Ibelisse Guardia Ferragutti & Frank Rosaly : MESTIZX

Avatar photo
Ibelisse Guardia Ferragutti Frank Rosaly Mestizx review

In the video for “Turbulência,” the second single from Ibelisse Guardia Ferragutti and Frank Rosaly’s MESTIZX, the duo are twisted and pulled into strange shapes like silly putty. Dancers collide and embrace under transparent sheets of plastic, layers upon layers of hands connect while strumming a guitar, and faces are pressed, pinched, pulled and molded. Through a combination of slightly uncomfortable looking choreography and digital effects, it would appear that the invasive tangle of hands might become absorbed by Ferragutti’s face. It’s as if once the song’s rhythm kicks up, the laws of physics and all that we once understood seem to no longer apply.

The visuals accompanying “Turbulência,” an urgent and upbeat Afro-samba song that reflects the chaos and confusion of social conflict, provide an apt accompaniment to the thoughtful yet electrifying collision of styles on Ferragutti and Rosaly’s Nonesuch and International Anthem-released debut album, MESTIZX. A married couple who are also musical partners, the Amsterdam-based duo each have a long history of collaborating with others—Ferragutti with artists such as jaimie branch and Alabaster dePlume, Rosaly with Thurston Moore and Jeff Parker, both with dream-pop group Silverbones. A testament to their myriad combined talents as much as it is a personal exploration of Latinx identity (Ferragutti is of Bolivian and Brazilian descent, Rosaly is Puerto Rican) through songs in a state of constant movement, MESTIZX finds unlikely and often thrilling connections through disparate styles and textures that intertwine their personal backgrounds with their tendencies toward musical experimentation.

The delicate waltz that opens the album, “Invoçao,” provides a subdued but haunting first impression. Piano weaves around marimba, as Ferragutti invokes the spirits of ancestors through her Portuguese-sung lyrics: “I will search/for the seeds that/carry them/the voices of the grandmothers.” A minor-key tension simmers at its core, a gentle darkness that lends this graceful ballet a cinematic quality, with Rosaly’s steady, light-wristed percussion ramping up the sense of momentum beneath the melancholy twinkle. His versatile and intricate rhythms are an unfixed constant throughout MESTIZX, even as the duo’s approach incorporates more explicit elements of jazz, rock, cumbia and bomba, and as Ferragutti transitions from Portuguese to Spanish to English.

Throughout the whole of the album, nuanced details emerge throughout that serve to elevate an already compelling piece to something even more vibrant and powerful. “Destejer” is one of the most immediately arresting songs, stark yet somehow maximalist all at once, growing slowly in dimension throughout its four minutes toward a climax driven by Ben LaMar Gay’s cornet and Rob Frye’s flute. The title track—named for a non-gendered use of a Spanish colonial term applied to people of mixed heritage—is at once more subtle and quietly impactful. Bill MacKay provides an arpeggiated spiral of guitars that echoes later-era Radiohead, as Ferragutti sings in Spanish of the personal contradictions inherent in being both connected to and an outsider of cultural identities and traditions. “Soy el problema y soy la respuesta,” she sings. “I am the problem and the answer.

The duo describe MESTIZX in a statement as “a document we made as a love letter to our ancestors, both from the past, present and future, while recognizing through ritual and ceremony the inherent colonial presence.” It’s as much a deeply personal document as a political statement, perpetually existing on a plane where the two intersect. Yet Ferragutti and Rosaly offer celebration along with the introspection. In the frenetic, frantic “Descend,” they pull apart a colonial mindset with a blueprint for a more utopian tomorrow: “The future will come forth, an opportunity to shape-shift.” They chart a path forward, just follow the rhythm to see where it leads.

Label: International Anthem/Nonesuch

Year: 2024

Similar Albums:

Ibelisse Guardia Ferragutti Frank Rosaly Mestizx review

Ibelisse Guardia Ferragutti & Frank Rosaly : MESTIZX

Note: When you buy something through our affiliate links, Treble receives a commission. All albums we cover are chosen by our editors and contributors.

View Comments (0)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Scroll To Top