In De banda a banda del Mediterrani (The two shores of the Mediterranean) the Valencian singer collaborates with the Moroccan Ahmed Touzani.
The one that will be the ninth album of Pep Gimeno “Botifarra”, will be released in the coming weeks and it will be a very special work, done in four hands with the Moroccan violinist and singer Ahmed Touzani. Born in Tangier and a resident of el Genovés for years, right next to Xàtiva, what was once a simple encounter with Pep Gimeno “Botifarra”, after years of sporadic collaborations ended up in an exuberant album with a sonority very rich
In De banda a banda del Mediterrani you can listen to 12 pieces in which the traditional Valencian and North African music mix with total naturalness. As the prestigious music critic Josep Vicent Frechina rightly says in the presentation text, Pep Gimeno “Botifarra” and Ahmed Touzani “detect in the popular music of the two shores of the Mediterranean, close kinships, consanguineous rhythms, subtle affinities.”
Continuing with the same text, the author emphasizes that the disc “contains two ideological burdens of great significance: on the one hand, the contestation of the interested division between” them” and “us” that seeks to raise insurmountable barriers and hide the cultural proximity; and on the other hand, the view of the Mediterranean as a space for coexistence and exchange, and not as the fatal and deadly frontier into which the miserable and dehumanized policies with which we are being punished have turned it. No one can deny that finding spaces where understanding and humanity reigns, in times as uncertain as today, is frankly comforting.”
The album has counted with the participation of Xus Belda (percussion), Pere Ródenas (bass, guitar, lute and oud Arabic), Hèctor Peropadre (accordion, lute, dulzaina, tarota and flute), Juanra Martí (dulzaina, tarota, flute and bandurria), Ricard Soriano (dulzaina), Tony Molina (trumpet and trombone), Vicent Carrasco (guitar) and Pau Chàfer (piano), and contains an original lyrics by Joan Moixino, on the theme Jota de les Ventes. The repertoire is formed in 90% by themes that Pep Gimeno “Botifarra” had never recorded before, and includes, to name just a few, themes from the towns of Ontinyent, Xàbia, Biar, Rotglà i Corberà, the Genovés, and the traditional Castilian theme El romance de Gerineldo. The songs chosen by Ahmed Touzani cover topics such as traditional Moroccan weddings or immigration, among others.
Arranged and produced by Pere Ródenas, the album was recorded during the months of April and May at the studios El cor de la Costera and RC Studios.
De banda a banda del Mediterrani (published by the Catalan label Temps Record) will be presented in public with a concert to be held in Xàtiva on August 15, framed in the celebration of La Fira de Xàtiva, and that same day they will be able to acquire copies. Starting in September, the discs will also be available on digital platforms and in stores.
Xàtiva, July 2, 2018.