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Reviews Album cover: Wendy Valladares / Design: Pepe Menéndez. Album cover: Wendy Valladares / Design: Pepe Menéndez.

Maradentro / Telmary

The first words of Yemayá's daughter are for the orisha. "Give us a truce, a save." Yemayá is furious, rebellious and there is nothing to collude with her because she is always right. Looking for the best offering to calm her down, Telmary resolves to turn her prayer into music.

inside (Colibrí, 2021) is the name of the fourth and most recent album by the former member of Interactivo, but also of the first of the nine songs that make it up. They share a name so that the image of Yemayá heads and pumps up the entire album, since as an icon it is definitive: a scathing woman, a fearsome goddess, irrepressible, a lullaby, also an outrage, who experienced the shipwreck of being a take it up in the damn circumstance of water everywhere; all that Telmary is. For this reason, anyone can enjoy the album, but it particularly overwhelms women.

open with inside and close with talk to you, prayer or challenge launched for a future replica of the sea. The first song breaks early, aggressively and retreats in successive waves of a saxophone. A touch of sax for Yemayá, why not. For its part, talk to you he offers his vows to the orisha respecting the touch, citing it.

Now, regarding freedoms in music, Telmary has a concern. says the intro of delivery girl, (read at the speed of a rapentism and as singing the aserejé):

“The music that I have always listened to / inherits its identity from my grandparents / Cuban / it is not possible that it gets lost along the way in an easy mixture full of vulgarity”.

I disagree, but I understand. Although the word reggaeton is never mentioned in the song, I can assume that it is the target of the idea. Brazen king of the remix, marginalized and branded as vulgar as the most —somewhat laughable qualifier—, Cuban reggaeton could be brilliant, but it is not exploited, until some songs do not hit it falls asleep in the dynamics of scratching the scrape. In other words, it has no memory. It's a shame, because what it does have is a notable daring to stow melodies and, even so, what it carries out is an appropriation of the wildest, not a cultural kidnapping. But, stated as a problem, one should, at least, scribble a solution.

Telmary's idea was to open up the world map and, ignoring chronological rigors, trace a possible trajectory of the cast in a danceable lyric. A long pilgrimage came rolling in from Africa, it stirred in Brazil, in Jamaica and, finally, it broke ranks in Cuba where, with the forgiveness of the ancestors, it has become a bit sedentary. That's why delivery girl he picks up a bit of the whole trip and mixes it up into a hefty but very healthy dose of samba. It is a song-model daughter of the musical tradition that precedes it, opposed to the “grotesque” of its current heir.

The expedition in search of origins does not end there. If we keep listening, we'll notice the stampede in crescendo what does it seem to say save yourself. In the background, a choir of men murmurs a sort of mantra and in the very close-up the percussion hits to incite you to move your feet and your chest. As our tradition is best preserved in leather, each thrust is repeated to wake him up. save yourself interprets a heart that beats with ancestral strength, perhaps that of Osain del Monte.

Luckily the album, solemn until now, is changed into romp with Who sent you, one of the funniest plates on the album. It talks about a party, it sounds like a party, it has sly dialogues, and a slight aftertaste of “And if you want, I'll make you dance”; in short, the first song that can make you smile from the first seconds. I say luck because, for an album that aspires to move through different registers —both sound and soul— without losing unity, this turn is healthy. In cahoots with Alexander Abreu, the music nods to the ingenious joke, it is energetic and, even so, it breathes calmly, but it also overflows with a healthy joy that lasts for Wrong 8.6, remake that we think is unnecessary until we hear it. This is the version where Telmary, at the very least, is right again. Just a context switch; the intact lyrics are no longer rapped from home, but from some nightclub and are downloaded as an effervescent timba, perfect to combine with beer.

However, the best way to sabotage the fun is to force it. I feel that it is the case heat the hype, maybe he track least harmonic of the album. The intention was to braid sounds from different periods and regions to find an essence of the local urban and, at the same time, evoke something primitive. For this, a base afrobeat and above, planted with aguaje, a choir that rushes and leaves the song tense, on the same plane. The monotony is not broken by any background moving and composing, even the noise has to be arranged: not even a one-man band plays all his instruments at the same time.

Arrived until here, we are staying pure words: a somewhat nostalgic breath that comes from the time when the club did not close and filin was struck out on the jukebox. Soft ripples, like those of a snake released into a river, bristle every surface. It is Omara's voice in duet with Telmary's, devising a sensual way of denying lies with her finger, to reveal to us that a word is nothing more than a word more than a word. Yes pure words It didn't come like it does, it would be anything but filin.

On the other hand, in love it appears to enjoy the same calm, with a simple melodic structure, charming textures and an aura of ingenuity that ends up turning into syrup. To top off the accident, comes the easy rhyme: "Our madness has a cure." I couldn't tell if in another voice other than Ana Torroja's it would have sounded less cheesy. And being cheesy is not a sin, it's staying halfway. The game is to find the grace in each accent and take it to the top. I don't think Rilke should be listened to and avoid writing love verses, because “In the beginning, forms and themes that are too common are the most difficult”. They are the most difficult because being in love is a bit like drunken dancing: only you think that your movements are original, while the rest see you as a wobbly mass about to hit the ground. And I don't think that was the intention in love.

as album, inside He thinks he has it all figured out and it's partly true. There are mixes that join hands at one point and push to give birth to their own voice, but, above all, they have songs that they enjoy themselves. Save yourself, who sent you, pure words and delivery girl, Although their motivation is suspect, they are a good example of that precise state of calm thanks to which forms begin to be reflected in the water: then it is possible to say that an image or, in this case, a sound is being created.

But let's say that having everything thought out can be a double-edged sword. After playing the album for the first time, I found songs that didn't necessarily sound bad, but I preferred not to listen to them again, I couldn't explain why. There was "something" hasty that scattered the contours and in its place left an arbitrary abstraction, strange in an album in which each song seems to be conceived to have a precise temperament. Nor did it have to do with more or less accelerated rhythms.

It occurred to me that stepping back and listening with alert intuition was just the one missing. Intuition, that inexplicable subtlety that is there making decisions before you, resisting you rushing through the plan you drew up and it seems so logical to you. “I want it to sound like a party, so I put a DJ next to a mariachi next to a cumbia with a confetti cannon, I crown everything with a cool title and BOOM! I have the party done". When there is so much coldness in the process, one believes that one does not need to think any more, and can dedicate oneself to producing with one's mind elsewhere, because doing is predictable, boring. If the ego tells you to "put it in" it is usually a trap, you have to suspect that it is so easy. So, trivial as it may seem, if intention and intuition sound so similar, it's wise not to keep them too far apart. Combining them translates into the necessary grace to take the pulse of each sound and detect when to enliven it or let it die. Things for which you have to relax and take your time, which is why we have plenty, right?

Listen inside here.

Amalia Echemendia Amalia Echemendia Visual artist, enthusiastic whistler, drawer of formidable pencil tips. He laughs like a hyena. More posts

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