We’re always interested in new and exciting sounds that are so far away from our usual taste selections but help broaden our palettes and take us into unfamiliar territory. So when we first caught wind of the new “Siku” album from Ecuadorian producer Nicola Cruz it really blew us away and made us want to dig deeper into the local sounds that inspired him to create this work of art.
An interest in ancestral Latin American cosmology has always run right through the music of Ecuadorian music producer Nicola Cruz. His creative process involves an attentive, careful search for the living roots and rituals that are part of South American identity—its Andean and African origins in particular—valuing its rhythms, its oral traditions, its instruments and the energy they transmit. His first record, Prender el Alma (2015) explored the development of the consciousness and spirituality, and how they connect with music. In Siku, his most recent production, Cruz continues this exploration, expanding his vision towards new stories and other cultures as sources of inspiration. A crucial aspect on this journey is his collaboration with other artists from around the world.
The siku is a wind instrument of Andean origin, highly symbolic in ancestral rituals, made up of two separate, complementary parts, the arca and the ira. It is a representation of duality, an essential element of the indigenous world view, associated with involvement and complementarity, far from the binary thinking typical of western societies. That duality is reflected on this record in the coming together of sounds, whether electronic or organic, past or present, local or global. On Siku, Nicola Cruz combines instruments with symbolic, spiritual connotations, such as the sitar, the siku, and the balafon with hints of electronica. Studies of the samba, cumbia and rhythms of African, Andean and Hindu origin are combined with Cruz’s characteristically unpredictable, mystical style.