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Oscar-winning singer/songwriter JORGE DREXLER releases new CD on April 22, 2014
Bailar En La Cueva (Dancing in the Cave) on Warner Music Latina
Best known for his poetic lyrics, the Uruguayan doctor-turned-musician embraces the grooves and the joy of Latin dance music.
With the help of artists such as CAETANO VELOSO (Brazil), VISITANTE (Puerto Rico’s urban duo CALLE 13), ANA TIJOUX (Chile) and LI SAUMET (Colombian group Bomba Estéreo), Drexler presents a collection of new songs created “from the feet up”
“Universos Paralelos” (Parallel Universes), the album’s first single, out March 25
Oscar-winning singer and songwriter Jorge Drexler has long established himself as one of the premier poets/lyricists in Latin pop. But in his latest Warner Music Latina release Bailar en la Cueva (Dancing in the Cave) the doctor-turned-musician puts the focus on dancing and music as a physical celebration, something as old as humanity itself. The CD will be released April 22nd on Warner Music Latina.
The very first line in Bailar en la Cueva sets the tone:
La idea es eternamente nueva/ Cae la noche y nos seguimos juntando/ a bailar en la cueva.
(The idea is eternally new/As the night falls we keep gathering/ to dance in the cave)
Recorded in Bogota, Colombia and Madrid, “Bailar en la Cueva is a celebration of dance and music as defining elements in our identity as humans,” says native Drexler, a multiple GRAMMY® and Latin GRAMMY® nominee from Montevideo, Uruguay. “To gather around a fire and keep a rhythm collectively is something we probably did even before we had a structured language… On a more personal note, it’s my attempt to recover in my songs the relationship between music and dancing. I came of age in my country [Uruguay] under a dictatorship, where we didn’t dance because it was frowned upon -- as much by the military regime as by the circle of leftist intellectuals in which I grew up. I even wrote in a song ‘we musicians don’t dance.’ Well, that idea has passed its use-by date.”
Because “the idea was to do a record for the body .. broaden the world of emotion and intellect in which I’m more comfortable and put the songs in a more physical place: write them from the feet up.”
“We worked the rhythms, especially, with Colombian percussionists. A great many of the songs emerged from that rhythmic foundation,” explains Drexler. “This is a recording in which, almost always, the lyrics are more compact, more concrete and shorter than in previous albums. In almost all the songs I left out half of the lyrics and half of the chords [I had written].”
In Bailar En La Cueva, his 12th album, Drexler takes fresh turns in his music, including songs to a Colombian cumbia beat, a Mexican ranchera and a hint of the fascinating fusion (from psychedelic rock to traditional styles) of a cumbia peruana (Peruvian cumbia). It’s a broader view of the music of Latin America that also features collaborations with artists such as Brazilian singer and songwriter Caetano Veloso, singer Li Saumet of the Colombian group Bomba Estereo, French-Chilean singer Ana Tijoux, Bogota-based English musician and producer Will “Quantic” Holland, and musician and producer Eduardo Cabra a/k/a "Visitante" from the Puerto Rican urban duo Calle 13.
But as can be expected from Drexler, making a danceable record doesn´t mean neglecting the lyrics.
There are songs about love of course, a still mysterious, if hopeful, negotiation. But in “Bolivia,” for example, Drexler addresses a very personal story as he sings about his grandparents and his father, then just four years old, finding refuge in Bolivia after escaping Germany and the Nazi horrors in 1939 (his family lived in Oruro for eight years before moving to Montevideo, Uruguay). And in the ironic “La Plegaria del Paparazzo” (The Paparazzo Prayer) he asks God to help him find “the nose, the shamelessness and the patience” needed to stalk his prey, mocking those who make a living getting “gotcha” pictures for trashy magazines. In “Data Data” he addresses the avarice of the times singing about “the greed of glamour and the glamour of greed,” and in “La Luna de Rasquí” (The Moon of Rasqui) Drexler tips his hat to the great Venezuelan singer and songwriter Simón Díaz, who passed away in February of this year .
Drexler began to write songs in 1989, while still a medical student, and released his first album, La luz que sabe robar, in 1992 — the year he also graduated with a specialty in otolaryngology (ear-nose-throat). After releasing his second album, Radar (1994), he moved to Spain, where he recorded his third album Vaivén (1996), which features collaborations with Joaquín Sabina, Luis Eduardo Aute, and Javier Álvarez.
Drexler got sudden global attention in 2005 when he received an Oscar for the song "Al otro lado del río" (The Other Side of the River), from the film The Motorcycle Diaries. He also made history: It was the first song in Spanish to ever win an Academy Award.
In recent years, Drexler has not only continued to write, record and perform songs, but has composed music for film and ballet (the Ballet Nacional del Sodre, directed by Julio Bocca); debuted as an actor in a leading role in the film La Suerte en tus Manos (Luck in your Hands, Daniel Burman, 2012) and that year, he also experimented with music and new technology in his project “App N,” a smart phone application that allowed users to interact with three of his songs, recomposing them on the fly, in real time.
“That was an adventure .. that gave me the vibrant sensation of opening an absolutely new path, something never done before with songs ... very cerebral and requiring great patience and planning,” says Drexler.
“In some ways, Bailar En La Cueva is searching in the opposite direction: looking for a direct, immediate emotional relation between movement and the music we’ve been doing. These are tight, compact songs in which the feet and the emotions rule over the brain.”
Jorge Drexler “Bailar en la cueva” Tour 2014 / Part One: http://jorgedrexler.com/bailarenlacueva/events/