Tobias., Aerea Negrot
Ideally an info sheet for a new album should read like an artist biography accompanied by a brief interpretation of the release. Not to imply that journalists have forgotten how to do research, and not to put words in anybodys mouth, but simply to avoid a musician being presented in a false context.
So what do you do if the album itself reveals so much about the artist that there is hardly anything to add, except for a few words to introduce the person and explain how the music came about? The debut album from the Venezuelan Aérea Negrot is one of those records which speak with such intensity that her deepest emotions are instantly laid bare to the listener. This heartfelt account in music and words relays her unique outlook and life story to the world without a hint of inhibition. Sometime in 2004, having passed through Caracas, Porto, The Hague and London, Aérea Negrot arrived in Berlin and sensed she had finally found the place she had been looking for ever since her childhood. Even in her early years she felt like she belonged to another planet, despite coming from a family of dancers who had always taken a more frivolous approach to life than their neighbours. Her grandmothers operas provided the soundtrack to her youth, and in her free time she preferred singing in a choir to going to the disco. It was later that she discovered the club scene, fearlessly cavorting through Europe whilst looking for a new focal point to direct her boundless artistic energy towards. Aérea first settled for a while in London, studied at the Centre of Contemporary Music and began producing her first songs. After moving to Berlin she set her mind to gaining the attention of the public with avant-garde dance performances. She earned a living in her spare time as a sales assistant at a furniture store on Savignyplatz. She finally appeared on the musical radar in 2010 with the release of her first official EP All I Wanna Do on BPitch Control. But instead of continuing to concentrate on her solo career she started making a name for herself as a singer and dancer with the band Hercules & Love Affair, based around the American producer Andy Butler. After recording the album Blue Songs with the band she set off on a world tour. Now following her recent second BPitch Control EP Right Body Wrong Time and a remix EP featuring re-interpretations from Hercules & Love Affair, Seth Troxler and Ricardo Villalobos (who was so captivated when he heard the song Miss You in Tobias Freunds studio that he produced two epic remixes the very next night) the moment has arrived for Arabxilla. The album is filled with extraordinary avant-pop songs leading a merry dance around the genres of techno, house and electronica. Adding to the musical language, Aérea Negrot tells stories of her adventure-filled gipsy life in a varied patchwork of German, English and Spanish. Her vocal style follows her mood, sometimes classical opera, sometimes a sassy spoken word style, sometimes simply speaking as the words come to her. Describing her songs with her own typical lust for life, she says: I really enjoy hearing a twist in music, like the music of Yma Sumac who used her classical voice to sing Mambo. I do enjoy mixing classical music with techno, strings with kicks. Every song on the album relates to a specific moment in my past years. The title track Arabxilla, for example, is the first solo song I ever finished, and was made in 2004 when I was leaving London. Some other songs, like Its Lover, Love and Please Move to Berlin, are more of a diary. Two different relationships. And the song Todeloo is more of a mother/father love song, but also very angry. The idea of the album was actually to use songs that document relationships and situations of my past 7 years. I like to think of these songs like a theatre piece with several breaks and interludes. There is a constant spirit of experimentation, but the magic of the initial, visceral feeling never goes missing. It was this instantly recognisable magic that also inspired Tobias Freund, co-producer of the album, the first time he heard the tracks at a fellow producers studio. There is very little about the songs, all of which Aérea Negrot composed at home on her computer, that Tobias has changed. A new bass line here and there, a few fresh drum sounds and little analogue boost were all that was needed to complete this musical bag of tricks, which will find its place in music history somewhere alongside Klaus Nomi, Yma Sumac, Marika Papagika and Maria Callas. But thats enough talking. Theres really nothing to say, for Arabxilla speaks entirely for itself. After all, Aérea Negrot only recorded her album for it to be heard. And those who lend it attentive ears will gain their own sense of this tender, energetic soul breaking apart the classic song format, arranging her electronic sounds like a collage to allow her untamed spirit its full range of expression.