Wiki Chaves’ latest production is Raíz – a 27 minute long minimalistic instrumental album jointly released by The Slow Music Movement. Its 7 tracks combine beats from a legendary Ace Tone drum machine, quiet electric guitar layers and subtle acoustic percussion to create relaxing dreamy landscapes inspired by parenthood and a return to nature, hence the title “Raíz”.
The music on Raíz is driven by soft riffs that develop organically and work as mantric loops, seasoned with deep reverbs that convey a retro vibe, and spatial backgrounds reminiscent of ambient music. The influences for the tracks on the album are drawn from diverse roots: dub’s signature sound, post-punk heavily chorused guitars, exotica rhythms, classical guitar arpeggios and smooth jazz phrasing.
Here we caught up with Wiki to talk about its 9 key points and to discover its delicious new release.
Place of origin, where you were born and where you currently live. 3 places you love in the world.
I was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina. In 2011 my wife and I moved to California. After 7 years, we took some time to travel and surf. After that trip we settled down in Santa Cruz, a surf town in California where we actually live.
My favorite places in the world are mostly related to surf, but I also like nature and exotic places, like Ahipara in New Zealand, Amami Ōshima in Japan and Maui in Hawaii.
5 things you love passionately, 5 things you hate.
– Spending time with my large and growing family
– Surfing in warm water. It’s a zen state
– Road Trips! Exploring new places.
– A hike in the woods, what Japanese calls shinrin-yoku
– Wearing sandals year round
– Migraines, unfortunately I suffer from them a lot
– Big shopping malls, especially around Christmas
– Being caught spending too much time in social media
– Chewing sounds, I found out is a disorder called misophonia
– Wearing tight shoes (that’s why I love my sandals)
What motivates you to compose music?
Composing music, for me, is like taking photos or writing a diary: it connects me to the moments I live and the places I visit. When people tell me they can “travel” with my music, it’s almost a sign that I was able to capture those moments and feelings.
Top 5 of your artistic influences.
– Tommy Guerrero, I feel very identified with his laid back style
– Gustavo Cerati, probably the greatest southamerican musician.
– Khruangbin, their mix of asian and middle east sounds on a chill mood
– John Frusciante, I love his unique playing style and simplicity.
– Atahualpa Yupanqui, his style changed the way I listen to folkloric music
Top 5 songs you love.
– Twilight, by Los Days
– Cerberus by The Sweet Enoughs
– La Costura de Dios, by Gustavo Cerati
– Green Arrow, by Yo La Tengo
– Nostalgia, by Wiki Chaves
Tell us about your latest release. Motivation and musical concept.
Raíz is driven by a minimalistic approach that is different from my previous work. Inspired by parenthood and a return to nature (hence the title “Raíz”, roots in Spanish), I focused on the guitar layers built over drum patterns, building up the songs through loops. I relied less on external elements, mainly using guitar, and experimented with more open structures. That forced me to grasp the expressive possibilities of the guitar loops, and in return, gave me more freedom.
What do you hope your artistic work will give you back?
I hope this record will make me go to new places (not only surf spots!) around the world, which, in its turn, will become the seed (and root) for new songs to come.
A book that you recommend.
The Dharma Bums, by Jack Kerouac. Kerouac is a must for anyone who loves travel, adventures and the freedom of living the moment.
What is the meaning of life?
I don’t think I would ever have a written answer for that. For me, it’s about enjoying life and connecting with moments. That’s also the philosophy that drives my music.
The Wiki Chaves’ new release is out now!
BUY IT HERE