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Monday, May 11 2009 | 13:43 Buy this now at GoodToGo (B2B)

4772Guillermo Scott Herren’s albums as Prefuse 73 brought him a worldwide audience, critical praise, and inspired a generation of producers whose names are now commonplace on “Year End Best” or “Names To Watch” lists. But Herren’s first album on Warp Records, a label synonymous with Prefuse 73’s signature sound, wasn’t a “beat” album, but a key introduction to a most intriguing portion of Herren’s multi-faceted musical persona: Savath & Savalas, a band project of Guillermo Scott Herren, Eva Puyuelo Muns and Roberto Carlos Lange. Following two albums over five years on Warp, Herren has chosen to take a fresh approach with Savath & Savalas, releasing “La Llama” with Los Angeles-based Stones Throw Records. Herren, with Eva Puyuleo Muns and a new addition to the band, Roberto Carlos Lange, were inspired on “La Llama” by a shared love for South-American psychedelic music and the early 70’s independent music scene that had briefly flourished in Recife, Brazil.

Chat with Guillermo Scott Herren

You talk of ‘the early 70s independent music scene that had briefly flourished in Recife, Brazil and neglected-visionaries like Marconi Notaro, Flaviola, the revolutionaries Lula Cortes and Ze Ramalho as having an influence on La Llama. For the uninformed and in your own words can you talk about that time, the people and what they mean to you?

These influences from the Recife music scene can be seen as direct and indirect influence. The feel of that time and scene, from a musical and independent aspect were far less produced and open ended opposed to other Brazilian releases at that time. Those albums feel as if they are in an environment of their own, the kind in which the surroundings and atmosphere play an equal role in the music written. Although, there are many many factors that come into play as far as influence regarding Savath & Savalas.

Eva Puyuelo Muns and I started by simply figuring out ways to make new songs in Catalan and Spanish by studying an array of older folk records as well, like: “Juan Mañuel Serrat” to “Paco Ibañez” without turning our own creations into horrible desecrations that can be interpreted as what I call “hotel lobby music” i.e. the type of pre-marketed “world music” project by placing a watered down preset beats and sounds while adding lyrics in other languages, more suitable for commercial licenses and synchs. In our situation, we wanted to explore previous atmospheres while creating new music with a strong grip on it’s timeless elements. We express our music through our language we speak based on our direct cultures, opposed to some “conquistador esque” product that some rich dude in an overpriced cardigan asked us to do for a big budget with a co-op promotion with starbucks.

As far as my own foundation as a producer, I see a producer such as J Dilla or Madlib in the same light as I would Arthur Verocai, Axlerod or any other significant arranger from any time in history. Therefore, it all goes into the mix at some point. The most important part for me is that this project would never be sen as a Prefuse 73 “side project” or carry the stigma of Prefuse 73 due to the exchange between Eva and myself.

Where / when was the album recorded?

This album was recorded at my apartment on the Bowery in New York. A very noisy apartment with zero budget.

What was the aim for the album it?

Eva Puyuelo Muns and I started by simply figuring out ways to make new songs in Catalan and Spanish by studying an array of older folk records as well, like: “Juan Mañuel Serrat” to “Paco Ibañez” without turning our own creations into horrible desecrations that can be interpreted as what I call “hotel lobby music” i.e. pre-marketed “world music” more suitable for commercial licenses and synchs.

In our situation, we wanted to explore previous atmospheres while creating new music with a strong grip on it’s timeless elements. We express our music through our language we speak based on our direct cultures, opposed to some “conquistador esque” product that some rich dude in an overpriced cardigan asked us to do for a big budget with a co op promotion with starbuck’s.

Who played on it?

Eva Puyuelo Muns, Roberto Carlos Lange and Myself. Some additional percussionists as well.

It’s described as Catalan acid folk. Is that a description you like?

I don’t mind it but our newest member is Ecuadorean. Eva and I are the only Catalans … But it does sum up the initial idea.

How does the music and culture of Catalonia influence you when you write for Savath & Savalas? And, in your mind, how separate is Savath & Savalas from your other musical projects / aliases? Which part of your personality does Savath & Savalas represent?

Savath + Savalas is definitely an exchange between me, Eva, and now Roberto as well. I don’t affiliate my projects with each other. If I’m involved in any project – my ideas, textures, musicianship, etc. is there, yet it’s definitively all different in approach.

Savath & Savalas Discography:

La Llama CD/LP (2009), Stones Throw
TBA Fan Club 45 7-inch (2009), Stones Throw
Masia EP (2009), Stones Throw
Golden Pollen CD/LP (2007), Anti
Mañana EP (2004), Warp
Apropa’t CD/LP (2004), Warp
Roll and Waves 10-inch (2002), Hefty
Immediate Action #1 12-inch (2001), Hefty
Folk Songs for Trains, Trees and Honey CD/LP (2000), Warp

www.myspace.com/savathysavalas1

The album Savath & SavalasLa Llama” (Stones Throw) is going to be released May 15, 2009.

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