A LOVE ELECTRIC (MX/US/ARG)
3 nation, 6 fisted power psych from Mexico City
A Love Electric is a critically acclaimed rock trio born out of Mexico City's jazz scene. Todd Clouser, of Minneapolis, MN, USA, Hernan Hecht, a longtime MX resident from Argentina, and Aaron Cruz, a Mexico City native, form a band that over 4 years, 4 records, and nearly 500 concerts, has consistently accomplished the uncommon, making music on their own terms and touring the world.
From cities throughout Mexico, the United States, and on tours through Germany, the Czech Republic, Spain, Morocco, to Panama, and through Argentina to Patagonia, A Love Electric has won fans and praise from critics for its energetic and altruistic approach to creating and performing. "Blistering", says the Prague Post of the A Love Electric experience, NPR says "fascinating", Time Out Barcelona "illuminating", and MX City's major newspaper La Jornada "a hit, one of the most progressive and important groups of recent years."
How it happened
The band is fronted by guitarist, vocalist, and songwriter Todd Clouser. Clouser, Kansas born and Minneapolis grown, moved to Mexico City in 2011 after meeting drummer/producer Hernan Hecht and bassist Aaron Cruz. After stints in rehab in the US, time in Boston, Colorado, Minneapolis, US van tours, and records crossing genres, labels, and success, Clouser saw the opportunity to have a real, democratic band, and jumped at it, moving into a small apartment in the Mexico City neighborhood of Portales to be close to Cruz and Hecht. The results have been prolific and fascinating.
The three members of A Love Electric live within a block of each other in Mexico City, a city of 26 million people. Once an instrumental group falling into the jazz genre, A Love Electric has evolved into a vocal fronted rock ensemble while still maintaining the spirit they see as essential to “jazz” : the spirit of discovery, and a dedication to ambitious inquiry. Challenge is what the band embraces, on buses through Northern Africa to indigenous communities in the mountains of the Mexican state of Oaxaca, A Love Electric is out, to discover, cultivate, and share a life of inquiry as the band lives it.
A Love Electric has performed at Festivals from rock giant Vive Latino in Mx City to Solarte in Spain, Winter Jazzfest NYC, and in theaters, clubs and concert halls from The Town Hall in New York City to B Flat Jazz in Berlin, Germany, averaging nearly 130 concerts a year along with working as philanthropists in music education.
“Psychmonde” (Ropeadope Sur Records, 2016)
For their 2016 release, “Psychmonde” A Love Electric chose to keep the creative work in house, recording in the studio of drummer Hernan Hecht in Mexico City, Hecht producing and mixing, after previous ,NYC-tracked, records The Naked Beat (Danny Blume, producer) and Son of A Hero (Patrick Dillett, mix).
Psychmonde finds A Love Electric realizing what has thus far proved difficult, translating the energy and character of the band’s live show to record. For this, ALE turned to the community of musicians, some heroes to the band, some street performers, some Mexico City scene contemporaries, that has grown around the grown in its ambitious touring. Keyboard hero John Medeski joins on the majority of Psychmonde, playing B3 organ in his signature hook-heavy, dance -nducing rhythmic voice. Cult hero, Brazilian/NYC singer songwriter Arto Lindsay joins on the track “Barrio” for a wild attack percussive guitar part unmistakably his own. A young rap duo Clouser found performing on the streets of Jalapa, Veracruz, known as Metnal and Babi Sick, join on the proud self initiative anthem “Be That Mule”.
Psychmonde, in its collective approach, is a block party in one of the most happening “barrios” one could imagine, and we are all invited.
The first track shared off the record, “White Jesus”, finds songwriter Clouser equal parts intrigued by wit, social phenomena, and the age old inspiration of folk, blues and American song tradition, religion. “In the veins of America, have I mistaken your love for trust?” Clouser sings in a speak toned voice finding inspirationsomewhere between Waits, Bowie, Beefheart, Burroughs, and blues tradition. Shared as a story inquiring as to the color of the omnipresent Jesus in Mexican culture, “White Jesus” is a microcosm of the record “Psychmonde”, finding humor in the absurd as social critique, offering a perspective that is as illuminating as it is musically engaging. Groove, intent, and world class musicianship carrying the tracks to danceable territory.
More straight rock offerings like, “Love Not”, find the band taking rock into odd meter and biting guitar without losing musicality or support for the song as impetus. Hecht’s drumming scatters the record with aggressive dance feels, atypical fills, and a musicality that has A Love Electric sounding like the power trio Jazz Times likened to a new-new generation Cream. Other standout tracks are the just twisted enough to not be party songs “One Vicious Disco” and “Jungle Earth” and the first line dreamer “Telemasque”, which Clouser opens with, “she lost her life to the internet”.
Psychmonde is a record of a band in full celebration of its creative flight. Four nations, generations from 18 to 62 and musical genres all fall victim to music’s great power of transcending division. We are left with something unique as the band itself.
With an ambitious vision and unmatched work ethic, A Love Electric continues to create its legacy as a unique and inspiring voice in the international creative music conscience.