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Remezcla Recap Day 1 Vive Latino: Bosnian Rainbows
Sweet Jesus, Teri Gender Bender. You stole our heart. First when you came to our tent and along with your very lovely band mates gave us one of our favorite interviews ever. And then when you went all Siouxsie Sioux and the Banshees on us during the Bosnian Rainbows set at Escenario Unión Indio. Anyone who’s ever seen this woman perform with her band Le Butcherettes knows that she has phenomenal stage presence, a mix of morbid fascination, thoughtfulness, and empowerment. This super-group match is inspired, her voice coupling perfectly with Omar Rodríguez-López’s intricate guitar playing, the always experimentally rich drumming of Deantoni Parks, and Nicci Kasper’s psychedelia- wielding keys. We went from one badass female to another, as Yeah Yeah Yeahs started off their set with their new track “Sacrilege.” - See full Day 1 recap here.
Omar Rodríguez-López Kicks Off 2013 With A Trio Of Album Releases
Have you lost track on the number of albums producer/guitarist Omar Rodríguez-López has released? Well don’t fear if you have, Remezcla is keeping tabs. So as is, ORL just dropped not one, not two, but three full-length albums for your listening pleasures.
Now, this may seem excessive to some folks out there, but as Omar explained to us last year in our interview with Bosnian Rainbows, he states in respect to his music arrangements: “It’s real simple and we get to do it for a living, so it’s like ‘what else are you going to do?’” Omar is sheet music on legs who just gave us three great belated Christmas/early Día de Los Reyes Magos gifts.
The trio of releases are the electronically-inclined Equinox, the heavily experimental Woman Gives Birth To Tomato! with songs named after cities near and dear to Omar’s heart, and Unicorn Skeleton Mask, which has the most vocals of the three as well as some excellent riffs.
Check out all three albums on ORL’s new albums to stream and download below:
Remezcla Q&A: Eureka The Butcher
A few weeks ago, we introduced you to El Paso-based Low Ends mixer Eureka The Butcher, Marcel Rodríguez-López’s new solo project, also a member of Zechs Marquise, and keyboardist of The Mars Volta. He played a handful of shows in southern California that same week with his girlfriend, and apparently now a new member of his latest project, belly dancer Sadah Luna. I got the chance to talk to both of them about their work together, El Paso’s beat scene, and of course, how sparks few between these two lover kids.
How did you come up with the name Eureka The Butcher?
Marcel Rodríguez-López: Before I was actually making beats seriously, a friend of mine was throwing a show and asked me if I wanted to DJ. I played soul records, salsa records, that type of shit. He asked me what name I wanted and it just hit me, ‘put Eureka The Butcher on the flyer.’ I didn’t even end up DJ’ing so that name just kind of went away. Once I started getting into making more electronic music, I thought it fitting because of the Butcher part when you’re editing. It’s like you’re chopping things up and the Eureka part is when you finally nail that idea.
So you’re drumming for Zechs Marquise, playing keys for The Mars Volta and now producing your own beats. Let’s talk about what you can’t do musically.
M: [Laughs] I wish I could play guitar and bass. I can’t play any string instruments. I used to have a bass years ago and it was an awesome Fender P bass. It has this weird pick arc. I picked it up at a pawn shop for $80. I ended up giving it to a friend of mine in this band I was in right before I joined [The Mars] Volta. Our guitar player had pawned his stuff so I gave him my bass so he could pawn it and pull out his stuff, then we could practice. Once I join the Volta, I was in Australia and I saw the exact same bass going for sale for about $2500. I let my friend pawn the bass for $200 because we needed to rehearse so we could play shows.
So this new thing you’re doing is like Low End Theory-type shit?
M: It’s certainly where I draw the inspiration from because I love everything that comes out of there. It’s my take on the L.A. beat scene. I wish that I could be more a part of that type of shit because, in El Paso, I have two friends, one friend, who really makes beats, and another, Zeque, who does our artwork. My other friend Aaron is systematic, and he’s the one that drives me to make music. Zeque turns me on to a lot of that stuff and I wish that there was more of a community there the way that Low End and all those guys are pushing each other.
Marfred [Rodriguez-Lopez] definitely gets it but he doesn’t make beats. Marcos [Smith] just started getting into it. I think Matt [Wilkinson] is now getting into it so that’s cool to see. Hopefully, in a year or so, we’ll all be in a van on tour just passing shit back and forth.
