soma mestizo
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soma mestizo

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"Ambient Music Review"

Deep Dark Sexy Demo.

At over seventeen minutes, this tidy little cd demo give more than a taste of what the band are about. On their website they say they're influenced by world music as well as Bjork and Bowie. There's three tracks here, and all of them sound very similar - and I don't mean that in a derogatory way. It's a very clever blend of deep beats, dub and chill. Silversuit kicks the album off like an audio blackhole - you're pulled in straight away. There are a lot of influences shining through the demo, but Soma Mestizo don't show these influences in a crass or trashy way - more a tip of the hat or a wink of the eye. Nail In Her Coffin and Sunshine all share that same chilled out, dead-relaxed feel, and y'know what? It works incredibly well.
- Ambient Music

"Review by Kelly Delaney"

Chances are that if you have been to any kind of public event or festival in Pittsburgh during the last couple of years, you have seen and heard Soma Mestizo. Undoubtedly the vocal style and stage presence of singer Christiane D. made you turn your head. The strange and warm sound of Eric "Boo Boo" Mason's didgeridoo probably puzzled you. The musicianship of drummer David "Ping Ting" Pohl and guitar and percussionist Herman "Soy Sos" Pearl most likely found you raising your eyebrows. It would not surprise anyone if you walked away wondering why you couldn't fit the band into one category or genre and concluding that they had a lot of nerve messing with your musical paradigm. In their most recent effort, The SilverSun EP, Soma Mestizo has utilized the DJ and producer talents of MKL and Soy Sos to mix and remix two of their songs. On side one, Christiane D.'s vocals add a dreamy quality to the tastefully understated house beat of "Silver Suit." The original version of the song is also included, in which Mason's didgeridoo provides the bass line. The second side consists of the remix and original versions of the song "Sunshine." The didgeridoo is more prominently featured and D.'s vocals are more driven. The subtle use of strings and piano give the song a jazzy feel. The release of the EP on vinyl gives the group the opportunity to be heard by club goers everywhere. Be among the first to hear this new movement in dance music.
- City Paper

"Interim I review by Byron Nash"

You’ve just gotta love a woman who says “If I were a man, I’d kick your ass, but for now I’ll kill you with words,” in the dry manner that lead singer/poetess Christiane Leach does on “Lack of Investment.” Slowly but surely, Soma Mestizo is developing an unique sound that will isolate them from any other local group - and that’s a good thing. While other bands are suffering from a musical identity crisis, Soma Mestizo seems quite comfortable with their unorthodox musical offerings. Instead of the typical drums, bass, guitar, vocals band setup, the Mestizo crew leave out the bass guitar altogether, replacing it with the tribal sounds of Eric Mason’s didgeridoo playing.
They don’t shoot for the quick vocal hook either, instead they fuse deep, throaty vocals and poetic lines as a means for verbal communication. Soy Sos handles the guitar, reggae -tinged vocals and auxiliary percussion duties, while drummer David Pohl serves as the bands home base, keeping the grooves grounded. This isn’t the definitive Soma Mestizo album, yet more of a taste test of what lies around the corner for them. For most listeners, Soma Mestizo’s approach is downright strange, weird, eclectic and experimental and I get the impression they wouldn’t have it any other way.
- Rock n Roll Reporter

"Silversun Review"

A "body of mixtures" aptly describes the eclectic sound of this group of artists.  Although "artist" is the title given to virtually every recording musician these days, the case could be made that precious little of the music recorded today is actually art.
However the work of Soma Mestizo ranges into that lofty realm. Certainly any band that makes more than novelty use of the didgeridoo has to be making something of an artistic comment.    
Singer/Poet, Christiane D, weaves stylistically around the jazzy rhythmic grooves and sound-beds established by the groups players.  The players include the band's founder, guitarist-percussionist Soy Sos,  Eric "Booboo" Mason plays didgeridoo and the groups drummer is Skilah.
There is a addictive trance/ambient/world beat character to their music.  The trance like ambience that this group incorporates very wonderfully facilitates the unique harmonic ideas and poetry of Christiane D in songs like "Baby Blue" and "Earthly Delights".  The result is a compellingly sensual aural delight.
The group successfully melds post-modern "techno" darkness with the acoustically organic simplicity of ethnic instrumentation.  It is a trans-genre art form that mature music lovers will consider a "must have" for their collections.
Soma Mestizo CDs can be purchase on the groups official website:

- A Creatorsweb Review and Interview by Kenneth Mowery, February 2004

"Interim Government"

To Pittsburgh organic trance band Soma Mestizo, much like the indigenous and pagan traditions from which it draws inspiration, everything happens for a reason. Every sound, every show, every recording is part of an unfolding plan, even if its full extent is hidden from view. So the fact that the group’s new Interim 2 CD comes in a period of transition is no accident.

