We all know and love Puerto Rico’s own Arnaldo Lozada, better known as AJ Dávila, thanks to his work with the amazing garage punk band Dávila 666 and his solo work with Terror Amor. The Young Nico project is just another side of his musical personality that helps him dig up his cinematic and noisy side.
Lozada has revealed a whole new aspect of his personality through music. For Young Nico, his songwriting skills take a backseat to experimentation with sound instead of music. “It’s not the kind of music that you hear on the radio, it’s more of the kind you will hear in a horror movie,“ he told us about the project. Inspired in big part by his fascination with David Lynch and the soundtrack to many of his works, Untitled is a record that ventures into the surreal and the sinister. “It was more like my personal imaginary movie, my personal opera,” AJ says with a laugh.
It’s easy to hear the influence Lynch has had on Dávila when listening to his tracks. “Since [I was] a kid I had this fascination with weird, dark stuff in movies, literature, and music. [Since] the first time I saw a David Lynch movie my life changed, I [became] obsessed with his art. I really wanted to live in that kind of reality.” The selected tracks his label Témere has made available on SoundCloud so far show his inspiration culled from frequent Lynch soundtrack composer Angelo Badalamenti, reflected in the piano bar from hell vamps and the atmospherics found in his work. Digging deeper reveals far more than a loving tribute.
AJ has had a love affair with fringe music for a long time: “I have been interested in free jazz, noise, and experimental music for a long, long time. I’m a huge fan of Ornette Coleman, Sun Ra, John Zorn, Albert Ayler, Taj Mahal Travellers, Keiji Haino, Harold Budd, John Cage, Terry Riley, Anthony Braxton, Sunn O))), Nurse With Wound, Brian Eno, Karlheinz Stockhausen, La Monte Young, Alice and John Coltrane, Earth, Bohren and Der Club Of Gore…the list is endless!” Indeed, Young Nico reflects many of these artists in details like unsettling high frequencies, droning background soundscapes, low end rumble, and powerful and sometimes aimless drumming. Most notably it conjures the jagged sonic absurdism of Nurse With Wound with the doomy jazz ruminations of Bohren.
Untitled will be the first release of Témere, a new New York label started by photographer and designer Quique Cabanillas, a long time friend of Arnaldo. “When I [started] this project, I did it for myself; it was very personal. I never had playing it live or putting it out in mind. I just shared with my friends. So one day Quique told me the idea of doing this record label, and he asked me to put out the Young Nico album.” The record will feature 19 tracks and will be available on tape and digitally through Bandcamp. Here are six tracks to get you started.