Crosstown Rebels fave takes us on a tour of Vista
Born in Barcelona, DJ, producer and musician Tibi Dabo mixes classic and cutting-edge influences to take a totally unique and ingenious slant on the well trodden form of house music.
From his early days touring Europe and the US as a drummer, he’s grown to become an exciting and much-loved DJ and producer, adding to his growing reputation as a favourite fixture on the foster of Crosstown Rebels.
His spirited new album Vista is a perfect fusion of futuristic synths and compelling house grooves, all of which are masterfully designed and full of character. Following three well-received singles across the summer, the full-length is a complete sonic statement that explores deep house, leftfield sonics and widescreen cosmic vistas.
Spanning a range of moods and influences from Detroit techno to funk and cosmic, low key house, Vista is Dabo’s most in-depth project to date.
We asked him to guide us through the album with his personal reflections on each track:
A dusty, broken introduction to the record. I liked the idea of starting things up with this piece. Its delicate, imperfect nature holds a special place in my heart, which makes it one of my favourites.
A tribute to my favourite festival, Waking Life, which was also the original project name. I made this track once I got to the studio after the previous year’s edition.
I find joy in establishing a backdrop as a foundation for crafting a track. It provides a framework, allowing for the possibilities that can unfold within a specific moment, surrounded by a particular group of people, enveloped in a unique energy. This approach made the piece happen very quickly.
I was looking for methods to sequence instruments in a way that would keep the track rolling in an ever-evolving loop. It’s hard to get there, and that was part of the exercise. I’m really enjoying playing this one out in my DJ sets as it creates the same cyclical feeling in the context of a venue.
This track stands out as one of the album’s more atmospheric pieces. My aim was to infuse it with a rich texture that got integrated into the groove. Incorporating dusty vinyl samples and found sounds added dynamics that ended up as part of the call-and-response elements across the production.
This one is a jam made in one take. I’m not used to doing that, but since I was working on an album, I felt it would be interesting to try different recording methods, and I really enjoyed working in this way in the end. The arrangement of the track happened in the moment while I was adjusting the faders and synth parameters. Nothing groundbreaking here; just a creative experiment I was eager to try!
Mangabeira Manifesto ft. Dudu Bongo
Dudu Bongo, or Edu Alves, is a dear friend I’ve known since high school. We were both part of the band ‘Family Time’ with my cousin, and our musical journey together is dear to me. I’ve always been captivated by his ability to switch between vocals and various instruments effortlessly.
I wanted to have at least one vocal track on the album, and he quickly came to mind. Coordinating our schedules was no small feat, but when we finally settled into his studio in Hospitalet, Barcelona, it was a creative whirlwind. Unsurprisingly, we didn’t have a concrete vision in mind. Dudu, still feeling the effects of a night out, delivered his vocals lying from the comfort of a couch. Strangely enough, it gave the track the mood it needed, pure genius if you ask me.
As part of trying out different ideas and recording methods when making this album, I wanted to create an uncomplicated piece with a recurring melody. It came together very quickly. I feel it has a lot to say. To me, it almost feels like it could be a lyric. It also serves as a prelude to a different sonic flavour that follows on the next record.
It samples dialogue from a kid in Sesame Street trying to teach another character how to dance. The whole piece feels very innocent to me. Even the production was done in a specific way to reflect that mood and feel.
I liked the idea of a track called ‘Overture’ being the closing piece of an album, and here it is.