“Juan Loco” is a compelling and powerful representation of the unique hybrid of metal, latin and jazz that is the unmistakable signature of Rodrigo Sanchez and Gabriela Quintero. For Area 52, the duo took their sound a step further into the unknown — “Juan Loco” now boasts a 13-piece Cuban Orchestra and brilliant bass by Carles Benavent, who has played with the likes of Paco De Lucia, Chick Corea and Miles Davis.
About the track, Rodrigo says, “For ‘Juan Loco,’ we decided to get Carles Benavent to play the bass as well as he did on 11:11 because it felt like he could just change the rhythm in terms of the bass line, in terms of making it a little bit less latin and more kind of his way – you know, which could be jazzy, could be more flamenco based style or whatever. And it goes well with the guitars because it’s a very hyper-active track in terms of playability and he suits perfectly for these kinds of tracks.”
Area 52 was produced by the legendary Peter Asher and will come out on January 24, 2012. The record contains nine of Rod and Gab’s favorite songs from their own catalogue re-arranged and re-configured for a 13-piece Cuban orchestra comprised of some of Havana’s finest young players, collectively known as C.U.B.A. It’s Rodrigo y Gabriela’s first recorded collaboration with another group of musicians.
Area 52 was mixed by Rafa Sardina, one of the leading studio musicians in the Latin music world, and arranged by London-based pianist, composer and arranger Alex Wilson. Recording took place in the Miramar district of Havana, Cuba, at Abdala Studios, founded by the Cuban folk hero Silvio Rodriguez, as well as at Rod and Gab’s studio in Ixtapa, Mexico. Other players on the record include: drummer John Tempesta (The Cult, Testament, White Zombie), sitarist Anoushka Shankar and drummer Samuel Formell (Los Van Van).