Don The Tiger, the project of Galician musician Adrián de Alfonso, has been making some noise, first on the underground scene of Barcelona before relocating to Berlin in 2011. With a number of memberships in bands like Bèstia Ferida, Veracruz, Capitán y Homenatges, he has also worked with the likes of Lydia Lunch, Mark Cunningham, Robert Forster and Carla Bozulich.
Five years on from the release of Varadero, Don The Tiger is back with a new solo album called Matanzas. Like his previous effort, the upcoming record is also titled after a Cuban coastal town where rumba born.
He comments on Matanzas:
“Matanzas is informed by the DIY tactics that I have been applying to music since I started playing in no-wave or noise bands, methods which I somehow deprived of their typical confrontational charge. I used feedback, heavy discontinuity, tactile mikings, small pitch alterations, extreme imaging, or even self-made instruments to produce sound in the same way I used a bamboo sax, or a Colombian tiple. Once the palette was compiled, I just had to focus on melody, arrangements, rhythm, and narrative. The best hints came from my compulsive daily intake: the incredibly wide Cuban and Colombian musical heritage, the hidden connotations behind blues and soul, the disruptive drive of musique concrète, Thelonious Monk’s angles, the cockiness of psychobilly and salsa, the softness of certain torch singers from the late 50s, Erik Satie’s futuristic synthesis, the gaudiness of ‘90s video-game music, the slow pace of the sardana, Burundi’s brutally intimate chants, the brassy fantasy of the baroque… Ultra-distinct approaches from the past which happen to be sufficiently naked, articulate, and bold to make any present resonate with a tremendous frequency. Little by little these musical obsessions determined my own tradition, and therefore an eventual frame for creation, but the real pursuit came from somewhere else: making the music that I want to hear.
Lyrics-wise, Matanzas delves into issues that matter to me, such as loss, impossibility of change, unwholesome desire, and love, but the album sets also a narration unfolding between salt and foam. These songs grew strong in a shipyard and were brought back by some cargos to a smoggy rusty boardwalk where they could graciously live. You can hear engine noises, ropes creaking, the breeze penetrating very slowly… There are marine entities of various types: colonizing species, cetaceans that man murders without mercy, and sharks that will take their revenge at the most unexpected moment. There’s even a parrot missing somewhere in Panama…”
We’ll have to wait until October 19th for the album to drop through Crammed Discs but we can already hear the first single ‘Cantos al Aral menguante’, which translates as Chants To The Shrinking Aral. The track has been paired with a video and you can watch it below.