026 - Menores

From the ashes of 'Menores de Edad', a project that ended in 2012, a new collaboration was forged, as the powerful vocal duo of Ana Cabrera and Talia Vega teamed with producer, DJ and sound engineer Orieta Chrem (the first Peruvian artist to join the Red Bull Music Academy) to create a new group, a project that they call ‘Menores’. The all female trio from Lima, Peru, released their excellent debut EP earlier this year and it was well received, including strong support from Tune-Yards on their 'Collaborative Legions of Artful Womxn' RBMA radio show. I also loved the EP and was interested to hear more from the artful women involved, so I was thrilled that they would be interested in putting together a mixtape built around the EP for us.

‘Tierra de Nadie’ ('No Man’s Land' in English) the title of the aforementioned EP couldn’t be more fitting. The EP not only straddles the line between many genres of electronic music (though footwork is perhaps the hat that fits best) but it’s also a record that often hits a cold dystopian tone, throwing listeners into a hazy otherworldly bubble. Their fantastic contribution to the Métron Musik Mixtape series continues this brooding tone. Footwork, Hip-Hop, Rap, Bass feature heavily amongst smaller doses of dub, soul, folklore and RnB - it’s a terrific melting point of musical styles held together by the excellent tracks from ‘Tierra de Nadie’.

Follow the groups work at their Facebook and soundcloud pages (links below) and keep your eyes peeled for the release of their new music video in the coming months. ‘Tierra de Nadie’ is also available in full to download on iTunes. Be sure to check it out.

I caught up with Menores to ask them about their debut EP, what influences their sound and singing in their own language...

JH: Hey guys, just wanted to start out by saying congratulations on the ‘Tierra de Nadie’ EP - I loved it. How did the EP come about and what was the thinking behind the title?

M: We`ve always been friends and been involved in music. In 2014 we reunited and started working on this new musical project “Menores”. At the beginning Ana and Talia had been writing lyrics and decided to show them to Orieta who then started to produce the music. The chemistry was so good that we decided to continue and produce an EP. After working for a while the concept of the project became clear. The music spoke about what was for us an unexplored musical landscape, and the lyrics talked about inner mental landscapes as well.  We explored contrasts, reality and fiction, rituals, rebirth, fire, smoke and the desert. All that encompasses Tierra de Nadie.

JH: Your sound seems to take notes from a lot of musical genres and cultures, most noticeably rap & footwork - who are some of your biggest influences?

M: Apart from being influenced from Rap and Electronic Music of all kinds, we cannot talk about Tierra de Nadie without talking about the influence the city of Lima has on us. Lima is a city built in the desert but is next to the ocean and it only takes you a couple of hours to be in the middle of nowhere. It is inevitable to feel the contrasts between concrete and nature, the organic and the technological. Everything is growing so fast here and the city is loud and chaotic. We are not only trying to make some sense of it all, but also trying to find our place. Searching for a sense of belonging.

JH: In a music industry dominated by English language markets in the US & the UK, many artists sing in their second language and ignore their native tongue in order to reach more people and widen their commercial appeal - it’s something that I personally find a little frustrating, I’m interested to hear where you stand on this?

M: We think that people should sing in the language they feel more comfortable in. For us it is more natural and honest to sing in our own language.

JH: You’re based in Lima, Peru, can you tell us a bit about the musical culture in the city right now?

M: Lima has been very DIY for a long time, there is not a big industry and support from the local government, this has only made the community of independent artists stronger and more in control of their work as a whole.

There is a lot of new music being produced right now, some explores more local and Latin-American sounds and other is influenced by Anglophone music, however, what is interesting is when the music reflects the melting pot that is Lima, where many musical genres and cultures collide.

JH: Are you working on a follow up to Tierra de Nadie?

M: Yes, we are just starting to produce new sounds. But we can’t say much more.

JH: Can you recommend us some music that we may have overlooked, past or present?

M: We recommend you search for Chabuca Granda, Nicomedes and Victoria Santa Cruz, El Polen, Los Saicos, Dengue Dengue Dengue, Kanaku y el Tigre, Plug Plug, Pauchi Sasaki, La Lá, Ale Hop, El Hombre Misterioso, Mi Puga Mi Pishgo, Jardín,  Rapapay, Cocaína, Moldes, 3AM, Liquidarlo Celuloide y Deltatron and more!

JH: Thanks so much for your contribution to the series, you've been awesome.

1. An echo from the Hosts that profess infinities - Shabazz Palaces
2. Niñas perdidas - Menores
3. Kuku - Flako
4. Hazey - Glass Animals
5. Humo negro - Menores
6. La neta - Fatima
7. La hora de volve - Rita Indiana
8. Oro - Menores
9. Kickthat - Zufu
10. She a go - Dj Rashad
11. Dutch flowerz - Skream
12. Aves rapaces - Menores
13. Oya - Ibeyi
14. Tierra de nadie - Menores
15. Szechuan - Fatima Al Qadiri
16. Serpiente blanca - Menores

Original artwork for the mix created by Jack Hardwicke.

Métron Records 2018. Hampshire, UK.