Como una idea que alguna vez se pronunció como posibilidad. Como un ventarrón que se la lleva bruscamente sin queja ni rencor. Como una desilusión que rompe el alma por ser verdadera. Como abrir los ojos en la mañana y sentir un leve calor antes de la abrumadora zozobra que despierta la conciencia ante la realidad que hoy no es nada más que un día más y que los sueños y las esperanzas se escapan como un globo de helio perdido en el cielo azul.
Y afuera haciendo un frío de menos diez. Así termina.
“La Maga había aparecido una tarde en la rue du Cherche-Midi, cuando subía a mi pieza de la rue de la Tombe Issoire traía siempre una flor, una tarjeta Klee o Miró, y si no tenía dinero elegía una hoja de plátano en el parque.”
I’ve always been a city dweller. Grew up in a big concrete jungle down south (way south of the border) and spent hours wandering around the city. Sure I didn’t earn a street cred badge, but I knew how to navigate it and stay away from the rough areas.
Anyway, due to my family’s decision to move I ended up in suburbia, whereas once I could go outside, walk a few blocks and catch a bus to anywhere, I was now stuck in a place where the nearest form of urbanization was the municipal courthouse 15 miles away.
Needless to say I was miserable.
A few years later, and after I had acquired the ability to realistically be able to go anywhere, anyplace on my own, I went back home. What made it significant was not the fact that I returned but rather, that I knew that I belonged, and that regardless of where I was now, that I’d never forget that.
I also walked aimlessly for hours around the city, without a worry about how I would go back to my place of stay, or at what time. I just roamed and took in the sounds of the city as it breathed around me.
One of my all-time favorite albums is Deltron 3030, the project created by the super group of Dan the Automator, Del the Funky Homosapien and Kid Koala. It takes the listener through the life and times of Deltron, an emcee living in a dystopian society in the year 3030, where he battles government corruption and engages in the occasional intergalactic rap battle.
The fact that it’s a hip hop concept album and a rap opera is thought-provoking enough, but I hadn’t realized/thought through as far as the source of the art for the cover.
It’s actually a photograph of people walking from the Trylon to the Perisphere, two structures constructed for the 1939 New York World’s fair, which was a showcase for the Art Deco style of the time.
Building upon the musical diversity of their debut, All Good Things, this New York City-based production outfit once again channels their Dominican roots through a distinct urban sound.
Blending break beats and moody downtempo keys with a distinct Latin influence, production is tight enough to avoid making it a gimmick. Like the title suggest, If you want it is an encore of sorts, as head producer Ramon Nova expands on his polyrhythmic style by fusing, for instance, a slow dancehall beat, reggae strings, and bongos on “For a while,” or a dub riddim, with Spanish rhymes in “Just Want To See Ya.”
Although Nova makes a distinct effort to widen his musical range (the title track reworks a classic Motor City drum pattern), after a couple listens the question is, does the sound have any shelf life beyond a couple of albums?