FOR THE ONES... (LP)
12" Vinyl lp UK
The solo debut album from Cuban trumpeter Yelfris Valdres.
For this record Yelfris employs an adventurous and experimental shift in his composition, drawing on his classical training and love of jazz whilst at the same time delving further into the world of electronica, gaining inspiration from artists like Jon Hassell, Bonobo and Aphex Twin resulting something truly unique:
“For this album, I worked deeply and meticulously to find a more layered sound including a trance feeling with grounded rhythms”
Yelfris has deliberately connected with his Yoruba religion and its shamanic chants, subtly infusing those deeply personal elements with electronica and live instrumentation creating a beautiful pulsating soundscape. In purposefully mutating the acoustic sound of his trumpet he adds depth without losing his power and tenderness.
‘As a Santero my beliefs in the Orishas from the Yoruba religión have helped me to improve my faith in the gift of life and the things that really matter to me: family, spreading of positive energy and actions, and the Truth, as ultimately this is what we need to grow. Only a few of us have been given this knowledge and as a Cuban musician living abroad I feel it is my duty to spread this message and expand it in a new direction, connecting with a wider range of musical styles.’
The album opens with ‘Canto Congo’ an acapella that pays homage to his Central African origins.
The lead single ‘Aceleyo Aña’ refers in Yoruba to the ‘Deity of drums’, a beautiful up-lifting hypnotic piece setting the tone for the rest of the album.
Yelfris teams up with Moroccan Guembri Master Simo Lagnawi on Gnawa influenced ‘Maktub’ and incredible voice of Senegalese singer Modou Toure in a highly spiritual call to his forbears on ‘Ancestry’.
The rhythm section has all the Latin and African influences of traditional Cuban music but fused with the complex harmonies and electronics, it develops into an unexpected place becoming the new Yelfris Valdés stamp on contemporary music.
The meaning behind ‘For the Ones..’ is exactly that: ‘this music is for anybody who wants to experience this new journey, for those that don’t put limits to creativity and empowerment.’
“After a long career (20 years) and touring with some of the biggest music icons, I can say that my voice is way bigger and richer now. This album is a mixture of my Cuban heritage, my travels and my life in London. If I was still living in Cuba or anywhere else, I could have never made an album like this and that is My Truth. I live in London but I am Cuban.”
The artwork is an original creation of Spanish artist Fran Rodríguez, who said:
“This design is strongly inspired by altered states of consciousness, by mystic and transcendental experiences that you can achieve in many ways: through music, meditation, love, psychedelic substances, etc. The design represents that exact moment when you cross over to another level. The enlightenment, the transcendence”. [info sheet from distr.]