Tony Gallardo has never shied away from exposing the darkest corners of his psyche. From the violent disillusionment of María y José, to the paranoid chasms of his early Tony Gallardo II releases, Tijuana’s eccentric golden boy consistently delivers raw emotional honesty through warped synths and comical – if unnerving – aesthetics. For his latest adventure, Tony Gallardo has decided to collide two of his multitude of projects, charting the emotional emptiness of leaving a doomed relationship and returning home to his beloved and sometimes tortured Tijuana.
On Adoración y Locura EP, Tony merges the sonic sensibilities of TG II (arguably, his most pop project) and The Boid, his sinister house-DJ alter ego. The results are “Adoración” and “Locura,” two disparate but immersive songs that conjure the uncomfortable sensation of walking in a lucid dream. Both tracks are instrumental, a sharp turn away from Tony’s usually incisive writing, focusing instead on channeling the emotional energy of the breakup. “The EP is about entering and leaving a relationship,” he says via email. “’Adoración’ is about when everything is alright, but really isn’t, and ‘Locura’ is a frenzy of sounds, when you’re confused and just want to bail out.”
“Locura” is without a doubt the most enjoyable and light-hearted cut off the record. The wacky joy of TG II shines through the song’s reverby synths, like strobe lights piercing a foggy dance floor. On the flip side, “Adoración” drones on, much like Tony’s forsaken liaison, sleepwalking through life and music. The track is by no means dull, and it builds on the cold despondence of The Boid’s signature sound.
The EP is completed by two remixes of “Adoración,” courtesy of friends and guest producers Tyu and Fabio Me Llaman Soltero. “The two tracks stem from the post-break up and they’re filled with intense melancholy, but no actual sadness,” he says. “For the remixes, Fabio Me Llaman Soltero adds some cool accelerated dembow to the track, while Tyu turns the song into beautiful pop.” Tyu is also the head of Discos Sentimiento, the label releasing Adoración, while Fabio Me Llaman Soltero is part of Guatemala City-based collective and label Sonido Moderna.
Adoración presents a stranger entry than usual in the Tony Gallardo canon, one fueled by emotional and physical displacement. After bouncing back and forth from Mexico City and Monterrey over the years, this is the first time Tony has resettled in his Tijuana home, grappling with his newfound stability. “I’m starting over,” he reflects, “not from zero, but it’s definitely a clean slate. There is still a dash of crisis in my life but I’m learning to control it better.”
One might also argue that by merging two of his projects, the music is also experiencing an identity crisis. But for Tony, it’s all about coursing every possible creative avenue. “I’m just experimenting with my own music and graphic design,” he says. “I don’t like heading in only one direction. I’d much rather exploit the infinite possibilities of doing what I enjoy. Tijuana helps me stay in an imaginary comfort zone where I can do whatever I want without losing the essence of TG.”
Tony Gallardo II’s Adoración y Locura EP is out now on Discos Sentimiento.