April is here, which means we’re only days away from Kwalia, BFlecha’s long-awaited follow-up to her 2013 debut βeta. Self-produced tracks “Rutas circulares” and “Zigurat” have already set the tone of what to expect from the album: shimmering synths, soaring hip-hop beats, R&B sensibilities, and a whole lot of space-age metaphors. But don’t think you’ve got her figured out just yet.
On her third single off Kwalia, “金剛の (Kongô No),” the artist born Belén Vidal takes a step back from production and focuses on composition and performance. This time, she tapped long-time Arufe collaborator and “H2o” guest Judah to get behind the boards. The kanji characters in the song title evince a Japanese influence that shows up in hints of Shibuya key chord progressions, the use of ritualistic taiko drum samples, and in DJ Mayumi Takada’s reading of the Kawabata Bosha haiku that gives the song its title.
The heavy pumps and delicious synth drips are run over by an implacable bassline, while Vidal glides on an R&B melody that could make a great ballad, with different instrumentation. She flexes her vocal range here, singing about being 金剛 – that is, my non-Japanese-speaking friends, “indestructible,” like the fictional metal adamantium. “Mi virtud es mi resistencia,” she coos, letting the world know nothing can destroy her inner fortress.
Kwalia is out April 21 on BFlecha’s own Arkestra Discos imprint.