Meet Eureka The Butcher: Low End Theory’s Man in El Paso
Née: Marcel Rodríguez-Lopez
Raíces: El Paso, TX
Sounds Like: Is psychedelic desert-dub a genre?
You should listen to Eureka The Butcher because: There aren’t enough sick beats in your life.
By Ivan Fernandez
I’m pretty sure that you, dear readers, are familiar with the Rodriguez-Lopez family of musicians so, when I inform you that Eureka The Butcher is Marcel’s production moniker, you already know that I’m talking about the Rodriguez-Lopez sibling who drums for Zechs Marquise (recall this RMX?) and plays keys for The Mars Volta.
Eureka A.K.A. Marcel has been working on beats for some time now under the guidance of the Low End Theory’s group of producers/DJs such as DJ Nobody (Elvin Estela). Fans should recognize Nobody from Omar’s Low End Theory-ish solo record, Tychozorente.
Eureka’s already released a few tracks of his psychedelic desert-dub, including a remix of Death Grips’ “Guillotine,” on the band’s soundcloud. The tracks blend some of the funk found in his work with Zechs Marquise with the ambience, sample, and beat-work of guys like Samiyam and Flying Lotus.
Check out the teaser for his debut album below, which will hopefully be out later this year.
Remezcla: Q&A: Make no mistake, Le Butcherettes are no side show
Teri Gender Bender of Le Butcherettes has undeniably become one of the most exciting performers in rock right now. Since winning both “Best New Artist” & “Best Punk Record” honors at Mexico’s Indie-O awards in 2009, Teri and Le Butcherettes have taken their butcher rock diatribe to new heights. Under the mentorship of Omar Rodriguez-Lopez, Le Butcherettes have tightened their sound into a full-bodied, well layered, distorted sound while maintaining Teri’s unbridled delivery and live stage presence which has earned the band rave reviews and almost unanimous acclaim.
Remezcla caught up with this rising star before taking the stage at The Warfield opening for Iggy & The Stooges in support of their latest album Sin, Sin, Sin.
Remezcla Q&A: Zechs Marquise, Pay Them!
It’s well known that there is some vigorous musical talent running in the Rodríguez-López’ blood flow. I’m flabbergasted by El Paso’s Zechs Marquise’s latest sophomore release Getting Paid (via Rodríguez-López Productions – you can read our review here), and my devotion to prog-funky-jazz rock is at a high.
Talking to bassist Marfred Rodríguez-López via telephone for the first time felt like I was talking to someone I already knew; the dude’s super cool and chill. It’s probably that border town charm we fronterizos have (*cheesy wink*). In this interview, he talks about the band’s recording studio catching on fire, his experience residing near one of the most dangerous cities in the world, the pressures of being Omar Rodríguez-López‘ brother, and his love of hip hop.
Your album Getting Paid is titled as if it were a hip hop record, and so are some of the songs, like “Crushing It” and “Mega Slap,” yet the music doesn’t sound hip-hop. So, where does that swag in the titles come from?
It just comes from one basic idea: getting paid. We’re broke, you know. We don’t have a lot of cash. The overall attitude for the song names, and the way they came out is just…. we wanted to make a more cohesive record, so to say something a little more focused, and that had more energy on it; something livelier. With that mentality, we went in the studio, and recorded each song. The last song on the record implies that “slap.”
I read that this upcoming album was constructed as if it were a soundtrack to a movie. Considering this, how does the creative process differ from My Delicate Stranded Nightmare?
Remezcla Reviews: Zechs Marquise - Getting Paid
Puerto Rico via El Paso, Texas’ prog/psychedelic ensemble, Zechs Marquise, can be considered to be a musical family affair, as three of the members of the band, Marcel, Marfred, and Rikardo Rodríguez-Lópezare brothers, also sharing the same surname and blood line with the strongly influential member of The Mars Volta, Omar Rodríguez-Lopez.
The El Paso-based band, which formed in 2004, have created buzz throughout the music scene announcing the release of their upcoming Getting Paid as early as October of last year (out Sept. 27). That release date istomorrow, and we’re offering you an exclusive full album review, track by track. All nine, baby.
