Being raised in a Puerto Rican household filled with three generations of musicians was a creative goldmine for El Bles, a young producer based out of Florida. The life-long percussionist and beatmaker is providing a first glimpse into the making of his Ray Barretto tribute EP, I Am Latin Soul. Bles breaks down Latin beats to bring about his own raw, percussion-heavy sound, embodying the spirit of these classic records, but adding a 2016 twist.
In the video for “Soula,” Bles samples and chops up Barretto’s “Sola Te Dejare,” and infuses the instrumental with a patchwork of drum breaks and pitched down vocals. “Visually, I simply wanted to walk people through the creative process, the layers that otherwise might go unnoticed when building up and breaking down a beat like this,” El Bles told Remezcla. “It’s a re-enactment of the ‘making of,’ but it’s exactly how it went down. Musically, it’s how I’d like to think Dilla & Madlib would’ve flipped a Ray Barretto record.”