Lulacruza
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Lulacruza

Oakland, California, United States

Oakland, California, United States
Band Folk EDM

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Music

The best kept secret in music

Press


Seldom does a sound emerge so ripe and innovative. Lulacruza’s Do Pretty! is the divine culmination of the talents of Argentinean/Columbian duo, Luis Maurette and Alejandra Ortiz, weaving haunting female vocals with South American instruments and electronically manipulated field recordings. The album is a dreamy pilgrimage that takes you through sound-scapes that range from up-tempo, South American rhythms to more fluid, contemplative compositions. Ortiz’s lush vocals are a soulful salve and, combined with Maurette’s brilliant electronic layering, capable of producing a physical reaction akin to goose bumps. “Pensar Bonito” and “Utría” will make you want to move while more primordial pieces like “Children” will leave you feeling like the inside of your head has been wiped clean with a cool silk rag. Do Pretty! is brave in its adherence to what is the essential, spiritual essence of music. It’s sophisticated but unpretentious, playful and refreshingly devoid of any cynicism. Bjork lovers will definitely dig this one! - www.visavismag.com


Seldom does a sound emerge so ripe and innovative. Lulacruza’s Do Pretty! is the divine culmination of the talents of Argentinean/Columbian duo, Luis Maurette and Alejandra Ortiz, weaving haunting female vocals with South American instruments and electronically manipulated field recordings. The album is a dreamy pilgrimage that takes you through sound-scapes that range from up-tempo, South American rhythms to more fluid, contemplative compositions. Ortiz’s lush vocals are a soulful salve and, combined with Maurette’s brilliant electronic layering, capable of producing a physical reaction akin to goose bumps. “Pensar Bonito” and “Utría” will make you want to move while more primordial pieces like “Children” will leave you feeling like the inside of your head has been wiped clean with a cool silk rag. Do Pretty! is brave in its adherence to what is the essential, spiritual essence of music. It’s sophisticated but unpretentious, playful and refreshingly devoid of any cynicism. Bjork lovers will definitely dig this one! - www.visavismag.com


Reviewer: Phillip Sherbune 10/06
Now that the novelty phase of electro-Latino fusion has passed and most of the faux-ethnic, cut-and-paste snoozedelica can safely be moved to the recycle bin, a new generation of artists is finding newer, subtler ways of merging traditional Latin American songwriting with subtly electronic production. Much like their semi-compatriot Juana Molina, Lulacruza favor acoustic guitars, intimate and idiosyncratic percussion, and voices; the Argentine/Colombian duo draws inspiration from Brazil as well as Argentina, with notable traces of tropicalia in the psychedelic swell of tracks like "El Conocimiento." Hazy drones hang over much of the album, whether the noxious, beatless "Children" or the strangely lurching "Cueva, Utero, Trueno," which sounds a bit like unplugged Cabaret Voltaire mashed up with demure pop vocals. Other songs, like "Utría," with its vibraphones, bells, woodblocks, and sinewy female harmonies, are more recognizably pop but no less rich or rewarding. A strange, complicated, and charming album, Do Pretty! does far more.
- Earplug


Reviewer: Phillip Sherbune 10/06
Now that the novelty phase of electro-Latino fusion has passed and most of the faux-ethnic, cut-and-paste snoozedelica can safely be moved to the recycle bin, a new generation of artists is finding newer, subtler ways of merging traditional Latin American songwriting with subtly electronic production. Much like their semi-compatriot Juana Molina, Lulacruza favor acoustic guitars, intimate and idiosyncratic percussion, and voices; the Argentine/Colombian duo draws inspiration from Brazil as well as Argentina, with notable traces of tropicalia in the psychedelic swell of tracks like "El Conocimiento." Hazy drones hang over much of the album, whether the noxious, beatless "Children" or the strangely lurching "Cueva, Utero, Trueno," which sounds a bit like unplugged Cabaret Voltaire mashed up with demure pop vocals. Other songs, like "Utría," with its vibraphones, bells, woodblocks, and sinewy female harmonies, are more recognizably pop but no less rich or rewarding. A strange, complicated, and charming album, Do Pretty! does far more.
- Earplug


Reviewer: Ron Schepper 9/06
Pair luscious female vocalizing with South American rhythms and instrumentation and you get… Lulacruza, but you're forgiven if you said Savath & Savalas. It's not so much that the two groups sound alike as that there are few such outfits in operation (in fact, the snappy funk pulse and South American vibe makes “Pensar Bonito” sound more like an out-take from Slicker's We All Have A Plan than Apropa't). Truth is, the oddly-named Do Pretty! proves that the slightly more song-oriented Lulacruza, comprised of Argentinean Luis Maurette and Colombian Alejandra Ortiz, is every inch a match for Scott Herren's S&S. Even better, Lulacruza segues from intimate songcraft to experimental settings with preternatural ease. The group's instrumental palette is kaleidoscopic with found sounds, field recordings, and electronics enriched by bombo, tar, maracón, tiple, and cajón. Lulacruza's experimental side emerges repeatedly. Kranky artist Gregg Kowalsky lends electronic colour to the meditative “Maremoto y Gotear” while “Cueva, Utero, Trueno” struggles to maintain balance amidst opposing tensions, with Ortiz's voice a stabilizing centre for James Sinclair's electronic fuzz on one side and a percussion section on the other. Hazy instrumentals (“Children,” “Escafandra”) reveal the duo to be as adept at deeply textured soundscapes as it is vocal songs. Still, as much as the group impresses on other fronts, the strongest weapon in Lulacruza's arsenal is Ortiz's voice, an instrument of marvelous versatility and tonal colour. Her multi-tracked singing buoys the already-lilting “El Conocimiento” and proves entrancing on the lullaby drone “Serpenterio.” The tender ballad “Sheltered Me” closes the album in particularly lovely fashion, with Ortiz draping a torch-laden vocal over Quentin Sirjacq's ruminative piano playing against the distant echo of swooping bird cries. Do Pretty! impresses as a remarkably poised and assured collection, and even more so when one considers that it's the group's debut. - Textura.org


