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Ramos Dual & Yul Navarro – Arrastramos Sombras

by François Zappa

It has been a long wait, but finally the first album by Ramos Dual with Yul Navarro, entitled Arrastramos Sombras, has been released. It has been several years that we have followed them, waiting for the release of this record, but it has not been until the end of last year that the Valencian label Soil Records has published, in a limited edition, this unclassifiable work. For the mixing and mastering they have counted on Ludwig Love and the expert hands of David Kano.

Although we have already wrote a a few times about them, we want to remind you that Ramos Dual has played in a multitude of groups, from the rock band Beggar’s House to the indie rock of the legendary bands Malparaíso and Flow, the electro-rock of La Inesperada Sol Dual, or projects as interesting as Lämpara and the band A Band of Gypsies who played on a Howe Gelb album. But it wasn’t until 2017 that he decided to release his first solo album, a lo-fi techno punk jewel titled Drum Solo that had the help of Yul Navarro on the live sets. In Arrastramos Sombras, the duo mixes flamenco, a music they are used to since they are from Cordoba with techno and dark electronica, creating a quite original sound. The closest thing could be the French act Von Magnet in concept. The album’s strong points are Ramos’ heartbreaking voice, either singing alone or in two voices with Yul, his expertise on drums and the great work on the synthesizers. Add to that some pretty surrealistic lyrics and we have a great album.

Arrastramos Sombras couldn’t start better than with “Cucarachas de Ego en un Agujero Negro” and Ramos singing a cappella, presenting his peculiar “quejío industrial”, that is, the conjunction of his voice with a dark and danceable electronic music based on disturbing synthesizers. The album continues with “Somos Visita” with a powerful and noisy beginning, sharp synthesizers, the two artists singing together and sounds closer to industrial. After a disturbing start we dive into “Mi Corazón puede Volverse Oscuro”, the first track we heard from them and we already fall in love with their music as it has a bit of everything we like: an infectious chorus, a strong rhythm, and industrial vibe and a bit of good madness. “Mieo, La raiz de Tanto” starts with Ramos singing painfully at the piano but soon the electronic part comes in, again quite disturbing. In this song, and along the album we have a good demonstration of how good a drummer the Cordovan is. In “Alquimia” the quejío returns, surrounded by industrial sounds, a lot of darkness and a more experimental interlude after which the drums come in full blast. “Estamos llenos de Gracia” starts off cheeky and insolent and then some very danceable synthesizers come in, that together with really powerful drums give the track a very epic tone.

“Ancá La conso” is the most flamenco-sounding track with opening keyboards that might remind you of Lole y Manuel, but then quickly moves on to some very danceable rhythms, resulting in one of the best tracks on the album.

As a nice closing track we have a short piano piece called “Piano Serpiente”.

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