Montoya 'El Nido'- Out Now!

'El Nido', Montoya's new album in out now!

The world changed forever in the second quarter of 2020. The life we were used to ceased to be, as we were overcome by constant fear, distrust in all that surrounded us and a fatalist attitude towards the world we lived in. With the pandemic came lockdown, mandatory isolation for months, empty streets, face masks, hand sanitizer, the fear of going out, an absurd roll call of Covid fatalities, the daily tension of not knowing when it would all end and the urge to “get back to normal,” something that certainly never happened.

Out of that pandemic saturation and that urge for “normality” came El Nido (“The Nest”), the third album by Italy-based Colombian producer Montoya, who describes this record as “becoming virgins of destiny again, facing up to that fatalist world and creating that longing for tranquility. Savoring that moment prior to the pandemic, that instant when the most important thing wasn’t the immediate reality or the global situation.” Montoya sees El Nido as that quiet place that you think of when you close your eyes; it is a beach or a mountain, a sunrise or a sunset, a wave in the sea refreshing your body, or an almost-whispering wind that immediately silences everything around you.

On his previous records, Iwa in 2015 and Otún in 2019, his work as a producer prevailed, feeding the growing wave of Latin American electronica, fusing IDM and techno with indigenous root music, Andean folklore and rhythms from the tropical Caribbean coast and ancestral Pacific in terms of instrumentation. But on El Nido Montoya splits the balance, offering us five merely instrumental tracks and six collaborations with Latin American artists, including Colombians Nidia Góngora on “Soñé,” Montañera on “Sierra” and Pedrina on “Nubecita.” It also features Mexican artist Pahua on “Flor del Mar,” the Peruvian Lara Nuh on “El Faro” and the Franco-Venezuelan La Chica on “Palosanto.”

Starting from the name itself (“The Nest”), an evocation of home, El Nido is also a Filipino municipality on the island of Palawan, a place that turned out to be Montoya’s last live experience before the pandemic. That place with crystal clear seas and white sand became the scene and starting point for this work, reflecting on the abstraction of a chaotic world and proposing blurred destinations with each song, like places that exist within memories when we close our eyes, letting us inhabit them, for a couple of minutes at least. On the other hand, it’s a record that approaches love; as a yearning and a refuge, as a guide and an anchor, but also as a rhetorical figure that makes us vibrate and elevates us, while at the same time keeping us grounded and letting us settle in the place that we can use as our shelter.