during which they raised to the point where they are at now. Their North is not limited to Latin America, although it is inevitable to notice the influence of these roots in everything they produce. As they say, a "deeper connection", more than ever, was established, that goes beyond their relationship as brothers and leaders of Calle 13, whom many consider as one of the most important bands in recent decades; that cannot be pigeonholed in a particular music genre.
Just buy looking at the song titles of their 5th musical production, for the first time under Calle 13’s own label “El Abismo” (The Abyss), you can picture an idea of what we can expect from MultiViral :
1. Intro - Eduardo Galeano
2. Respirar el momento (Breathe the Moment)
3. Interludio (Interlude)- - Un buen día para morir (A Good Day to Die)
4. El aguante (Tolerance / Endurance)
5. Ojos color sol (Sun-colored eyes)
7. Cuando los pies besan el piso (When the feet kiss the floor)
8. Adentro (Inside)
9. Interludio (Interlude)- John Leguizamo
10. Los Idiotas (The Idiots)
11. Fuera de la atmósfera del cráneo (Out of the skull’s atmosphere)
12. Perseguido (Chased)
13. Gato que avanza, perro que ladra (Cat that moves ahead, dog that barks)
14. Me vieron cruzar (They saw me going across)
15. Así de grandes son las ideas (That big ideas are)
Each song has its own character within the MultiViral unified concept: dealing with what comes to you, touches you, invades you, spreads, reproduces itself and mutates, with the ability to reach a different types of audience, bringing together people of all ages. Certainly, everyone can relate to them from their own perspective; with lyrics like these, full of substance and such a display of music rhythms and genres, Calle 13 consolidates the proposal they stand for from the beginning: the message must be clear, understandable, accessible to anyone regardless socioeconomic classes or musical styles.
As in their previous albums, the presence of Ileana Cabra Joglar, sister of Residente and Visitante, stands out with her choirs and vocal colors.
Multi_Viral includes collaborations from several renowned personalities, among these, one of literature’s geniuses, Uruguayan writer Eduardo Galeano, who reads the introduction of the album based on a short story he had written some time ago called "El Viaje” (The Journey) that is part of his book “Bocas del Tiempo” (Mouths of Time). Also distinctive is the presence of Biga*Ranx on “Perseguido” (Chased)", that contains French lyrics and Jamaican influences. Totally unexpected is the participation of John Leguizamo in an interlude called "Stupid is as stupid does" that leads us, amidst humor and contradictions, to outline stupidity in all its manifestations.
The recording was in charge of sound engineer John Blais, from Visitante’s recording studio “Música Satánica” (Satanic Music), located in San Juan, Puerto Rico. For the mixing, Calle 13 hired two prominent figures in its class: Michael Brauer at Electric Lady Studios (New York, NY), whose credits include The Rolling Stones, Bob Dylan, Paul McCartney and Coldplay, in this case, with the participation of Assistant mixing engineer and Pro-Tools - Mark Bengtson. In addition, they hired Rich Costey, famous for his work for music leading figures such as Sigur Rós, Muse, Nine Inch Nails, Rage Against the Machine, Foo Fighters and Audioslave, among many others. This was done in Eldorado Recording Studios (Los Angeles, CA), with Assistant Mixers and Pro-Tools Engineers - Nicolas Fournier, Martin Cooke and Mario Borgatta .
One of the most outstanding surprises of the album is the magic fusion between Calle 13 and Silvio Rodríguez, who is among the top Cuba’s Nueva Trova most renown singers, that brought with his particular style, a special touch, proving again that the Puerto Rican band doesn’t limit itself to restrictions, with a great instinct on how and when to make fusions with a diversity of genres, reassuring evenmore that they will not be limited by rules or caged; they are who they are, and that’s why the stand where they stand.
Julian Assange deserves particular attention in Multi_Viral; a man corageous enough to put in danger his personal security by disclosing information that was hidden from people by the media and by those who rule the world. The song revolves around media manipulation and misinformation in response to the interests and power of the governments. This collaboration merges with Kamilya Jubran, an Israeli-Palestinian musician and performer, accompanied by stellar Tom Morello (Rage Against the Machine) who was ranked by Billboard magazine one of the best guitarists of all time.
Out of the ordinary is the collaboration of Native American Indian Vernon Foster in the piece “Un buen día para morir” (A good day to die), inspired by an indigenous chant about reconciliation between life and the path to another level after death. Foster also participates in the chorus of "Respira el momento” (Breathe in the Moment) accompanied by Ioana Maria, who in spite of her Romanian origins, has learned a lot about traditions and rituals of the Klamath-Modoc, the tribe from which Foster comes (also called simply Klamath and historically lutuami).
An interesting deail is that José Cabra, who is Visitante’s father, played the elecric guitar whith which he does a solo on the song “Gato que avanza, perro que ladra” (Cat that moves ahead, dog that barks). Aside from his career in advertising, he is a born musician and, as well as his son Eduardo, a multi–instrumentalist.
Music and lyrics make the MultiViral album a unique piece in its style and place the Puerto Rican band in a position where many famous don’t dare to step on. Nevertheless, fear is not part of Calle 13, that to date, has become a powerful voice for Latin America and is heading towards conquering the world. They are acknowledged by their convictions and philantropic work, and are recognized by collaborating in campaigns against violence, human trafficking and exploitation, as well as with all that may represent a change while pursuing a transformation that allows us to coexist in a healthy environment, where communication and solutions join together.
Definitely, MultiViral is one-of-a-kind album, that points the way to new approaches in music, able to break the bars of traditional genres.
During C-13’s first concert at the Ferro Stadium in Buenos Aires, the band will perform some of the new songs that belong to their 5th musical production. Those who attend the concerts of the band will be entitled to download the album in digital format the day of the concert. Furthermore, the album is already available in main digital platforms. In the coming weeks a physical version shall be released.