“We’ve had such an expansion,” says guitarist and producer Soy Sos. “We’ve got a batch of new tunes, and now we’re adding a keyboardist, Greg Galbreath -- we’re desirous to do a mix with a bunch of these new songs, but we want to be able to go into the studio full-on and get the whole band at once. For now we’re trying to add just the right amount of [keyboard] texture.”

Since 2000’s Peep Show, Soma Mestizo has become a fixture on several fronts of the Pittsburgh music landscape: as the first entertainment choice for many activist and cultural organizations; as promoters of many an alternative festival and multimedia event; and, thanks in part to Soy Sos’ involvement in production team 3 Generations Walking, as one of the most successful local groups at combining dance floor/deejay culture and live music. Interim 2 explores that latter side of Soma thoroughly, with dub and dance remixes of old tracks and unused recordings done as recently as this past winter as well as reaching back as far as the group’s initial 1997 incarnation.

“We had a lot of odd bits that didn’t make it onto records,” explains Soy Sos. “Like ‘Not OK,’ which was spontaneously cut out of Peep Show during the mastering session -- it just didn’t fit with the rest of the album. It’s a cool luxury they have, those bands that record 20 tracks and then cut it down later to a [cohesive] album. Peep Show holds together as a single thing, but it’s nice to be able to do something that’s more piecemeal, where you don’t have to worry so much about, ‘Does this work with the [album]?’”

The highlight of Interim 2, and a jewel in Soma’s crown, is “Eagle Screaming Red Sky Alight,” released as a “freedub” downloadable single by the I.R. Records (Indigenous Resistance) label. “Eagle Screaming” features Soma singer Christiane D’s lead vocals, with a remix by Soy Sos, on a track created by some of the biggest names in multi-culti dance music: music produced by Pandit G of Asian Dub Foundation, mixed by legendary On-U label guru Adrian Sherwood, with additional vocals and production by Omar Perry (son of dub demigod Lee Perry).

I.R., a part of the multinational indigenous peoples activist group The Fire This Time (, found Soma Mestizo’s Web site through a Canadian journalist familiar with the group. Upon hearing an MP3 of the band’s “Sunshine,” I.R. head honcho Kokondo Dub -- a “dreadlocked mestizo resistance fighter” from Brazil, according to Soy Sos -- decided Christiane D was the voice they’d been looking for for the English version of “Eagle Screaming.” (Another version is in the lyricist’s native Greenlandic tongue.)

“I ended up sending a finished mix instead of just the vocal [tracks],” explains Soy Sos, who recorded the vocals in his Tuff Sound studio. “Kokondo’s in the Solomon Islands right now, so it’s this crazy all-around-the-world thing.

“The whole thing was all for the love, there’s no money in it, but when I sent the first mixes, he wrote me back and he just got it -- he totally understands what we’re trying to do. Now, Kokondo’s sending us some new shit from the Solomon Islands to work with. You hustle and work and try to do music, you do corporate and humdrum stuff to make a living, just for the chance to do something like this. When it comes along, you just do it.” writer, Justin Hopper - City Paper

"Soma Mestizo CD Release - Interim II"

The most recent Soma Mestizo release was the song "No War," written last March and distributed freely throughout the city using urban guerrilla marketing tactics. Since members of the group are never at rest, over the past two years they've assembled a collection of remixes, B-sides and other material that doesn't necessarily fit anywhere else to release as Interim II. Though perceived as a random assortment of songs, the one recurring theme is their focus on dub and special mixing techniques instigated by Herman "Soy Sos" Pearl and others. "We've always been pretty interested in dub and we kind of wanted to take the interim release a step further by focusing on the dub, which Sos is just like the king of, and taking some of these tracks and really focusing on the dig[ital]," says vocalist Christiane D. Among the assemblage are two songs remixed by the band's former soundman Mark Pfaff and partner Tomas Jenkins, and "Eagle Screaming Red Sky Alight," based on a poem written by Jessie Kleeman and Kokonda Dub of IR Records, who approached Christiane D. to recite and record the lyrics. The song's rhythm track was originally written by legendary dub producers Adrian Sherwood, Omar Perry and Pandit G of the Asian Dub Foundation. They liked Pearl's remix so much that they are currently working on another collaborative project, which has been an incredible honor and opportunity for the group. "We don't get paid for it, but it's such an incredible international connection and just to work on a track that has these heavy hitters on it...I just love digitally rubbing elbows," says Christiane D. Tonight's show also celebrates the addition of two new members, drummer Richard Gartner and keyboardist Greg Galbreath.
PITTSBURGH PULP Writer: Cindy Yogmas - Pittsburgh Pulp

