Mas Aya

“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.

Stream “Nikan” LP on Bandcamp and Spotify.


Mas Aya on Soundcloud, Facebook.

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