Last year, Xenia Rubinos released her first new album in five years, the Album Of The Week-worthy Una Rosa. This year, she’s planning to put out a series of a series of reimagined songs from that album, starting with a new version of “What Is This Voice?” called “Madrugada,” which she’s turned into a spotlight for the Cuban rapper El Individuo.
“El Individuo had just arrived to NYC from Habana for the first time and came straight into this session without us ever having met and just blew us all away,” Rubinos said about the collaboration, continuing:
It feels like the thaw of Spring, like the last frost leaving, like the first flower buds starting to poke through. In the lyrics he talks about dawn and the mysterious vale of those hours right before the morning light hits. I added in a Rhodes line in post production at the end of the track that kind of reminded me of the melody that clocks play, “Westminster Quarters” and the main riff from Mt. Airy Groove by Pieces of a Dream. Creating this rework in a whirlwind cypher with this supergroup of musicians felt like opening a secret trap door we found in the original song.
05/27 Philadelphia, PA @ World Cafe Live
06/02 Hamden, CT @ Space Ballroom
06/03 Brooklyn, NY @ Elsewhere
06/04 Boston, MA @ Sonia
06/05 Burlington, VT @ ArtsRiot
07/17 Chicago, IL @ Pitchfork Festival
09/03 Salisbury, UK @ End Of The Road Festival
“Madrugada” is out now via Anti-.