The cinematographic representation of the desert is usually behind the instrumental passages of Guadalupe Plata but -in these times when reality is stranger than fiction- the apocalyptic chromatic effects and crepuscular tones left in the Andalusian sky by the cloud of dust from the Sahara were the inspiration for “Calima”. The song took on a new life with the contribution of the sinuous winds of Matías Cordero, which also appear in “Maleficio” and “Y.N.T.M.A” (the latter an acronym for “Ya no tengo mi ataúd” (I don’t have my coffin anymore), a title that was sinisterly suggested by the young son of an old friend).
“La cigüeña” is a song by Agapito Marazuela, guitarist and compiler of Spanish folklore from the last century, and tells the tale of a battle between a stork and a snake. The images and mysterious Andalusian details brought by the melody fit perfectly inside the universe of Guadalupe Plata, who display here their most characteristic drums, a percussion played with a bottle of anise that breathes fire, a guitar following one of the rumba rhythms created by Peret and, may Agapito forgive them, a voice with a vocoder effect.
Another resource worth drawing attention to: Carlos uses a kerosene drum on “Zapateado” to pay tribute to Robert Belfour, one of the last great bluesmen whose footsteps the band literally tried to follow, unsuccessfully, the days spent playing in Clarksdale and Memphis invited by the Deep Blues Festival.
“La Tía Tragantía” is a tale from Andalusian oral tradition. A legend about the daughter of a king of Cazorla who ends up becoming a half-serpent, half-woman being that was told from generation to generation to scare children. In the context of this generational transmission we also have to understand “El cóndor pasa”, with a very strong traditional bond in their homes. It was the song with which Pedro’s father taught him to play the guitar. After the introduction, the speed of the tape was slowed down, giving rise to a chaotic effect created by chance -the second guitar was recorded with an amplifier whose batteries were about to run out-. Yet another last nod to the roots of Guadalupe Plata is “Stabat Mater”, the hymn of the Cofradía de la Soledad, one of their favourites of Úbeda’s Holy Week.
“En mi Tumba” is the epitaph of a knife fight victim whose grave is never visited. A soul in pain that has passed through the earth without pain or glory. Unusual chromatic notes for the group’s career coexist here with recognizable Gun Club hints on the slide. “Ruina” tells the emotional ups and downs of a long night round between the Granada neighborhoods of Realejo and Sacromonte, in which a heart broken by mourning began to find relief.
In “Al infierno que vayas” we find ourselves at a crossroad: the starting point is the lyrics of a flamenco falseta by Rafael Farina to which T-Model Ford style guitars are added as well as deconstructed drums and percussions which remind of Captain Beefheart. All passed through the blender of the Úbeda musicians, for whom there is a clear parallelism between the lyrics of flamenco and blues, “with a point of broken or crazy love stories, of not turning your back on pain, but facing it”.
The album cover, designed by Pedro, is a game board that unfolds on the back of a coiled snake with the added difficulty that all the squares lead to ruin. The photographs that come with the release, taken by Carlos, are inspired by The Duellists by Ridley Scott and serve to remind us that since their birth, 15 years ago, Guadalupe Plata had never entered a studio in their original duo format.
Regarding the technical details, Carlos comments that “the album was recorded in two different locations with the same sound studio project, based on a 4-track Tascam 246 recorder with type II chrome cassettes, using 18 of the Tudor brand. All the recordings were made by us in Úbeda looking for our own sound with the freedom of having the time we wanted to do it, and we called this experience Estudio Ataúd. The digitization, mixing and recording of extra tracks was carried out in La Mina (Seville) in a joint production between Guadalupe Plata and Raúl Pérez where they finished adding both dark saxes and 8-bit keyboards”.