Tangos Flamenco + Reggae

Last year I decided to record an album of songs that mix elements of the Tangos Flamenco rhythm with Reggae beats.

Reggae and Tangos Flamenco — not to be confused with the Argentine Tango — are deeply connected. Tangos has a lilt and features the same avoidance of beat one that Reggae and Salsa have, and to my ears it always sounded very different from other Flamenco forms.

I read that some believe the Caribbean rhythm was brought to the Spanish port Cadiz by sailors from merchant vessels, and that the catchy rhythm soon traveled to Andalusia, where it blended with local musical styles and became Tangos Flamenco. The word ‘tangos’ itself might be derived from the onomatopoeia ‘tang’ which resembles ‘the sound of the drum‘, while in some parts of South America the word ‘tangosa’ refers to Africans dancing to the beat of drums.

The deep roots of these three rhythms, Tangos, Reggae and Salsa, of course, lie in Africa.

The new album will be released on October 23rd.

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Here is another track from three-oh-five, perhaps more unusual than the others. I came up with the music backstage at the Dewan Filharmonik in Kuala Lumpur, waiting for the start of our concert there last November. The rhythm shifts between different meters while the tremolo guitar plays a 12/8 ostinato (Bulerias).

I would like to do a whole album of music like this someday, atmospheric, trippy… but perhaps it is best to slide the occasional piece like this into a “regular” album.

Two Versions of One Melody

On 22. April SSRI will release my two new albums. The music on these two albums is quite different, but one melody is present on both, as a bridge connecting the albums and a way to demonstrate the approach I took on each album.

three-oh-five Cover

Here are a few photos documenting the photo shoot for the three-oh-five cover.

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Drawing the three-oh-five logo on the window:
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The above photos are by Diane Small and the location was Shibui, Richard Yaski’s sculpture garden in Little River, near Mendocino, on the Northern Californian coast.

And here is the finished cover:

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