Day 13: Conga Radio – Naturalmente (Live Mix)

Day 13 of our charity Advent Calendar in aid of The Steve Reid Foundation.

Both together and individually, Jex Opolis and Roberto have a real knack for unlocking melodies that have an understated, balearic charm to them, but are so damn catchy you almost feel guilty every time you get pulled back in for another listen. Based in Toronto, the comparison to fellow Canadians Project Pablo, Jayda G and the Mood Hut crew is hard to avoid, but Conga Radio channel that into an 80’s, guitar band aesthetic. It’s uttlerly addictive, so we’re delighted they were up for contributing to this year’s Advent Calendar, with a special new live mix of a track sitting right at the top of their discography. ‘Naturalmente’ was originally released 18 months ago as the title track for an EP on Jex Opolis’s Good Timin’ imprint and here gets a one minute extension, thanks to some length jamming from Jex on guitar and Roberto on the Moog. The whole thing was recorded during a session they also videoed – skip to 13:40 here for ‘Naturalmente’, but the whole thing is well worth your time.

Here’s some words from Jex about the track: “this version was recorded live at Roberto’s studio in Toronto in October. It had been a full year since we’d been in the studio together (I’ve lived in NYC for the past two years) so it was pretty exciting to be working with Roberto again. We had a week scheduled in the studio, so we knocked around a bunch of new ideas but also decided to try some live takes for a live video. We rehearsed it a few times and then let the cameras roll! There is no backing tracks, everything is live: MPC for the drums, JX-8P for keys, bass, and strings, TX81Z for the flute (triggered via a Moog’s arpeggiator!) along with a live looped guitar. It turned out pretty good!”

Download ‘Naturalmente’ from our Bandcamp. It’s pay-what-you-like, with all proceeds going to The Steve Reid Foundation, a charity founded by Gilles Peterson that aims to support musicians in dedication to the visionary jazz drummer. 

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