Reviewer: Ron Schepper 9/06
Pair luscious female vocalizing with South American rhythms and instrumentation and you get… Lulacruza, but you're forgiven if you said Savath & Savalas. It's not so much that the two groups sound alike as that there are few such outfits in operation (in fact, the snappy funk pulse and South American vibe makes “Pensar Bonito” sound more like an out-take from Slicker's We All Have A Plan than Apropa't). Truth is, the oddly-named Do Pretty! proves that the slightly more song-oriented Lulacruza, comprised of Argentinean Luis Maurette and Colombian Alejandra Ortiz, is every inch a match for Scott Herren's S&S. Even better, Lulacruza segues from intimate songcraft to experimental settings with preternatural ease. The group's instrumental palette is kaleidoscopic with found sounds, field recordings, and electronics enriched by bombo, tar, maracón, tiple, and cajón. Lulacruza's experimental side emerges repeatedly. Kranky artist Gregg Kowalsky lends electronic colour to the meditative “Maremoto y Gotear” while “Cueva, Utero, Trueno” struggles to maintain balance amidst opposing tensions, with Ortiz's voice a stabilizing centre for James Sinclair's electronic fuzz on one side and a percussion section on the other. Hazy instrumentals (“Children,” “Escafandra”) reveal the duo to be as adept at deeply textured soundscapes as it is vocal songs. Still, as much as the group impresses on other fronts, the strongest weapon in Lulacruza's arsenal is Ortiz's voice, an instrument of marvelous versatility and tonal colour. Her multi-tracked singing buoys the already-lilting “El Conocimiento” and proves entrancing on the lullaby drone “Serpenterio.” The tender ballad “Sheltered Me” closes the album in particularly lovely fashion, with Ortiz draping a torch-laden vocal over Quentin Sirjacq's ruminative piano playing against the distant echo of swooping bird cries. Do Pretty! impresses as a remarkably poised and assured collection, and even more so when one considers that it's the group's debut. - Textura.org


Reviewer: Yoko K. 11/06

One of the best music I have heard recently. Mesmerizing, captivating, unique. I love the combination of all the organic sounds and electronics, the arrangement of percussion, and the beautiful, charming voice of Alejandra. Hypnotic and very soothing. Great work. I tried to decide a favorite song and it is difficult to decide... I love the songs in English, of course, but somehow I dig the songs in Spanish so much eventhough I don't understand the meanings... it echoes directly to the heart. - Ashara Music


Reviewer: Yoko K. 11/06

One of the best music I have heard recently. Mesmerizing, captivating, unique. I love the combination of all the organic sounds and electronics, the arrangement of percussion, and the beautiful, charming voice of Alejandra. Hypnotic and very soothing. Great work. I tried to decide a favorite song and it is difficult to decide... I love the songs in English, of course, but somehow I dig the songs in Spanish so much eventhough I don't understand the meanings... it echoes directly to the heart. - Ashara Music


Aquatic textures, folkloric airs, hypnotic prayers and contemplative landscapes. A great debut!!
- Los Inrockuptibles


Aquatic textures, folkloric airs, hypnotic prayers and contemplative landscapes. A great debut!!
- Los Inrockuptibles


Discography

Do Pretty! (released independently in may 2006).
800 copies sold. Single: Pensar bonito

Photos

Feeling a bit camera shy

Bio

Lulacruza's music unfolds as hypnotic prayers and electronic pop with lush vocals; aquatic textures and up-tempo, handcrafted South American rhythms.

Alejandra Ortiz and Luis Maurette met in 2004 while studying at Berklee College of Music in Boston, USA. Sharing deep love for indigenous, folk, electronic and experimental music, they’ve since been traveling and playing together.

Their debut album, Do Pretty! was recorded in Oakland (California), Bogotá (Colombia) and Buenos Aires (Argentina). It is a collection of contemplative compositions that radiate outward in a kaleidoscope of sound. It includes collaborations with noise, drone and folk musicians, as well as field recordings from their travels through the US, Colombia, Brazil and Japan.

They are currently based in the San Francisco bay area, where they perform and work on material for their second album.

Alejandra is a singer/songwriter from Bogotá, Colombia. She has a deep connection with the immemorial practices of her land and plays native instruments such as the Cuatro, tar and kalimba. She has toured Japan, Brazil, Argentina, Colombia and the US, and has recorded six albums singing jazz, electronic, world and ethnic music. Her music is nurtured by being in nature, being in silence and by the possibilities of using sound for transmission.

Luis is a percussionist and electronic musician involved in free improvisation, electro-acoustic composition, multimedia performance and sound installation. He studied electronic music at Mills College in Oakland (CA), and has performed and released music in NYC, Paris, Buenos Aires, Bogotá, San Francisco, Boston and Sao Paulo. He has lived in many South American countries and through his music he conveys the universal principles that underline different cultures.