Crave is highly excited to premiere the new Tuatara song “El Brujo,” from the group’s upcoming record Underworld, featuring Pearl Jam lead guitarist Mike McCready. The instrumental powerhouse – think of it as shamanic jazz – returns on August 5th (pre-order here) with the long-awaited follow-up to 2008’s The Here and The Gone with Coleman Barks, with the 20-song, double-album set produced by band drummer/founder Barrett Martin (Mad Season/Screaming Trees/Walking Papers) and mixed by Jack Endino (Nirvana, Soundgarden).
Barrett shared some insight on the track with Crave: “When I was living in New Mexico, I fell in love with Flamenco, because that’s a place where Flamenco is still formally taught,” he explained. “I had made a record with Ottmar Leibert in Santa Fe around that same period of time and experimenting with the Flamenco cajon (the box drum) and the palmas (synchronized hand clapping) ever since.
“I wanted to write a Tuatara song that had that same rhythmic flavor, but didn’t sound exactly like a Flamenco song. So I took the basic rhythm track of ‘El Brujo’ over to Mike’s studio and he set his guitar delay to the same tempo as my hand claps. He then recorded these really cool guitar licks as a kind of call and response to Skerik’s baritone sax melody, and that become our musical conversation, which is quite similar to the conversation between a Flamenco singer and the dancer. It worked out much better than I had hoped for, because sometimes these kinds of experiments don’t work. But in this case, it worked perfectly.”
We couldn’t agree more. Listen to the otherworldly sounds of “El Brujo” below, exclusively on Crave:
Led by Martin, Tuatara formed in 1996 with the intention to make music “that sounded like a film that had never been made.” The result was 1997’s gorgeously captivating debut, Breaking The Ethers, followed by ‘98’s Trading With The Enemy, 2001’s Cinemathique, ‘03’s The Loading Program, ‘06’s East of the Sun, West of the Moon and ‘08’s The Here and The Gone with Coleman Barks.
The band has featured a revolving cast of players on each album, including Michael Franti, John Wesley Harding, Gary Louris and Mark Olson of the Jayhawks, Steve Berlin from Los Lobos, Scott McCaughey, Victoria Williams, Jessy Greene, Sufi poet Coleman Barks and many more.
Moving forward into new frontiers of otherworldly shamanic sounds, Underworld features original members Barrett Martin, Luna’s Justin Harwood and tenor sax legend Skerik with special guest appearances by Peter Buck of REM and Mike McCready of Pearl Jam. Gnarls Barkley bassist Cedric LeMoyne and New York DJ Megman also make appearances.