Extracted from the album «¡Ya no mas!»
October 19th 2018
«¡Ya no mas!»
(Jarring Effects/ L’autre distribution)
On Frédéric Péguillan's initiative, Brain Damage performs for the first time in Colombia, within Télérama Dub Festival in 2016. Over there, the encounter with Gatos Negros was decisive. For years, with unflinching dedication of Macky Ruff and La Gaitana, supported by budding or legendary artists, as well as by many socio- cultural coordinators, the collective has been engaged every day in some overlooked districts of Bogotá, towards deprived youths, representing the majority of the population. A common creation was immediately on the table, and fruitful studio sessions spontaneously popped with some of the most atypical artists of the city.
One year later, supported by Jarring Effects label this time, Martin Nathan returns to Bogotà within ‘France-Colombia Year’, with firm intention to bring the project to completion, far from the glitz, accompanied by Romain Etienne — photographer from Lyon-based Item Collective — for an original and subtle illustration of the adventure. New meetings happened during marathon studio sessions, to complete a dream team casting.
Pioneers like Javier Alerta Kamarada or Kontent Thug — who respectively first brought reggae and hip-hop in Colombia in the nineties —, and Jimena Angel — pop icon with a world-class voice, keen on tra
ional songs —, take turns in the recording booth, alongside with Macky Ruff and La Gaitana, themselves, for militant anthems. Numerous musicians also took part in the sessions : percussionists, trombonist, flautists, harp and marimba players, featuring an ancestral knowledge and a cultural diversity, characteristic of the country.
With this raw material, Martin Nathan returned to his own studio to finalize the project, prompting it into an unexpected direction, as he is used to, at odds with reggae and dub scene current trends that are crushed by UK influences, but also million miles away from electro-cumbia clichés flourishing here and there since a few years.
Yes. A new Brain Damage album is indeed what it is all about : the 14th, never really where expected, always swimming against the tide. Falsely lo-fi latin ballads, unlikely fusions between digital techniques and centuries-old tra
ions, polished aesthetics to highlight raw texts and incisive lyrics : all the ingredients are there for a new alien album, unique, telling about the constrast between the cultural treasures of a country and its everyday life harshness.