We bring you the exclusive stream of Meneo’s new EP, the first material he's released in four years, and his debut on Subterfuge. Chiptune, electropical, uplifting, tasty dance rhythms and a whole lot of fun, fun, fun. The man stays true to his ideals.
Rigo Pex, also known as Meneo, had been silent for a few years. Not that he hasn't been playing (the Nicaraguan based in Madrid has been playing live constantly, and he gave us a hot podcast some time ago), but he hasn't released anything since his last album “Santa Nalga”, back in 2008. That's why his joining the Subterfuge family is news: next week, the label is releasing his first EP, “ Larele ”, as an appetiser for a new album on which he once again mixes tropical electro, Gameboy melodies, reggaeton bastardisations, salsa and other Caribbean rhythms with hardcore, in an intelligent, agitated exercise in global electronica.
Before it comes out, we bring you the exclusive online stream of the four-tracker, and the premiere of the video of the title track, which you'll find below, along with track by track comments by Meneo himself.
Meneo comments on “Larele”
I'm Rigo Pex, a.k.a. Meneo, and I'm here to tell you about my new EP called “Larele”, which Subterfuge will release as an act of blind faith and good vibes, quite extraordinary for the times we're living in. Before anything else, I would like to say I wanted to release it this summer, when it’s nice and hot, but with the first drops of sweat already rolling down the secretaries' legs when coming out of the underground, well, my bum-o-meter forced me to get it on out.
Now that we're heated up, I'll explain that the last time I released anything was four years ago, a ten-track album called “Santa Nalga”, which was a mix of rhythms taken from reggaeton, cumbia and bolero, painted with melodies made on Gameboy and other virtual synthesisers that minimal and dubstep are made with. It featured some hits, thanks to simple and catchy lyrics, like “Mami, Papi, Okupa, Licuadora, Subidón” and so on. It meant a break away from the pseudo-interesting lyrics of indie and the arrogant and insipid attitude of DJs at the time. Remember that in 2008 there weren't any brilliant maximal tracks by the likes of Crookers, The Bloody Beetroots, Fake Blood... nein! At the most M.I.A. and Diplo were doing some good things when it came to new rhythms.
Anyway, much has changed since then; the kids today don't spend their teen years being rock/heavy metal dude(tte)s, they do the pogo to Zombie Kids and Steve Aoki. Also the music press is more open to cheekiness, and releasing an album, well, that's really something for grannies who can only do one thing at a time, which is listening to music, in this case. I'm not saying that people can’t stop tweeting or taking pictures at live shows, but frankly, few stop chatting or texting while they're downloading a tune for the first time, in front of their screen, which we keep watching.
With that multitasking in mind, I selected the tracks for “Lerele”, four songs that you could never mix in a DJ set and should never play while driving your car safely. That said, here goes:
The video was shot about two years ago. The shots of the freaky people were taken by a good friend of mine from Argentina, who died of cancer a couple of months later, so getting these images was quite the emotional rollercoaster; later, thanks to the good people of Devicers, who throw some pretty crazy 8-bit parties every year, we managed to edit them. The track is daring, as it's 100% chiptune, that is to say, directly recorded from the four tracks of a Gameboy, and I think it's the first single of this kind to be released in this country (and many others), as the Gameboy, when you record it, sounds like an empty tin can. I chose it as the single because after three years of playing it live, it's still a hit, and it sums up my composition style: influences from Dutch gabber, syncopated bass lines reminiscent of Latino booty bass, and a naked voice. Crazy stuff!!
I think it's funny how the Gameboy, when playing live, produces frequencies similar to punk: lots of mid-range sounds and few high and low ones, leading people to take to the floor frantically but firmly. While the tune is an epic nuisance, live it becomes a party anthem few can resist, which is why we included it at the last minute, after we saw the crowd at the SOS4.8 festival almost losing their voices singing it. Also, the lyrics are proof that they haven’t necessarily got to be long to be good.
3. Lerele (Automix)
Choosing the tracks for this EP was crazy, not only because four years without releasing anything is way too long, and new songs start piling up uncontrollably, but because styles change a lot as well in that time on the “electropical” scene, with new sounds like kuduro, moombahton, globalbass, changa tuki, cumbia digital, rumbahton, brujatón, etc. So I wanted to do a tune that would reflect all those impressions I have, but that could be played anytime, anywhere. The process was a bit schizo, not only because it turned out as a kind of Caribbean indie with a bit of party house thrown in, but also because we recorded it in the studio with pianos, marimbas, kalimbas, Rhodes, double bass, whistles, etc.
4. Eres Tú
Projecting joy all the time can be a big pain in the ass. This track came about as a personal confession, as I usually play about 70 times a year and I'm never in one place long enough to become completely at ease. It's been quite a process to learn how to be on my own, to appreciate the moment and those who offer you company. The frenetic part of this track is a futuristic merengue I play in my head like the ultimate party, the moment you're surrounded by people in some ritual of happiness. Then, the dubstep part is the comedown, that emotional hangover the day after, the moment you leave it all behind and start over.