Kiko Navarro presents 'Slowly', the debut offering from his eponymous live collective, featuring Benji Habichuela, Joe Orson and Linet Varela.
Born during the 2020 COVID lockdown on Mallorca, the idea for Slowly came to Kiko Navarro when his usually hectic international DJ schedule was halted as clubs and festivals all over the planet were forced to close. On the island, some outdoor live venues remained open for seated concerts, and having witnessed Kiko's previous 'Afroterraneo' shows, the owner of one such venue, S'embat, asked Kiko to put together a Sunday night performance.
The only caveat was the S'embat didn't welcome DJ sets: the music would have to be live. For that concert, Navarro enlisted help from an eclectic group of artists: longtime collaborator, percussionist and guitarist Benji Habichuela is a member of one of Spain's most revered
flamenco families and has appeared on many of Kiko's previous productions, vocalist Joe Orson comes from a punk, indie and folk music background, finding common ground with Kiko thanks to the pair's shared love of classic 80's Balearic pop and melodic rock sounds, and Cuban
singer Linet Varela, the principle vocalist for the all-singing, all dancing 'Hotel Habana' show, had been bowled over by Kiko's trademark 'Afroterraneo' fusing of Afro-Cuban and Yoruban influences with electronic and house when she first arrived on the island.
The first concert was a runaway success, and S'embat's owner immediately asked Slowly to play every Sunday for the rest of the season.
The group spent the next few months refining its repertoire, constantly adding new pieces and tweaking setlists as the residency continued.
Contained on this album are six enduring highlights from the quartet's first summer together.
(notes by Will Sumsuch)
released June 11, 2021
All tracks recorded, produced and mixed by Kiko Navarro at The Sincere Room, Palma de Mallorca.
Lead vocals by Linet Varela, Joe Orson.
Percussions and Guitar by Benji Habichuela
Sax and Brass Section arrangement by Iván Sàez
Chorus by Laura Rocher
Keyboards and Drum Programming by Kiko Navarro
Mastered by JM Aboga at Red Home Studios, Valencia.
Artwork by Joe Orson at White Gorilla Design