In the growing wave of Latino and Latin American artists revisiting their folkloric roots, Argentine electronic producer Pol Nada reaches into the past to find meaning in the soil that saw him arrive in this world.
Pablo Jacobo, the man behind Pol Nada, based his latest effort – a two-part album consisting of a first batch of eight tracks and an upcoming accompanying volume of remixes – on the research of singer and musicologist Linares Cardozo. Influenced by the work of the inimitable Argentine artist Atahualpa Yupanqui, Cardozo investigated and preserved various forms of litoraleña music, especially chamarrita, a folk style that gauchos passed on through oral tradition. Thanks to his work, the genre was saved from extinction, and it became an essential part of the Argentine songbook. Cardozo and Jacobo both hail from La Paz in the Entre Ríos province, which motivated Pablo to reconnect to the deep roots of his heritage.
Released on El Remolón’s Fértil Discos as well as Mamboreta, La San Llamarada isn’t a straightforward interpretation of entrerriano music. Rather, Pol Nada applies a gentle electronic touch to connect with the raw emotion of these ancient compositions. Vocals and string melodies are at the core of much of the repertoire here, yet the production hits hard without trying to “update” the sound. Songs like “Canto a La Paz” or “La Palma Con Agua” use silence and reverb to build space for echoes and depth. Whistles appear like haunted calls from the jungle, and there’s a psychedelic bent to much of La San Llamarada, but everything is arranged to emphasize the melodies and lyrics. Elements of dub abound, and repeat listens will reward you without fail.
A big part of La San Llamarada’s charm is its ability to transport the listener into the past, instead of trying to emulate it. Pol Nada opens a door into a dimension of an old world, exposing the listener to a truth that needs to be felt more than it needs to be understood. Old traditions are timeless; the melodies of our roots can resonate deeply as they travel through the years. La San Llamarada is a vessel for a particular sound, delivering an impact that transcends the current world.
Pol Nada’s La San Llamarada is out now on Fértil Discos.