“Ramas” (branches in Spanish) is El Búho’s third album of original material and stands for a celebration of the art of collaboration. Featuring 19 collaborations with artists from 12 countries, the album was born organically out of collaborations, mutual appreciation or a desire to experiment and try something new.
Some of the tracks were started in person, such as “Sky City”, born out of a spaghetti-western jam in Thornato’s Queens studio or “Gaviota” inspired by the the seagulls of Brighton following a shared show with Rumbo Tumba in the city. Meanwhile others such as “Elefta” with Hungarian producer Stas or “Kuuma” a track made with Finnish multi-instrumentalist QOSQI were created over long-distance with the producers never actually meeting face to face. The album also contains tracks from long-term friends and collaborators like Chancha Via Circuito, Barda and Wonderwheel head-honcho Nickodemus.
Musically the album references the blend of Latin American traditional music with original electronic music on tracks such as “Resiliencia” with legendary Chilean producer DJ Raff, an homage to the recent protest movement in Chile, or “Absolut,” a track sculpted from an unfinished melodic idea by Argentine electro-folk trio Tremor. Meanwhile songs like “Nevar” and “Kif Kif Kuf Kuf” with Didacte and Kraut, both part of the Shika Shika collective, take El Búho’s sound in a new direction, embracing a more melodic or impactful and rhythmic electronica.
At its heart of “Ramas” was Perkins’ desire to challenge himself creatively, forcing him to see his own ideas and production style from a different angle or see ideas started in one direction come back completely transformed by the collaborator. The result is at once surprising and diverse but El Búho’s signature sound and aesthetic is the thread that runs through all of the tracks, the trunk to each branch.
Carrying on the spirit of collaboration, El Búho made an open call for collaborations with dancers & choreographers in his community. Overwhelmed by the response, the album is accompanied by 18 original choreographies by dancers and dance groups from 12 different countries, from Mexico to Taiwan, South Africa or the Galapagos Islands. Each chose the track that most inspired them and shot a video of their dance in a unique and beautiful natural location, in doing so creating yet more ramas or branches for the project.