1) The first and title-track of the album, “Getting Paid” opens with a funky bass line that paints a picture of a classic Cheech Marin character strutting down the block without a care in the world; or like he just got paid. When the smooth guitar melody comes in, there’s a resemblance to Tito Puente horn melodies, but it’s always important to not get used to a specific Zechs Marquise melody for too long because there’s always a new musical movement around the corner in each song. The blend of progressive and psychedelia makes the band’s composition style changeable and fluid.
2) “Lock Jaw Night Vision” gives off a bit of a psychedelic-trance aura, but what it really portrays is a serious Latin-based Primus-esque mood. The guitar solos and riffs are similar to a Larry Lalonde’s guitar style (guitarist of Primus) and the speed and energy of King Crimson. So good. It’s very refreshing to listen to a band with true technical talent and an obvious understanding for progressive rock. Zechs Marquise is the real deal.
Remezcla Premiere / Free DL: Zechs Marquise (Remix)
The music project of Texas-bred psych prog rockers Zechs Marquise is the dubsteppier music derivative of the other prog rockers, The Mars Volta. Yep, the El Paso siblings who share the Rodriguez-Lopez for a last name, along with their childhood friends, spring off to form dope bands and rock our eardrums hard oscillating among at ease, to violent and ecstatic, and spaced-out rock music. Since the Japanese anime character-named group debuted the perfectly-titled freshmen Our Delicate Stranded Nightmare back in 2008, we’ve been turned on to hear what other nightmarish experimental grooves the foursome can delight us with.
As is, in a few short weeks (Sept. 27th), Zechs Marquise release their sophomore effort Getting Paid, as we all love to do so, in none other than the Rodriguez Lopez Productions label to be available as a digital download and pressed in vinyl. And as a preview of this upcoming, we have a gnarly EXCLUSIVE free download of a vinyl bonus REMIX called ”Static Lovers From Outer Space (Eureka The Butcher Remix),” a chill prog track with hard punches of turbulent dubstep in the track. Major trance euphoria! I’m in love…
Remezcla Q&A : Zechs Marquise
Zechs Marquise is a prog-funk-jazz band from El Paso, Texas. Their album, Getting Paid (set to release this year) is their sophomore attempt. When I heard them last year, I felt instantly transported to 2004, Roseland Ballroom, where I was exposed to The Mars Volta and their energetic mix of funk, blues, jazz, and ambient noises for the first time. Soon after, I found out why there were so many similarities; two brothers of Omar Rodriguez-Lopez (Mars Volta co-brainchild and all-around sage), Marcel and Marfred, formed Zechs in 2003, under the moniker Monolith. They were joined by Matt Wilkson and Marcos Smith on guitar and were recently joined by yet another Rodriguez-Lopez brother, Rikardo, who plays the keys and trumpet.
Zechs have been touring pretty consistently since their formation and right now is no exception. They’re in the middle of a month-long East Coast tour with Omar Rodriguez-Lopez Group, ending in their hometown on April 30th at the Neon Desert Music Festival.
I got a chance to talk to bassist Marfred Rodriguez-Lopez in between concerts. We talked about their new album, how it is to be on stage with his brothers, and about the creation and proliferation (hopefully) of Zechs Marquise. Also download a track from their debut album below for FREE.
Remezcla Q&A : Omar Rodriguez Lopez
If Omar Rodríguez López never wants to talk to me ever again, I completely understand. Not because I offended him or because he’s some prog-rock heady diva, not at all. He’d be prone to try and forget my existence because he might think I’m going to go all Misery on him. Admittedly, I’m a fan. Admittedly, The Mars Volta’s De-Loused in the Comatorium is one of the reasons this little San Juan schoolgirl became a music journalist. Admittedly, it’s Omar’s guitar playing and composition skills that made me think of music in a different way, after being so violently saturated by reggaeton and La Mega my entire life. Admittedly, I’m a little obsessed. And all of this was admitted over the phone, gushingly and with no regard for the art of cool, to Omar Rodríguez López, as I interviewed him prior to the release of what feels like his gajillionth album under his solo moniker, the mammoth Telesterion (out April 16th, Record Store Day).
He’s pleasant, well mannered, assertive yet soft spoken. He’s everything I wanted him to be. It wasn’t like meeting mall Santa when you’re 7 and realizing he’s a dick and has an alcohol problem. It was like having a nice conversation with a nice person. Omar talked about his roots (both Boricua and now Mexican), his will, and what he is and isn’t.