Cafe Velorio-Balada En Cinco Dosis | More than coffee shop music
Cafe Velorio releases their songs as packages. Their previous album was a great success, and they don’t release singles for commercial pull. They have put another 5 track collection this time, and we’re in for a treat. Balada En Cinco Dosis has a lot of genres put together, and a lot of sounds as well. Let’s get into the album.
For Un Aguila Cazo un Tiburon en Miami, you hear a confluence of jazz and alt-rock. This is quite a rare sound, and difficult to execute. However, Cafe Velorio add flourishes and make it an enjoyable track, full of fresh rich guitar sounds and tones that even the most professional artists struggle to achieve. I had a chance to interact with Cafe Velorio, follow their interview here:
1) Your tracks transcend genres in many ways, yet in many they comfortably sit in a niche. How do you experience these trajectories?
That’s very true. I think the music we make it’s just rock. Leaving that aside, by saying “transcends genres” it means (I guess) that we are trying to avoid repetition and self-indulgence as much as possible. We try to make the songs fun. And for that, “stealing” from other genres is always a good thing. For example, the final guitar riff from the “Bernardo y Rosa” song (from Diario intimo de una adolescente conflictiva album) its a riff almost taken from a Bach violin partita in B minor I was studying at the time.
Temorpor Xtina has one of the best lyrics in this album. This is the English translation I read, and whatever is lost because of the purity of the language will forever be a mystery to me. I thoroughly enjoyed the clean vocals and notes in this track, and the simple guiding riff that almost acts as a metronome.
2) How was recording this album different from Diario Intimo de una Adoloscente Conflectiva?
The recording of Balada en Cinco Dosis álbum was very different from the previous one. In the previous record, the drums were played through MIDI patches. This time, the recording engineer (Gastón Ackermann) insisted us to get more professional on the sound, so he proposed different things. At his request, on this album, we worked with real drums with a young but experimented drummer (Diego Morales, from Rodra and Pepe Delay) , who gave the songs a dramatic tone.
During the composition process, he would send us the drums he was making up in his practice room through email and WhatsApp and we discussed different approaches at a distance. We didn’t met until the recording day. To get higher sound standards, we rented high fidelity instruments and amplifiers, Les Pauls’, Mesa Boogies, big amps, and also the technicians who provided them were there to bring advice.
The recordings were very fast and simple, as were the mix and mastering. The engineer is very experimented in the music industry and the musicians provided professionalism. It was all to easy.
Honda is the track that makes me realize that these riffs are special. I mean I knew it the first instant, but some things changed in the follow through of the last track. With another riff with a niche time signature, we hear the sound being dominated by these offbeat, quirky beginnings and elements of these songs. Solos and flourishes are unique as well, due to the first approach from the instrument.
3) What new vibes can listeners expect from Balada en Cinco Dosis?
I guess the vibes in this album are a lot more intimate. We wanted to make it sound in a dramatic way and all the musical arrangements and lyrics were done starting from that basis. All the arrangements that were “too hard to play” or sounded “too loud without meaning” were left out, because they seemed to take that drama away. And to keep the dramatic tone high we needed a lot of more silences. The spoken word factor in the vocal arrangements was a good choice. Some Jandek albums were a reference for that.
Cormac has a pop influence as well as the layered guitar inspirations from The Edge and other famed guitarists. It really adds to the special sound, flooding in with bits of new sound and apertifs every time. The synths and MIDIs added help in constructing another dimension that wouldn’t be possible otherwise.
4) As a group, what have your most exciting experiences recording music been?
I can’t speak for others, but I guess the team work is always a good thing to mention. How different people with different backgrounds team up with one objective in common. It’s strange and a mystery how things unfolded. That mystery brings some magic into the process, I guess.
Busqueda has a mystique around its sound, which is something Cafe Velorio master with each track. This ensures that each track has a nervous system so unique, it doesn’t overlap like a riff based rock song. It also has interesting spacing and instrumental work in between the drums and the guitar.
5) What does the future hold for Cafe Velorio? More EPs or touring in the books?
The future will be another EP with a different approach. We’ve decided not to compose medium-large albums like Diario Intimo de una Adolescente Conflictiva any more. EP’s are a good length. This takes out the pressure of endless composition and recording processes. This working method saves money, energy and time.
About playing live, we have never played live, we are waiting to have enough repertoire to play without having to choose always the same songs, so I believe that after publishing the next EP we are going to be in a good position to say “yeah, let’s try to play live this things”.
Cafe Velorio have stretched their membrane paper thin with the sound this time. They have used effects, high quality production and most importantly struck several chords of the right sound they have been looking for. We hope that their next EP comes soon and we’re more than prepared for it. Strange how shifting from the mainstream language of the world can create a tectonic shift in sound. These guys know how to own it.