Ani Cordero, who has been celebrated for her significant contributions to World Music, Latin Folk, and Indie Rock, announces the release of her most ambitious project to date: El Machete (Panapén Records), a full-length album of deep emotional range, with songs about feminism, colonialism, anger, love, loss, and healing. El Machete refers to a dream in which Cordero fought off enemies with a wooden machete, and references Puerto Rican resistance group, Los Macheteros, which supports independence for Puerto Rico.
“I’ve always used music as my way of coping with whatever is happening, whether that be personal or political”, Cordero explains. “The last couple of years have been pretty dark politically. I watched my beloved Puerto Rico be devastated by Hurricane Maria, and personally I’ve been fighting through my own storm of anger and loss. These songs - plus a hefty dose of activism - helped me get to the other side of those feelings and it’s my hope they will be able to be a lifeline for others who might be going through their own dark moments.”
There is also a new element present on El Machete: Electronic Production. For the album, Ani worked with Chilean/French electronic music producer Pablo San Martin.
“Originally, I went to him as a Beat Maker, because I wanted to incorporate electronic beats for one of the tracks.” Ani enthuses. “But we had so much chemistry, we decided to make a whole album instead. Pablo is truly a soundscape artist – he adds a level of depth in his production that makes the album feel huge, as if you can live inside each song”.
Ani Cordero has a long history of activist and feminist music projects, having played in groups such as Os Mutantes and Pistolera, and shared bills with artists including La Santa Cecilia, Making Movies, Combo Chimbita, Los Lobos, Indigo Girls, and Billy Bragg. She is also co-founder of the organization PRIMA (Puerto Rico Independent Musicians and Artists) which provided emergency grants after Hurricane Maria and now aims to highlight and support the work of Puerto Rico’s independent music community and strengthen its ties with the diaspora.
El Machete follows the politically charged and critically acclaimed releases Querido Mundo and Recordar, the latter which re-imagined many of the famous political protest and folk songs from Latin American History and built on her long-time collaboration with Sergio Dias from Brazil’s Os Mutantes, and both of which received accolades from the likes of NPR, Billboard, USA Today, PRI ‘sThe World, Brooklyn Vegan, BUST, Remezcla, and others.
The lead single and video from El Machete, “Pan Pan (Sin Mantequilla)” was released on May 31, 2019 to great reviews and airplay. Remezcla called it Ani’s “smartest protest song yet” and NPR labeled it “a firecracker of a protest song”. It is as danceable as it is serious. The track features the Puerto Rico-based feminist music group Émina. The title, “Pan Pan (Sin Mantequilla)”or “Bread Bread—Without Butter”, originates from 1950s Puerto Rican slang for a spanking—which Cordero playfully uses for a double meaning. The video is nothing short of provocative.
“[Pan Pan] is like a ‘Choose Your Own Adventure’ political anthem,” she says. “The song addresses government dysfunction and corruption, but the listener gets to decide if what I’m saying is that now it’s up to us to distribute the bread and take care of our own needs, or if it’s a call for revolution, or both”. Cordero translates the ending line of the song: “Everyone to the streets to give out Pan Pan.” The second single from El Machete, “Pa’Poder Vivir” received equally glowing notice. Billboard enthused “The urgency of Cordero’s vocals galvanizes women into action as she jabs out phrases of autonomy and courage in this feminist anthem” NPR agreed: "'Pa' Poder Vivir' hits hard and calls for a feminist resistance against oppressive systems through the image of a house being rebuilt."
Ani’s third single and video “Yo No Vine a Jugar” will be released with El Machete. Upcoming confirmed press includes Bust, Glide Magazine, and Pero Let Me Tell You podcast,
Ani Cordero and her band will be touring behind the release of El Machete. For up-to date information and tour dates please visit AniCordero.net. For press, booking, and other general inquiries please reach out to appropriate contact below.