La Otra Mitad

GB 065CD GB 065CD

Raül Refree is one of the most acclaimed Spanish producers of the last decade, and tak:til/Glitterbeat now presents La Otra Mitad, his new album. Working with artists such as Silvia Pérez Cruz and Rosalía, he has been at the forefront of the so-called "new flamenco" movement. He also collaborates with rock experimentalists like Lee Ranaldo from Sonic Youth, but Raül's musical life doesn't stop there. He has released six previous solo albums, film soundtracks among other genre-skewing projects. It is this merging of sound worlds that makes Raül's new solo release La Otra Mitad (The Other Half) such an immersive and transportive listen. Mesmerizing acoustic and electric guitar explorations meet sampled street recordings, haunted voices and hushed electronics. The Basque sculptor Eduardo Chillida said, "an artist should always try to do what he still does not know how to do." Without actually knowing this quotation, Refree's musical art seems to subscribeto Chillida's edict. In 2017, he produced two instrumental 10-inch EPs. The first of these, Jai Alai Vol.01, is mostly a collection of reflective solo guitar music, with each title named according to the instrument used on the track and the date on which it was played. The second Jai Alai volume is a different proposition, with the material coming from a soundtrack project, and the sound palette expanded to include recordings of street music, voices and a subtle electronic dimension. The tak:til release La Otra Mitad is an album that weaves together the two EPs and creates a dramatic new entity in itself. Whereas the guitar tracks included from Jai Alai Vol.01 echo the spontaneity and simplicity of Derek Bailey or Durutti Column, they are balanced beautifully by the soundtrack compositions from Jai Alai Vol.02, that make up the majority of the album. Much of La Otra Mitad is music made for a movie, Entre Dos Aguas (2018) by Isaki Lacuesta, a drama which explores the world of flamenco. These pieces are an exercise in voices found and converted into samples: flamenco singer Rocío Márquez, or El Bolita, a boy who participated in the film and spontaneously started singing in front of Raül, or vocal sketches from El Niño de Elche's Antología Del Cante Flamenco Heterodoxo (2018) which was co-composed and produced by Refree. Throughout the process of making La Otra Mitad, Raül Refree found another voice: his own; always changing and expanding in richness and open to saying, what he does not yet know.