1. El Sinaloense (The Man from Sinaloa)
  2. Se Me Hizo Facil (It Was Easy for Me)
  3. Mini Skirt
  4. El Llorar (Crying)
  5. Perfidia (Perfidy)
  6. Sensemaya
  7. K'in Sventa Ch'ul Me'tik Kwadulupe (Festival for the Holy Mother Guadalupe)
  8. Tabu (Taboo)
  9. Cuatro Milpas (Four Cornfields)
  10. Chavosuite
  11. Plasmaht
  12. Nacho Verduzco
  13. 12/12
  14. El Sinaloense (Dance Mix)

 

 

On Nuevo, a collection of music from Mexico spanning nearly 100 years, Kronos Quartet presents a kaleidoscopic view of a music as diverse as the culture of the country itself. On each track, the group’s sound is transformed, through the collaborative efforts of co-producers Gustavo Santaolalla, the noted Argentinean musician and Rock en Español producer, longtime Kronos producer Judith Sherman, and Kronos Artistic Director David Harrington, as well as through arrangements by composers Osvaldo Golijov, Stephen Prutsman, and Ricardo Gallardo, whose efforts serve to reflect the individual spirit and character of each song.

Harrington notes that walking through Mexico City inspired the record. “I became fascinated with this sense of the layering of things there—of time, of music, of culture, of art … And how you’d walk down the street and never know what you’re going to hear next.”

The sonic landscape of Nuevo suggests the vastness of Mexican culture, a diverse array of experiences and ideas—intellectual, spiritual, and cultural. From the boom-boxes on the street corners to the incessant blaring of television sets, from the traditions of Son huasteco and corrido singing to the influence of Cuba on the culture and music, the sounds of Mexico are the sounds of a place where elements of popular culture and traditional music share a lively coexistence.

The tracks from Nuevo are culled from seemingly disparate sources ranging from "Mini Skirt," by the late Juan Garcia Esquivel, whose early experimentation with stereo caused him to be dubbed the "King of Space-Age Bachelor Pad Music"; to Chavosuite, which features music from three wildly popular Mexican television programs, the original Chespirito and two spin-offs, El Chapulín Colorado and El Chavo del Ocho; to an explosive Prutsman arrangement of Silvestre Revueltas’s "Sensemaya"; to Golijov’s "K´in Sventa Ch´ul Me´tik Kwadulupe" (Festival for the Holy Mother Guadalupe), a composition based on David Lewiston’s 1970’s recording from the Mexican state of Chiapas.

Nuevo also highlights a variety of unusual instruments, like the musical leaf as played by Carlos Garcia on Alberto Domínguez’s "Perfidia" and the organillo performance featured on Belisario García de Jesús and José Elizondo’s "Cuatro Milpas."

The album also features rock en Español supergroup Café Tacuba’s "12/12," a five-part sonic portrait of contemporary Mexico, named for the celebration of the Day of Our Lady of Guadalupe observed throughout Mexico on December 12. The piece is an aural tapestry weaving together not only the sounds of electric and acoustic instruments, but also traditional Mexican music and street sounds. It fittingly reflects the spirit of Nuevo, in its merging of widely different sounds and textures to create a unified whole.

Closing the album is a remix of Severiano Briseño’s "Sinaloense" by the DJ Plankton Man, formerly of Tijuana’s Nortec Collective.

Nuevo • Nuevo • Nuevo • Nuevo •

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