Nicola Cruz’s new album Siku (out January 25 via Buenos Aires label ZZK) may sound a bit less adventurous on the club fusion front than its predecessor, 2015’s Prender El Alma. On Siku, electronic vibes are used sparingly, “just to color the whole thing,” as Cruz explained in a phone interview. Instead, his focus was mainly on the creation process, which took place with a global cast.
As a rule, his Siku collaborators are artists who Cruz finds “share the same vision and feeling towards music, which is openness,” he says. Among the new songs you will find the album’s second teaser “Arka,” which Cruz recorded in “an artificial cave done by an architect” with Ecuadorian wind instrumentalist and neighbor Esteban Valdivia on side of the Ilaló volcano, which Cruz can see from his current home outside of Quito. The results combine fiery percussion with Valdivia’s flutes; very little post production frill is evident. Other collaborators on the album include a diversity of artists exploring the edges of folk music; Brazilian artist Castello Branco, Portuguese percussionist Márcio Pinto, the Colombia-Sweden based duo Minük, and Chilean members of the group Altiplano Mauricio, Julio, and Pablo Vicencio.