These songs were recorded over the space of a few summer and winter months in Silverlake, Los Angeles, by Oakland-based duo TOTONOKO and engineer/co-producer Daniel Wright. This was a period of time characterized by long drives, great attention to birdsong, various nights spent on various floors and various bright mornings thereafter, and a good amount of laughter. What resulted is traveling music, bird music, night music, new music, joyful music.
Deeply informed by the inhertance of a world made increasingly smaller (Mateo Lugo was born in Venezuela and Nika Aila States spent her childhood in Germany) and by a shared love of both traditional and non-traditional music forms, the duo cites a heady range of influences, from Neil Young and Nina Simone to Radiohead and Sigur Ros, all the way over to Iannis Xenakis and John Cage. Armed also with a profound appreciation for the words of Woody Guthrie, Octavio Paz, and Marcel Proust, with an eye to the brilliant spectacle of everyday life, the pair have written and performed a collection of music that is as rich lyrically as it is sonically. Enduring harmonies are backed by strong guitars and a host of vivid sounds collected from the studio and from the streets. Present here are not just two strong voices, but also the intermittent hiss of a tape-recorder, the chatter both of Venice Beach and Silverlake birds, the hard work of roofers in the canyon, and childhood encounters with the ocean.
In a thoughtful but sweeping debut, TOTONOKO have excavated a striking landscape populated by cherished ghosts, curious dreams, and the promise both of rich toil and well-earned warmth. A simple folk song asks a difficult question, and a stranger tune boils down just to this: the noise we make.
released August 16, 2014
WORDS AND MUSIC by TOTONOKO, except Mulberry Hurricane (TOTONOKO & Daniel Wright).
PERFORMED by TOTONOKO, Daniel Wright, the sea and the sounds of Los Angeles, and Rudi Schmidt (Charango) and Clinton Patterson (Trumpet) on OLD MEXICO, and Michael Calabrese (Drums) on WAKE UP, KIND WATER.
CO-PRODUCED by TOTONOKO and Daniel Wright.
ENGINEERED by Daniel Wright.
MASTERED by Manuel Jimenez (Arimaka).
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