Nicolá Cruz, self-proclaimed “Andes step” producer, is back. Only a few months after the Ecuadorian beatmaker (who was raised in France) gave us the mesmerizing “Colibria,” he has dropped a brand new EP on Canadian label Multi Culti. He’s also shared two new songs and two remixes for your listening and dancing pleasure.
Cruz continues to carve his own path, informed equally by Ecuadorian folk sounds, as well as urban rhythms and the occasional use of electronic instruments. “Mantis” is a percussion-heavy track that morphs into a swinging beat and features melodies played on a quena, with some ambient synth touches added along the way. The jungle flute work returns on “Invocación,” a more solemn joint that’s led by a slow grimey beat that fuels the dreamlike flavor of the track. All in all, the songs feel like a shamanistic hip-hop experience, part Pre-Hispanic field recordings, part new age retro sounds, and part nostalgic head trip, thanks in part to the vinyl cracks and hisses present on the tracks.
The EP is rounded out by two remixes of “Mantis,” a tribal-focused flip by Australian producer Xanga. Meanwhile, Brazil’s L_cio offers a more synth-led and rhythmic side of the rework. Together, the two styles suggest we might be looking at the dawn of the Andes step revolution.
Keep your eyes and ears open for more Nicolá Cruz joints. He’s one of the most original producers around, thanks to his ability to blend the ancestral and the modern into something personal and appealing for those looking to dance, get lost in music, or both.