MARIA USBECK releases Amparo Remix EP TODAY!
Maria Usbeck “Amparo Remix EP” – out today
28 October 2016 via Labrador Records
STREAM / SHARE THE ENTIRE EP HERE: AMPARO REMIX EP>>
“…injects a mega-relaxed house vibe…” Project Pablo remix via EXCLAIM!
“…audible serenity…” Kaazi remix via MY OLD KENTUCKY BLOG
“Incantevole, etereo, meditativo e sublime” Tempelhof remix via POLAROID
“…tropiskt meditativa låten” Jensen Sportag remix via HYMN
Today sees the launch of a remix EP comprised of standout tracks from Maria Useck’s debut solo album, Amparo. Remixers include Montreal’s beloved, Project Pablo, Nashville’s own and Cascine labelmates, Jensen Sportag, Italian producers Tempelhof, & Brooklyn-based Kaazi, who just released his debut album on 100% Silk.
Amparo is a collage of sounds both exotic and transportive – indisputably the most intimate material we’ve seen from Maria Usbeck, former frontwoman of Brooklyn new wave act, Selebrities. The material shows Maria and co-producer Caroline Polachek exploring notions of travel and self exploration – a record written across the span of three years in Ecuador, Buenos Aires, Santiago, Barcelona, Lisbon, Easter Island, Costa Rica, Florida, L.A. and her home in New York.
AMPARO REMIX EP / TRACKLISTING
1. Moai Y Yo (Project Pablo Remix)
2. Uno De Tus Ojos (Tempelhof Remix)
3. Ciudad Desnuda (Kaazi’s Inner City Garden Remix)
4. Jungla Inquieta (Jensen Sportag Remix)
Though Amparo was written during Maria’s travels in South America, it was re-recorded in New York with co-producer Caroline Polachek and engineer Miles Benjamin Anthony Robinson when she returned home last fall. Growing up in Ecuador, Maria was immersed in salsa, merengue, bachata, and Andean music, but was more attracted to German and American culture than to her own, and moved to America by herself at 17. After five years of fronting new wave outfit Selebrities and writing songs in English, she experienced a delayed-onset homesickness and knew it was time to “let the mother tongue speak.” The impulse manifested itself directly: Amparo takes its title from Maria’s middle name and her mother’s name, and translates roughly as “to guide, protect, and embrace.” Maria wields her Spanish lyrics cleverly while folding in snippets of several other far-flung tongues: Rapa Nui from Easter Island, Quichua from Ecuador, Bribri from Costa Rica, and Catalan. Because these lyrics were composed while visiting the countries from which they originate, their usage is more impressionistic than literal, like a mockingbird imitating fragments of other bird calls. Similarly, she reinterprets the Ecuadorian music that she grew up with as a newcomer, returning home with fresh ears, and as such the sounds are very much her own.
The backbone of Amparo is percussion, vibrating throughout with timbales, tumbas, a talking drum, bongos, shakers, and an Indian flat drum, with the gaps filled in by her field recordings of birds, beaches, and jungles. The songs were written and recorded chronologically, with the exception of the closing track, a cover of Colourbox’s “Tarantula” reimagined in Maria’s Spanish translation. Amparo is a reflection of the textures of Usbeck’s childhood. It is also a distinctly grown-up pop record – a travel diary, music made by a visiting outsider to tap into a shared core of human expression. Emotively, she is her most powerful on piano ballads “Uno De Tus Ojos” and “Jungla Inquieta,” but is a magnetic narrator throughout, moving between whispers, chants, and lullabies. Amparo pulses with many stories in many voices, but they flow together seamlessly like water, leaving behind a wordless hum.
Amparo was released by Cascine in North America, Labrador in Euope and Rallye in Japan.