Gala Drop are set to revitalise the Lisbon music scene with the dub polyrhythms of their soon-to-be released second album
After a six year wait, Lisbon-based four-piece Gala Drop are about to release their second album. With their nü-Balearica vibe, the band aren't easily pigeonholed, offering up a sound that easily transcends any singular distinct musical genre. And although previously collaborating with techno mavericks Theo Parrish, Funkadelic and Parliament, the Portuguese collective are now doing their own thing. Their pulsating psychedelic funk at the forefront of the Lisbon scene – one that has been likened to that of Detroit’s own. Since recording the new album, the band have even welcomed a new member, the fabled Jerry The Cat, a Detroit expat known for his John Lee Hooker hook-ups, previously working with the likes of Moodymann and Derrick May. Not only do his propulsive vocals bring a groovier sound to the turntable, it might even be said that they bridge transatlantic scenes. Below, we caught up with the four-piece to find out more.
So this is your first full-length record in six years, have you been hard at work on the new stuff in the meantime?
Gala Drop: Yes we pretty much stopped for one full year to write, record and overdub/mix II. We are a slow working band; our previous efforts also took a long time to accomplish.
How would you describe the sound of this new track?
Gala Drop: Dubby and moody. If i put myself in the listener’s shoes (which i sometimes do) this would take me to London in the early 80s; the whole On-U Sound take on dub, and also beyond that the way that the brits read the whole reggae/dub sound and mixed it with their own thing.
What was the inspiration for your new video – the limestone karst mountains in the background look pretty exotic?
Gala Drop: That was based on the record's artwork and set in motion by our filmmaker friend Pedro Maia. The video is a mix of found footage (Peru 1978, China 1984) from his super 8 film home archive and some new shots specially made for the video in the Baltic Sea. Then the whole film material was manipulated through analogue processing by him.
How did you end up teaming up with Detroit expat Jerry The Cat?
Gala Drop: It's a long story, but I met him randomly in a bar on a weekday in Bairro Alto, Lisbon. We started talking about music and he told me his life story which I thought was unbelievable, that he had played with all these people that we admired, and was still active doing music. He was going to leave Lisbon the following day, but I found out some time after that – when we were looking for someone to replace Tiago Miranda on conga duties – that he had stayed in the city. He became our first choice and accepted our invitation, and we became friends ever since.
The music scene has exploded in Lisbon since the millennium, with lots of people drawing parallels between Lisbon and Detroit. I imagine this an exciting time to be making music there?
Gala Drop: Well, it is and always has been ever since I moved here 11 years ago; but the most exciting thing about it I believe is the city itself. It's not like there is a ton of bands, artists, and venues to go to. There is some incredibly exciting music being made right now by many different groups of people but unlike 10 years ago, there isn’t much of a crossover; everyone is a bit more into their own place and doing their own thing than it used to be. Which is probably just a sign of maturity and taking things more seriously.
Listen to “You And I" below from their forthcoming album, entitled II, which will be released on 24th November on Golf Channel Recordings.