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MERIDIAN BROTHERS - Interview

La Calandria is a performer of Puerto Rican ‘Jibaro’ music, which is a traditional style in Puerto Rico mostly from the countryside...

Interviews
Interviews
MERIDIAN BROTHERS - Interview
ETHEREAL.PRESS

ETHEREAL.PRESS

Date
December 1, 2022
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12 mins
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ETHEREAL.PRESS

Tell us a bit about Meridian Brothers.

MERIDIAN BROTHERS

Meridian Brothers is a name that encloses a musical project, mostly focused on making albums, but that also exists live with a band formed by Eblis Alvarez, Alejandro Forero, Cesar Quevedo, Mauricio Ramirez and Maria Valencia. It’s difficult to describe a project started in 1998 (and 10 albums), and passed several periods of exploration.

We can just define the project as a mutating search for some kind of ‘non-material’ essence of sound in connection with documented culture in Latin America and its roots.

ETHEREAL.PRESS

Recently, you released a full-length project titled, 'Meridian Brothers & El Grupo Renacimiento.'

Tell us a bit about the project.

MERIDIAN BROTHERS

El grupo renacimiento is a fake collaboration with the legendary bogotan group. You can know more about El grupo Renacimiento below.

ETHEREAL.PRESS

One of our favourite tracks of the project is, 'La mujer sin corazón.'

Can you tell us a bit about that track in particular?

MERIDIAN BROTHERS

La mujer sin Corazónis a cover of La calandria.

La Calandria is a performer of Puerto Rican ‘Jibaro’ music, which is a traditional style in Puerto Rico mostly from the countryside. I was asked to make a cover of the catalog of the label Ansonia, and I chose this. Jibaro music possesses a very particular way of rhyme, calleddécimas, the sound ofdécimas is very particular and appealing. In the Meridian Brothers version I used a group of influences such as the generic format for Caribbean music, mostly formed by congas ortambores, latin Timbal, and bass, with harmonic instruments on top, in this case, the piano and the guitar. One particular thing about the guitar is that I added a Ghanaian high life-liketumbao’.

ETHEREAL.PRESS

Your band was founded in Bogotá, Columbia. How does Columbian culture impact the music you produce?

MERIDIAN BROTHERS

Meridian brothers is totally based in Colombian culture and it’s connection with The Caribbean. Caribbean music it’s been very popular in Colombia since the 60s where a prosper record culture penetrated the whole country. Since then, this music has been present and developed deeply within the years and reached several lines of growing. When my generation touched globalism, there was a new branch of these developments, mostly integrating the music with electronics and global airs, we can name electro-cumbia, regaeton, plena, tropical bass among others.

Although I’ve been exposed to these contemporary movements and sounds, Meridian Brothers decided to explore the historic sounds instead of joining the globalism philosophy, which for me tends to be an attitude towards the systematic control of human culture through ideals of unity and with the means of financed institutions (mostly with the facades of hype magazines).

So I preferred to go after the discography and the restauration of non-material memories within the collective unconscious of Latin real-people, but no the institutional collective mind.

ETHEREAL.PRESS

Can you elaborate on the term 'B-class' Salsa?

MERIDIAN BROTHERS

B-class salsa was a salsa style that was out of the scope of the biggest salsa label in New York in the 70s, La Fania. I use this term to describe a teenager movement, a lot of them descendants of Puerto Rican inmigrants and, some of them even didn’t speak Spanish well. These salsa bands played styles such as Bogaloo, Bolero, soul and son Montuno, following the fashion of salsa, and actually they even didn’t play the styles properly, but charming. This style was very intriguing to me and I decided to go deeper in that. There was a parallel wave repercussion in Latin America with the salsa movement in general giving birth to a very complete universe of music in Colombia, Venezuela and Perú mostly using son montuno and New York salsa as an inspiration.

A lot of Meridian Brothers music is based on that.

ETHEREAL.PRESS

Can you tell us a bit about the album art for, 'Meridian Brothers & El Grupo Renacimiento?'

MERIDIAN BROTHERS

The album art is made by artist Glenda Torrado.

An artist I often work with. She also made the cover of Cumbia Siglo XXI. The idea of the album is a Verbena’ a day party aimed for a lot of people, in casual conditions. She was particularly focused on each character trying to develop a particular physiology of each.

ETHEREAL.PRESS

What's next for Meridian Brothers?

MERIDIAN BROTHERS

Meridian Brothers will tour mostly the US and Latin America in 2023. For now, we don’t have projects in mind since the band released three albums in the past two years.

Better to dig a bit such an amount of music.

ARTIST LINKS: BANDCAMP - WEBSITE - YOUTUBE

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