“Nikan” brings tribal Amazonian rhythms paired with minimal electronica, and one of the most beautiful female voices in the Latin scene as a bonus.
Brandon Valdivia is a Toronto-based multi-instrumentalist, whose origins reach back to Nicaragua and that’s where he’s located music-wise.
His noisy debut album as Mas Aya, “Pockets“, came out in 2012 and was followed next year by a more approachable “Kairos“, full of trance-like rhythms and psychedelic flutes. Released this May, “Nikan” is his third effort.
In the album’s 8 songs, cumbia and other Afro/Latin inspirations meet electronic music – and the wonderful voice od Lido Pimienta, one of our favourite artists not only in the Colombian scene, featured in three tracks.
While Valdivia has a natural restraint as a producer and doesn’t overcomplicate things – the song themes are always clear, even with all those polyrhythms and syncopations dancing around them – “Nikan” does have this atmosphere of tribal euphoria.
We picked the 3-minute track “Hoy” as our favourite – it actually opened our Best of April playlist. But the 35-minute album is worth your attention in its entirety. And not just once, as the variety of arrangements and guests would be difficult to embrace during one listen.