Fact Premiere: Ale Hop & Laura Robles – Son de los diablos

Ale Hop and Laura Robles manifest their mutant reimagining of traditional Afro-Peruvian music with a dystopian vision in which past and future realties merge.

With ‘Son de los diablos’, Berlin-based, Peruvian musicians Ale Hop and Laura Robles enlist the talents of filmmaker Lauren Pringle to manifest their mutant reimagining of traditional Afro-Peruvian music. Taken from their debut album, Agua Dulce, named after the most popular beach in Lima, the city in which both artists grew up, ‘Son de los diablos,’ is an apocalyptic concoction of electric guitar, electronics and a self-built electric cajón, a percussion instrument originating from coastal Peru that was created from wooden fruit boxes by Black slaves as a response to the banning of foot drums during the end of the Spanish colonial era in the 19th century.

“For many years I have played Afro-Peruvian rhythms such as Landó, Festejo, Tondero or Son de los diablos. As some of the elements of this traditional music made me uncomfortable, such as the typical costumes, the slightly macho choreographies or the forced smile gestures of the artists, I have always tried to adapt them to a form that was closer to my personal tastes, informed by improvised music, jazz and the use of effects in my sound,” explains Laura Robles. “These rhythms have become ossified nowadays,” Ale Hop continues, “heard in Peruvian folklore shows, and on the ‘global music’ circuit, but our desire is to experiment and do something more radical with them, connecting to the instruments more radical past.”

“We were lucky to have worked with Natisa Exocé Kasongo, an incredible performance artist who made the video jump, shout and flow with fire and grace. The drum became our process of focus and we looked at the roots of the track linking to Afro-Peruvian history and dance,” says Lauren Pringle of the atmospheric visual. “I knew we didn’t want the video to be set in any particular space but rather a future dystopian space where we combine past and future realities. For me, I also could relate this to a contemporary world where technological artefacts suppress the spirit.”

‘Son de los diablos’ is taken from Agua Dulce, which will be released via Buh Records on April 7. You can find Ale Hop on Instagram, Bandcamp and at her website. You can find Laura Robles on Instagram.

Son de los diablos Credits:

Music – Ale Hop & Laura Robles
Director – Lauren Pringle
DOP – Tebbe Schoeningh
Performer –  Natisa Exocé Kasongo
Set Design – Marcel Schon
Editor – Ilja Siebert
Colour Grade – Maxime Demartin
Costume Design – Diane Esnault
Producer – Kiki Ramos Sörvik

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