Fresh off the back of their latest release on the Fertil Discos we caught up with El Remolón & Brawlio to discuss their musical influences, the ‘Copas para Amar o Morir’ EP & more!
Hi guys, it is great to have the chance to speak with you today. First off, how are you both doing and where are the world are you?
ER & B: Hello, thank you very much, we are very happy about the release of our EP together. We are currently in the city of Buenos Aires.
You have just released your EP Coplas para Amar o Morir on the Fertil Discos imprint, can you tell us how this collaboration came about?
B: It came from the friendship we began to have with El Remolón when I arrived in Buenos Aires Capital from La Costa, a region in the south of Buenos Aires with lot of beaches. We met at a party and suddenly we began to meet more and more often and from those meetings repertoires emerged that I had been singing on a trip, coplas compiled in a notebook. We worked on 12 tracks of which we selected 4 for what would be “Coplas para amar o morir”
Do you each have a favorite track from the collection?
B: I think the 4 songs generate different sensations in us. “Muchas Estrellas” and “Campo” are more romantic and with minimalist lyrics while “Con su Permiso” hypnotizes us with the furious voice, the elements of slow-techno and the chacarera with tribal percussions. “Telesita” is an experimental chacarera that has given us more than a headache but we are also happy to have it in our repertoire since it is a very well-known chacarera in Argentine popular folklore.
ER: I really like the mood of the track Campo.I like its minimal style, not much ingredients and at the same time chill and powerful mantra repetition song, but talking about a love disagreement in the country side. It also has the power of being almost recorded in first take recordings in the countryside of Buenos Aires.
How have your musical backgrounds helped shape the sounds you create today?
B: The research of the coplas compiled by Leda Valladares are, in my case, the greatest inspiration. They call me to interpret and give my own melodic twists to the vidalas or bagualas, while El Remolón, who is one of the pioneer producers in fusing folkloric rhythms with electronic beats, knows how to enhance the energy he proposes in each song very well.
ER: That’s right, Brawlio has extensive information from his backpacking trips through South America and he likes to get into the heart of each song. He has spontaneously proposed new versions. In many cases I have known these new versions first before the originals, and I always feel the melodic turns he mentions and the fragments he chooses are nice. There is an old argument about whether it is right or wrong to change these songs and I think there is no answer to it, it is simply worth getting rid of “the original score” in many cases, because we also understand that those songs are probably gone. mutating over time. There are no two versions that are the same and that’s a bit of the fun too. They are living works that continue to modify over time. The type of arrangements and instrumentation that I thought come from my traditional influences of electronic music combined with the root sounds that I have been listening to and investigating lately, so these songs are a lot of elements of our musical history put in a blender and seasoned to our liking.
Jumping into the studio how was the process when working on this release?
B: The repertoire was defined as a result of playing the songs live and meeting to shape them and understand what each song needed, since they appeared at different times. For example, “Campo” has the first recording of voices, because we thought they were beautiful and that by re-recording them in the studio the first essence would be lost, while “Telesita” had several tests and lyric changes until we found what we wanted. In general, the process was very friendly for both of us.
We get along very well when creating and reviewing what we do, we listen to each other and that makes our exchanges very enriching for us and our music.
Did the vocals come first or did it grow as one?
Brawlio: Sometimes I propose a copla and melody from his personal compiled and El Remolón provides it with an electronic atmosphere that enhances it or the other way around, he proposes a rhythmic base where Brawlio adapts some of the copla and we analyze together the growth and progress of each song.
El Remolón: I always have some demos and work in progress tracks that I use for some of the tracks. Most of the time I put a rhythm and Brawlio sings, the I add the harmonies, do some takes, and then follow up by editing the tracks and making arrangements. After that we usually get together again to re-record some takes, add second voices or change something for better takes. We didn’t record anything in a professional studio to keep the spirit of the fresh first takes.
Once arranged and edited, we gave the tracks to Gabriel Novoa aka Balam of Submarea Studio to run the stems through analog gear and do an improved mix and mastering.
In the case of Campo, Agus Ganem, in a little trip to Tigre near Buenos Aires, played a sequence of chords on guitar, I added synths, and the next day Brawlio singed over it and we left it as it was.
Have you had a chance to play these tracks out as a live performance?
E&R Yes, we have had the opportunity to slowly test the songs and grow our live performance. We played in different stages during these years. We had very nice shows in big cultural museums in Buenos Aires.
We are currently preparing for our official presentation on November 26 at the Fertil Discos Festival, Festifertil in Buenos Aires.
For anyone looking to discover more Argentinian music, who would you recommend they check out?
ER & B: From the most traditional, I recommend listening to the album “De Usuahia a La Quiaca” by León Gieco, which was born from an extensive tour of the country between 1981 and 1985 and the album “Entre Valles y Quebradas” by Leda Valladares and Maria Elena Walsh, where both perform bagualas and vidalas from northern Argentina and also huaynos, zambas, cuecas and chacareras.
On the electronic side, artists like Pol Nada, Rumbo Tumba or Lauphan who have been investigating coastal music such as chamame and chamarrita electronic. Also Tremor and Chancha Via Circuito, who have marked a path in contemporary electronic folklore and who, in addition to being friends, are strong influences for us.
Can we expect to hear more from you on Fertil Discos?
B: Yes, they will continue to know about us because we are already working on new projects.
ER: Brawlio has many tracks to finish, I would like to be more an excutive producer to add also some others artistic producers he has been meeting. I’m also producing a project called Leda & Maria, that is a tribute to these 2 traditional singers and would love that Brawlio participate there as curator and singer too.
Finally, what do you both hope to achieve going into 2024?
B: That they invite us to festivals! haha I think that would be very good, to be able to do a big tour to bring “Coplas para amar o morir” and share our music in different parts of the world.
Pick up a copy here or stream below.