Balance, the first full-length album from producer Robin Perkins aka El Buho, represents a meeting of different currents that make up his music: a fascination with the natural world, and its protection, a fascination with the rhythms, traditions and sounds of Latin America and a fascination with modern electronic music and production aesthetics. It's peppered with Cumbia, Son Jarocho, Andean instrumentation and Afro-Colombian rhythms. Mixed with this, Robin integrates this idea of "nature music" - putting the sound of a misty forest, the songs of birds, of crunching leaves under foot or the rhythmic tapping of rain alongside synthesized sounds, electronic clicks or claps, deep basses. Trying at once to give them their own space but in a new, surprising perspective - it draws electronic music into something more soft, natural, different and appealing.
Balance is also an album that celebrates community and collaboration, showcasing collaborations with ten different artists form Latin America and beyond, both producers, instrumentalists and singers. Including more of a lyrical presence than his previous EPs, Perkins solicited the participation of talented singers like Dina al Wedidi from Cairo, Luzmila Carpio from Bolivia and the incredible decimas of Mexican poet Citlaly Malpica. The album also features the likes of harpist Veronica Valerio, Argentine multi-instrumentalist Rumo Tumba, jarana player Pablo Emiliano from Mexican Son Jarocho group Semilla and members of the Shika Shika family (the global collective he co-run's) Uji, Barrio Lindo, Kaleema, Minük and Jhon Montoya.
El Buho's music has an incredible power to convey feelings, atmospheres, memories or messages. The message that sits behind this music is to value on the one hand the power of community, of collaboration and of our modern, globally, connected world but also the remembrance, protection and celebration of the very earth we depend upon for our existence.