"Soma Mestizo plans three-night musical showcase at Arts festival"

By Michael Machosky
Thursday, June 7, 2007

More than 10 years ago, Soma Mestizo started making some of the most futuristic music ever heard in Pittsburgh -- a danceable concoction contantly in flux between funk, rock, trip-hop, soul, dub and several strange strands of world music, organized around the sultry, darkly dramatic voice of Christiane Leach.

Then, like it always does, the future became the present, then the past.

Now, after a few uncertain, difficult years, Soma Mestizo has regrouped to put together its strongest statement yet, the new album "Telomere."

"I think we were getting to the point of spreading ourselves too thin," Leach says. "I wanted to do something different with the CD release." The release party is a multi-night, multimedia Soma Mestizo showcase Friday-Sunday as part of the Three Rivers Arts Festival's 4th River Project.

Soma has always had a more theatrical, almost cabaret-like stage presence than the average rock band, and this gives the band the opportunity to let those elements run wild. Visual stimuli will include dances choregraphed by Staycee Pearl, video projections from Mexed Missages, and paintings by Soma's drummer, Richard Gartner.

The paintings deal with decay, a central theme of "Telomere," Leach says. "The past five years have been pretty hellish for me, so the songs are kind of unusually personal. I lost a lot of things. Loss is like a type of decay. But there's also a joy -- I tell people, I've gone through hell's kitchen and come out shiny."

The didgeridoo -- an ancient Australian wind instrument -- that once provided so much of Soma's low end, is only on a few tracks. No longer tethered to its mercurial, organic rhythms, Soma's newer tunes have a looser, wide-open feel.

Most of their audience, judging by digital sales, is in Europe and Japan -- which is where they hope to push "Telomere." But Soma will always have love left for its hometown.

"We've got hard-core fans in Pittsburgh," Leach says. "A lot of people in Pittsburgh like weird stuff."

Michael Machosky can be reached at or (412) 320-7901.

- PGH Tribune Review

"Soma Sounds"

Scott Mervis
Thursday, June 07, 2007

"Deeper, deeper, I sink," Christiane D. sings on the second track of "Telomere," a sixth record from Soma Mestizo that mines some heavy emotional ground.

The Pittsburgh band -- which describes its sound as "deep, dark, sexy global-genre busting, booty-shaking, head-filling magic music" -- turns up as part of the Three Rivers Arts Festival's 4th River Project this weekend with a multi-media event that will combine music, art and dance.

It will serve as the release party for the record, which Soma calls its most personal work. Christiane D. says it's about "fighting the invisible battle about who we are."

A frontwoman with a dark smoky voice, she spits her poetic lyrics about relationships and personal identity over highly improvisatory music filled with jazzy riffs, global beats and deep didgeridoo grooves.

- Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

"Interim II Review"

Soma Mestizo describes themselves as a "body of mixtures." There are many levels and vantage points from which to enjoy and appreciate the music of this artistic group.

For instance, any thoughtful person will invest some measure of time simply listening to the unearthly and hypnotic bass tracks performed by Eric "Booboo" Mason on the didgeridoo. It takes a while to come to terms with a band that uses the didgeridoo for bass, but this is only one of the many delightful dimensions of their unique sound.

The band was founded by the talented Soy Sos, who plays a multitude of instruments from guitar to percussion. His multi-timbre tastes have helped to forge out a complex and profound aural presence which is aptly held together by percussionist Richard Skilah.

Perhaps the most striking dimension of the group comes into play with the creative prowess and performance of singer/poet Christiane D. Christiane presents an amazing mix of the ethereal, the exotic and the raged edge of urban survival. She may be the reason one writer called Soma Mestizo, “The Cure for the common writers block.” Without question, the ambient darkness and pervasive sensuality of this group is not only captivating but stimulating.

Their most recent CD, Interim 2, features 9 tracks which include various remixes, dubs, and b-sides. With typical Soma Mestizo darkness and sensuality, “Nail In Her Coffin," the first track, confronts listeners with an almost un-worldly but very sexual feminine persona, which surfaces on several other tracks on the CD.

