Algodón Egipcio Catches an Afro-Caribbean Breeze on “La Estrella Irregular”

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Venezuelan experimental electronic artist Algodón Egipcio (aka Cheky Bertho) has been living in Mexico City for some time now. The relative calm there, compared to the turmoil of Caracas, has allowed him to finish La Confianza Ciega, the follow up to his 2011 album La Lucha Constante. Today, we’re delighted to premiere the first single from this new recording. It’s evident he’s been using the years since his critically successful and well-loved debut to try out new things and polish his lo-fi style into something quite different.

The single “La Estrella Irregular” feels like a lively, breezy conversation between El Guincho and Korallreven, but it’s haunted by the whisper of champeta and other Afro-Caribbean rhythms. There are teasing hints of calypso. It’s glossy and danceable, but also genuinely experimental; the influences are shifting and hard to place. It’s as if he’s trying to find beats that are both entirely new and inherently Afro-Caribbean. Mournful but cryptic lyrics contrast with the airy production, referring to once-beautiful things that now seem beyond repair. It could be a lament about a romantic relationship; it might also be about something broader.

This release stands several big steps apart from the sound of La Lucha Constante, as well as the sound we heard on his most recent single, the fascinating one-off “Multiestabilidad,” which sounds like someone carefully dismantling breakcore and then rearranging the parts into something more delicate and precise. If “La Estrella Irregular” represents the direction Bertho has taken on La Confianza Ciega, his time in D.F. has been well-spent.

Purchase “La Estrella Irregular” on iTunes here.