Fitting with the lap steel licks and country undercurrent of the latest from our pals
El Sportivo & the Blooz, the cinematic interpretation of “Waking World” is a four-
minute modern Western that takes on a magically surreal twist at the end.”
– Interview Magazine
When you’re seeking out powerful rock n’ roll, you search below the surface.
There is the shiny and pristine and then there is the subterranean and the
primitive. The latter journey will take you across tequila-tangled guitar lines
bashed out in basements all across America. This is where you’ll find El
Sportivo & The Blooz, a crew who understand the necessity of rawness,
urgency, and the sacral strength of working under dim light.
”We wanted to let things be loose and about inspiration, not about trying
to hide the imperfections,” says Daron Hollowell, A.K.A. El Sportivo, about
his LP debut Nights and Weekends. “We were just trying to capture ourselves
in the room, in the moment, no over-thinking the performances or the mixes.”
The original room was a dingy basement practice space in Brooklyn,
covered in wall-to-wall cut outs of 70s rock magazine covers. Neil Young.
Dylan. The Band. This is the spot that Hollowell rented in the dead of winter,
to record the demos that he brought to the LA-based producer Lewis Pesacov.
When you hear the record, you can hear these heroes breathing in the steel guitar
and the searing guitar lines. Don’t mistake it for some hastily conceived, crudely cut
record that you’ll forget about five minutes after it stops spinning. There are also
subtle hallmarks of deep thought and consideration-deliberation that gets
discarded at the moment of recording, allowing for inspiration and improvisation.
You might have initially caught the boozy vapors of El Sportivo & Co. two
years ago. They released an eponymous EP on White Iris, the imprint that
Hollowell co-owns-one of the first to release records from Best Coast,
FIDLAR, Fools Gold and Foreign Born. Lewis Pesacov, the lead guitarist of
the latter two bands, produced the entirety of El Sportivo’s sessions. The other
proprietor of White Iris, Pesacov was instrumental in the sculpting of El Sportivo’s
sound, overseeing everything from equipment set-up to the right alchemy of alcohol.
The band recorded in Los Angeles, seeking to capture the dark Santa Ana vibrations
that sweep through the eastside hills every fall. Like many great records, it attempts
to understand the feeling of both being trapped and being free. It wants to know
what’s beneath the crust and mantle.
”I found what I was looking for-a way to balance all my feelings and thoughts
about music,” Hollowell said. “Making this album reminded me why I started.
It was about holding a guitar, writing songs, and playing them in a room
with people who understood.
2/20 – Los Angeles, CA @ Origami Vinyl
2/21 – Los Angeles, CA @ El Cid
2/27 – New York, NY @ Pianos
3/09 – Brooklyn, NY @ The Gutter
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