looky…it’s yuki!

The most recent client project that I completed happened last week–the cover art for my brotha from a Japanese mutha, YUKICITO–whose first release of original music is set for March 1st on Brooklyn’s seminal dance music label, Wonderwheel Recordings.

Yuki and I met about 8 years ago, when after one of my Thursday night sets at AFRO FUNKÉ, he approached me, introduced himself and handed me a mixtape of samba disco tunes, which included some covers and remixes that he had done. We’ve been hangin’ ever since, most heavily since the summer of 2013 when we began collaborating on LA JUNTA events.

He sought my help on the cover art for his EP just two weeks ago, and within about two days, after bouncing things back and forth, he and the label managers agreed on the version above. The photo was shot by DANNY LUNA, with hair styling by NENA SOULFLY. With a digital-only release, my challenge was to figure out how to create a square image, with the photo that I was provided having been shot in upright portrait orientation, knowing that most views of this image would be as a thumbnail on digital music platforms. I created a little bit of extra width by underlaying copies of the photo and cascading them right to left, which helped create a little bit of motion and subtle distortion to the image. It would also give the motion graphics animator, SICK DELICIOUS, some extra layers to work with and bring to life. The typeface that I used (Schrofer) actually made more sense with the initial version of the cover, but Yuki liked it so much that we kept it. The final touch came via a photo filter app, giving it that worn, distressed, old vinyl LP feel…like an album that’s been making its rounds through old record shops and various owners over a few decades.

As of today, Yukicito’s ‘One’ EP is available for pre-order at the Wonderwheel Recordings Bandcamp Page. The first single, “Yukizinho” a fusion of his Big Band, Balkan, Banda and Brazilian influences, is immediately downloadable upon pre-order of the EP, with the remaining six tracks deliverable on the March 1st official release date. Congratulations, Yuki!

* * * * *
Japanese born Yukicito found his love for Brazilian music after moving to LA as a teenager & emerging himself in the samba schools of one of the biggest Brazilian communities in the country. Soon after learning all the instruments & songs, he became a teacher & started making recordings with vocalists & musicians.

After several hit remixes on both Wonderwheel & Bastard Jazz, Yukicito drops his 1st original 5 track EP. A dance-floor fusion the African rooted music of both Brazil’s Atlantic coast & The Pacifico music of Colombia’s Pacific coast, we feel the roots & the thump of long running Los Angeles party called ‘La Junta’.

friday march 15 | fuego

Two months ago, LA JUNTA crew were approached with the idea of producing an additional night (every third Fri) at El Dorado DTLA. We bounced the idea back and forth among our team, but the predominant concern was that doing back-to-back Fridays at the same venue may see us spreading our community of followers too thin, especially with an already full Spring schedule and another potentially busy summer fast approaching. So instead, we’ve decided to offer up that extra night to a solid, young up-and-coming deejay who is well versed in Latin music and pretty much anything that will heat up a dance floor. He accepted, the management said ‘Sure’ and FUEGO was born. And to help our new friend, DJ RAW, spark it, DEGRUVME and yours truly GLENN RED will be holding down guest deejay duties in the main room! I even agreed to do his first flyer, as seen here. I kinda like how it turned out 🙂

To add to the litness, La Junta’s own YUKICITO, who’d been dreaming up an event where he could mix and dance to his favorite kinds of music–Brazilian forró and classic cumbia from Colombia, Peru and Mexico–will be taking over the back Stowaway Room (the Coco Lounge on our PIÑA nights) on these same 3rd Fridays! Joining him is one of the originators of Forró in LA, and one of my favorite selectors/old partner at the event called ‘Ecléctica’, Mr. Reyes Rodriguez. So come check out the debut of FUEGO…it’s gonna be fire!

FUEGO – 3rd Fridays
EL DORADO DTLA
416 S. Spring Street
Downtown Los Angeles

luminosity.

Many thanks to my friends from LA bolero/trío romántico TRES SOULS for trusting me to do some digital and physical cover art for their new single and forthcoming debut EP. The single is out now on all major digital platforms, with the full EP available at the LA release party on Wednesday February 13th.

Based on bolero music’s rise in popularity in 1940s-50s Mexico, the band and I agreed on a vintage look for the project. It’s a pretty literal translation of the single’s title “La Luna Eres Tu,” but they were happy with the moody quality the image conveys. I trimmed out a photograph of the trio from their most recent shoot (photo credit: Jasmin Carlos), created a circle for the moon and masked it with a dotted, grungy halftone screen to suggest the topographic shadows we see with the naked eye. BEBAS KAI was the font of choice and I finished the whole image off with a screen of an old, worn lp cover to give it that used but precious vibe that vinyl aficionados like me adore 🙂 Whether or not you speak or understand Spanish, the music is beautiful. Be sure to follow @tressouls on Facebook and Instagram for their music and more information about the upcoming appearances.