Fuel Fandango’s fourth album, “Origen”, is a twist. The duo formed by Alejandro «Ale» Acosta and Cristina Manjón, «Nita», continues moving towards the horizon, trying to find something that excites them, that becomes part of them and that is distilled in their music. Now, the two-dimensional mix of electronics and flamenco wins a third variable: the blackness of the dance rhythms they learned with Toumani Diabaté.
– What is this work about?
–Ale: To be connected with the roots, with nature and our environment, because we live under a metacapitaslism that disconnects us from ourselves, even if it sounds obvious.
–You can live with less.
–Nita: Everyone has their own way and is respectable, but you have to get close to your own nature, I think. It makes more sense than absurd and excessive capitalism to consume and produce to get somewhere that I don’t know what it is. I think this album is a tribute to the human being.
– Music, what role does it play?
–N .: music is already an act of rebellion in itself. They are programming us for something and art is the only thing that can save us. It is what allows us to avoid the path that we have prepared and be free. There are people who are very conditioned by what they take, what they buy or what sells the most, fashions. But turning something into your path and your universe, that only art can do. We have gone to Africa to places where there was no where to put the keyboard. In Bamako, for example. And it was our best experience.
– Bamako is not going to make money, why did they go?
–N .: No, of course, we went because we like art and work for the love of art many times.
-A .: If they offer you a week of living with musicians like Carles Benavent, Jorge Pardo, Tino Di Geraldo … you have to go. And with Toumani Diabaté and his children, Bala and Sidiki, with whom we live in his house. For us, these opportunities are the most enriching and we have a magnet for inhospitable places.
– Where else have they gone?
–N .: in Swaziland, which is one of the smallest countries in the world, at the Bushfire Festival.
–A .: It is one of the three absolute monarchies that remain in the world. It is amazing. And we have gone to China, Australia, and we always learn something.
–N .: for the love of art, really, money doesn’t matter to us. We don’t make music for that, we like to meet.
– Did they know about African music?
–A .: We are in love with African music not only at the root but also in dance. We love salsa, and Héctor Lavoe, Willy Colón, Ray Barretto, Fania All Stars … are basic in our musical encyclopedia, but we had never started to do it. And in this album there is a small reminiscence of bachata that we would never have imagined doing.
–Nita: And we use handmade instruments bought in all these countries where we have gone.
– And what role does the local tradition play, the Spanish one?
–N .: there are samplers of copla, of flamenco, of a party by bulerías of the 40s in Jerez …
–A .: I collect many old recordings. Like the rappers sample James Brown, we from the beginning have done it with ours. And Nita is always flamenco.
–N .: That cannot be studied. We Andalusians are born like this, but then you can be more open when it comes to singing or less. I never wanted to dedicate myself to anything in particular because I liked Michael Jackson and Freddie Mercury and Marifé de Triana y Camarón. That’s why finding my sound has taken me years. I wanted to sing it all and I had to spin it a lot. But I don’t marry anyone, I consider myself very free.
– Do you abstract from trends? It seems almost impossible.
–N .: No, it is not inevitable. I don’t watch TV and I don’t have Facebook. I dedicate myself to reading and watching movies. I look like a cultureta but it is like that.
–A .: I talk about a record and it makes a face …
–N .: I listen to new music but also very old to get to my sound. I listen to the teachers. But I save television. I like Nils Frahm or Moderat and other very current things, but I am a little disconnected because I am not excited about anything. I prefer to be uninformed to have more harmony with the world. Because, if not, I suffer. I am very sensitive and the outside affects me. That’s why I created my microworld where things don’t affect me.
– But Ale is up to date.
–A .: I learned to produce 20 years ago and I have already passed a few fashions. I keep the things I like. I started with punk rock and I have played house and techno for many years. And now I like the trap and the electronics of now and I catch sounds, but the experience of 20 years is what commands.
–N .: I believe that the only way to be authentic is to keep what interests you about everything. Do not reject the trend even if you know it is temporary, but take it and make it yours.