There’s something brewing in the Ecuadorian underground. In 2015 ZZK Records introduced the world to the sensorial sound of Nicola Cruz, shortly after in 2016, Mateo Kingman. This year has seen numerous projects emerging from Ecuador’s effervescent and vibrant scene, none more exciting than EVHA.
It isn’t the past, it’s now, and it’s magical. El Viejo Hombre de los Andes, EVHA (The Old Man of the Andes), is a band formed by four creators who put heart and soul into everything they do: combining ritual dance rhythms, faraway plateau choirs and sacred songs with bold contemporary beats.
Recovering the ancestral protests of traditional Ecuadorian music (“Uiuí”), urgent calls for nature's protection (“Todo su cuerpo brilla”), the repetitive striking of the hoe in the field and the endless green of the forest. But also combining textures of laughter, deep rivers and majestical lakes, Ecuador’s magic captured in sound.
We find refreshing and delicate electronic glitches transitioning into hip hop-influenced voices from mountain top ceremonies among fast looped marimba ar-peggios, contrasting beats and touches of ambient. This ethno-electronic experiment is full of flavors from various regions; sanjuanito, pasillo and bomba sample flirtations with ethereal beats.
The record El Viejo Hombre de los Andes has a clear connecting thread, absorbing forms and colors from native Ecuadorian music and strengthening them into a tight conceptual construction with captivating and current sounds.