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"Our music has a very important dose of nostalgia". PHOTOGRAPHY: Gallera Social Club
"Our music has a very important dose of nostalgia." Photo: Gallera Social Club

Gallera Social Club: "Whenever we are composing, we always think about our country"

Twin brothers Alexis and Miguel Romero surprise fans with an album that transports them from France to Maracaibo. AL DÍA recently sat to talk about their album…

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Listening to the album Trópico Salvaje one might think that the electronic folk proposal contains a bit of witchcraft in the way that, through bursts of joy and nostalgia, it is able to bend space to open a window to Maracaibo in the speakers.

The bubbling city, the Andean crossroads, the tropical jungle or the Caribbean coast are all influences for the twin brothers Alexis and Miguel Romero, initially accompanied in their journey by Carlos Guillén.

Born in Maracaibo in 1981, these brothers work side by side, composing while having fun, drinking rum and evoking from France all their memories of their beloved Venezuela.

The band's name refers to the places where roosters fight and the fraternal atmosphere they intend to evoke, just as the album cover is an adaptation of the Maracaibo painter Ángel Peña. All this for a work that, in short, turns on regional elements to present them in a very danceable way that also paints a soundscape of the Caribbean and Afro-Venezuelan culture.

In the album resounds the gaita de tambora, native flutes, cumbia and joropo melodies or arrangements with the cuatro. It also contains adaptations of calypso and the adaptation of the song Manduco by the famous singer María Rivas.

What were the triggers that led you to make electronic music?

We were always very close to electronic music. The city of Maracaibo and our circle of friends was full of DJs. We were always close to that genre and with a certain interest in machines and sequencers. Always in a very sweet way because we are not great connoisseurs but close. Carlos was one of our DJ friends and over time we continued with that approach.

How does the change from a machine to such an emotional song happen?

The starting point is traditional Venezuelan music. Whenever we are composing we always think of our country. When we are going to start composing we do a ritual: a little rum, we eat some arepas, we listen to Venezuelan music, we remember our family and friends....

Besides, electronics, in a practical sense, allows us to work alone without other musicians.

What is it like to work with a twin?

We started playing instruments together as children, we dreamed of being musicians together, when we were in Venezuela we formed a band together with friends and when we decided to come here we both had the project of working together. There is an important commitment and understanding, in terms of tastes and way of working. It's all very fluid.

In the last album, what is the relationship of the two of you with Maracaibo?

Our music has a very important load of nostalgia and I think we feel an immense need to make it known to our country. Knowing how the political and social situation of our country is we think it is important to remind all Venezuelans who are in Venezuela and those who have left the country that despite the difficulties we are a beautiful country with a very rich mestizo culture.

Our commitment is when it is our turn to sing to the world is to remember that our country is great and we must love it.

How do you see Venezuela now from a distance?

It is a complicated situation, with multiple causes and historical. It has been aggravated by a very important economic and political blockade. It is the most important exodus we have experienced in our history. We have always been a people close to home; this is something that has made it very hard for us to move away from our home and our homeland.

It is also an opportunity to show what is happening. Thanks to this exodus there are many artists who are showing Venezuelan talent all over the world.

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