The sensual overtone comes through even on instrumental pieces such as “Silver Dub." Although Track 3, “Eagle Screaming Red Sky," introduces new sounds, it further establishes the rhythmic and pervasive percussive content which dominates Interim 2.

This demonstrates yet another interesting aspect of Soma Mestizo. Although there is not a lot of tonal variation, the group continually introduces new instrumentation and effects which prevent any boredom or ear fatigue one might experience otherwise.

Soma Mestizo deserves attention, and with Interim 2, they offer a great deal of interesting entertainment to listeners who appreciate lots of percussion, good poetry, and mind bending effects.
- Kenneth Mowery -

"Nasty Boy ep"

When a band known and beloved for organic, multiculti vibe music, for didgeridoo and tribal rhythms, for slam poetry-inspired earth-mother vocals and an onstage sea of ’locks and spiraling tats steps outside itself with something like the “Gutter-tech Mix” of “Nasty Boy,” it might seem at first as though the music-biz terrorists have won. Overtly ’90s reined-in-metal guitars, ass-slappin’ vocals (“dance, nasty boy, I’ve got a dolla’ / dance, nasty boy, make my ass holla’”) and a distinctly high-heels-and-metal-pole cheap-tech beat. But really the victor is format over all else: reclamation of the beauty of the single, a chance for a band to go out on a limb, have a laugh, and walk home free of shame at the end.

It doesn’t take long to “get” this gutter-tech thing and chuckle along; similarly, on “Filthy Rock Mix,” Soma goes in for cock-rock guitars -- throw in some slo-mo water splashing off cymbals, and you’ve got it. Soma Mestizo proves itself unnervingly capable of delivering hair metal with a strict dance beat -- its role-reversal of the pole-dance call-to-arms is particularly effective when it’s so patently nasty, but damned if flying-V radio wouldn’t unironically love it. Each of these is executed in period-piece perfection, and while it doesn’t take long for the fun to wear and the song to drown in its own irony, there’s something exciting about Soma simply doing it, instead of saying, “You know what would freak people out …”

Delve into the, shall we say, proper mix and you may find yourself immersed in one of the finest concoctions Soma Mestizo has released. As a taster for the full-length album that allegedly will arrive in a few months, this is one rare aperitif. On the eight minutes of barely legal, deeply sensual organic electro of the “Sex Lounge Mix,” the Soma-ness of “Nasty Boy” comes front-center: A typically teeth-bared, subtly aggressive power declaration that flows unnoticeably from grinding beat to ambient dub. One can’t help but see an underlying point -- that 21st-century ambient electro is just another in a long line of musical forms produced simply to get people undressed -- but for the moment, bask in it and get nekkid. - Pittsburgh City Paper


Life of a Toy
Interim I
Silversun ep
Interim II
IR # 4
Nasty Boy ep
IR 13



The professor got her groove on…yes Martha you can care about yes Martha you can care about
the environment; want to smack the sh-t out of war mongers; work to put an end to all the bad –isms and all the while shake your cute white, black, brown, yellow, red, indescribable, indefinable ass. How? Well sit down Martha we gotta a story to tell: Soma Mestizo is 21st century music made by elements seen, felt and heard from all centuries proceeding. So Soma “found the line between technology and organic and then dances across it.” At least that is how Scott Mervis of the Pittsburgh Post Gazette explained it.

Merging passion with intellect, dub earth beats with simulated earthly/unearthly sounds. Soma Mestizo brings an artistic precision to the medium of music. The poetry and prose of the lyrics melds with the sensual guitar, percussion and bass team up mimicking pulsating blood and of the unseen but felt soul. Lead singer and co-founder Christiane D. says: “Making music is akin to painting on a large canvas. Usually one paints alone, quite a solitary event. But with music, everyone is adding their own texture and color to create the piece.” The art metaphor is apt, as music critic Kenneth Mowery states; “Although "artist" is the title given to virtually every recording musician these days, the case could be made that precious little of the music recorded today is actually art. However the work of Soma Mestizo ranges into that lofty realm.”

Soma Mestizo means "a body of mixtures" and the name, in the case of Soma Mestizo, is the thing: Indigenous meets technology, sex meets holiness, love meets truth. Newest member Beau De Monte says; “Soma is a very inspiring entity. It is something you experience and walk away impressed in some way.” Christiane D. explains, the process is as complex as the arrangements and as organic as the experience: “Any song, sound, chord, idea needs to have been through the blender of the myriad-flipped-oblique-spinning-twisted-backwards turned inside out revolution.” - Tereneh Mosley