Carlos Timón on Solar Rapé

SOLAR RAPÉ” is a pop record characterized by suave psychedelia blended with folk and afro-cuban music. Co-produced by Scott Solter and Carlos Timón, the album was recorded in the studio the engineer/producer has in South Carolina. Although this is the first solo album from Carlos, the record is a collective effort featuring collaborations from other musicians such as: Wendy Allen and Scott Solter (Boxharp), Matthias Bossi (Tom Waits, Mike Watt, Carla Bozulich, etc.), Andrew Levi Hiller (Wizards of Time), Jenavieve Varga, Leah Gibson (Lost in the Trees), Jonathan Henderson, Louis Landry, and others.
In recent years, Carlos’s work has included sessions with Fran Padilla, Belinda Baxter, Matt Elliot (THIRD EYE FOUNDATION), Mike Cosgrave, and the O´Grady brothers Ciarán and James.
Carlos mentions Robert Wyatt, T. Rex or David Bowie as influences. At the same time, his music may also call to mind Syd Barrett, Nick Drake, Soft Machine or even contemporary artists such as the Flaming Lips or Beck.
Ghettoblaster recently caught up with Timón to discuss the record, released via Pueblo Records on November 13 and this is what he told us.
When did you begin writing the material for Solar Rapé?  
I started around 2010.
What does Solar Rapé mean?
Rapé is the Swedish word for Snuff, a smokeless tobacco made from ground tobacco leaves. It originated in the Americas and used all over the place in Europe by the 17th century. Nowdays, you can only find it in Scandinavian countries in Europe (Sweden, Norway, etc).
Since I currently live in Sweden, I composed the entire record here. Winters can be very dark. That affects everybody, everybody talks about the weather and darkness. Many people are sad, many people complain, many leave the country during winter a go to warmer location. Fewer keep smiling and happy, that’s all about it.
Which of the songs on the LP is most different from your original concept for the song?
I would say “El Robo,” “Gliese 581_g” and “Vistarama.” I had scores for all the songs before I entered into the studio. That always helps.
Record was co-produced with Scott Solter and myself. He is a fantastic producer and recording/mixing engineer. He did an amazing work achieving the sound of the record. I feel happy and very proud of it. We talked at the beginning of the recording sessions and decided not to over produced and keep most songs to original concepts.
Do you ever record songs in English? “Carta al desastre” is a gorgeous song. Can you tell us what it’s about?
Thanks. I never recorded songs in English. I speak English, at the same time my mother tongue is Spanish, it feels more natural for me to songwrite in Spanish.
The song is a love song, I wrote it at the end of a relationship, it took me some time to overcome it. It’s a nostalgic and melaconlic song but looks for the future. You cannot get stuck in the past, that’s gone.
You’ve cited Robert Wyatt, T. Rex or David Bowie as influences. Is there anyone in today’s musical landscape that you’re enjoying?
I like many today´s artist, there is a lot of talent out there.
Spanish scene has amazing artists such as Emilio José (Chorando Aprendese, Agricultura Livre), Luis Brea, Fernando Alfaro, Grande-Marlaska, Joan Miquel Oliver, Franciso Nixon, Nudozurdo, Sierra, Sílvia Pérez Cruz, Pony Bravo, Kiko Veneno, Jabier Muguruza…. just to name a few.
I also like Rodrigo Amarante, Jolie Holland, Ásgeir, Swans, Sun Kil Moon, Low, Kurt Vile and many many more
Do you have any plans to tour in the U.S. this fall/winter?
We just released the record, I will tour next year.
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