Malandanza is my second album as a leader, composer and producer. I wanted to create an expression that was reminiscent of traditional music that I grew up listening to, but that had a sense of being current and contemporary, that was an expression of who I am as a person and as a musician, but that would also share some of the character--at once playful, serious, tragic and humorous--of the people from my country, Colombia. I did this by writing a few songs that were very different from each other, and giving them to amazing musicians to do whatever they thought would fit into them. I have been amazed by the results over and over. In fact, the way these songs sound today is so entirely different from the way they were recorded, that I kind of wish I could go back and redo the whole thing. But the truth is that I really like this album a lot. I hear in it the talent, virtuosity and partnership of the guys who helped me put it together. I also identify a need to find a way to deal with some of life's realities. Put another way, the need to have fun with music.
This music makes part of a large movement that is boiling in my home country. The publishing label, Festina Lente Discos, is curating an amazing collection of artists. The albums are all quite distinct from each other, with nods to traditional Colombian and South American music, jazz, rock, funk, punk, metal, the avant garde and experimental, and even to classical and contemporary music. They have in common a sound that is fresh and adventurous, a sound that strives to be real in the face of so much overly made-up music.
About the album Malandanza, Festina Lente Discos wrote in their blog:
"Distancing himself from exoticism, guitar player [Alejandro Flórez] dives deep into the sounds of the Colombian Andes, presenting a music that is anything but Naive. Here there is nostalgia, happiness, and the company of Colombian, Peruvian and North American musicians who imprint a very colorful air on this memorable disc."
I hope you have as much fun listening to this album as I've had producing it. Feel free to contact me with your impressions, and thank you for reading and for your support!