Uji is the solo project of Luis Maurette, who is one half of the electronic pioneering duo ‘Lulacruza‘. His Debut LP entitled ‘Alborada is a reflection of his experiences in both Latin America and Afro-Latin diasporas.
The music uses a blend of field recordings collected by Uji over the many years traveling the globe while on tour and a wide array of instruments from his collection uncluding congas, cununo, marimba, balafon, charango, bomba, leguero, sonajas, as well as analog drum machines, samplers, sythesizers and vocals.
Uji – Alborada
Jenga is the opening track of the LP, a tribal feel with slow rythmic drums accompanied by incantational spoken vocal. it slowly builds up with melodic layers and light atmospheric sound design, a subtle but perfect opener.
Check it here:
The title track ‘Alborada‘ floats along with delicate beats that carry the dream vocals of Anicca , a warm swaying layered wonderland. Next up is….
El Colapso Sueno, a nice 80’s synth vibe. Fast rhythmic vocal delivery from Sof Tot and house beats makes this the first on the LP with a more dance floor lean. onto….
Kiok, which drops back into the tribal beats and vocals, Ft. Barrio Lindo it combines a minimal electronic style that flows in warm synth melodies.
Half way through the journey we get a Uji remix of the Corina Lawrence track ‘La Descarria’ Ft. Miss Bolivia which has a cool Latin flavour, carnival trumpets and whistles get you swaying while the hip hop vocal delivery gives it a confident dance floor strut. Then we have…..
‘Camino de Nacar‘, an instrumental, simple beats layered with strings and a processed vocal line gives us a cool hypnotic intermition before leading into…
‘Gondonga‘, as organic beats start the flow, it builds up with a soft bass melody eventually combining everything with some nice electronic percussion, a swirling dance floor friendly cut. Next….
‘Familia’ Ft. Cehache’ which has the summer party feel, while it’s a laid back track in many respects with smooth layers of melody and rhythm, the vocals lift it to its dance floor status. Moving onto…….
‘Maloko’ moves away from the more organic sound of the album, diving into a minimal electro sound, clean beats and clever synth builds are driven along by an effected vocal line, hypnotic.
We end on one more remix from Uji, Petrona Martinez – La Varita De Mariangola / Milagros, a great final track as it has a celebratory feel to it, a live sound flows throughout giving it an almost jam session quality, only certain edited vocals and loops point to a cleverly edited and constructed piece, wonderful.
Alborada is a great blend of organic and electronic sounds, while listening you get a sense of many traditional musical influences that have been taken and moulded into something new and exciting, while still holding their core values. The attention and thought into combining so many varied instruments and sounds gives the tracks their own unique identity and lifts it above a one genre filled album. With its rich layers its one that keeps you going back to dig a little deeper and discover new things each time. Track it down.
3. El Colapso Suena
5. Corina Lawrence – La Descarriá (Uji Remix)
6. Camino De Nacar
10. Petrona Martinez – La Varita De Mariangola / Milagros (Uji Remix)
Out now on: ZZK Records