New Rodrigo y Gabriela album – Area 52

Hey! Just got this press release this morning. Can’t wait to hear this one!


Mexican acoustic rock duo Rodrigo y Gabriela will release their new album on 20th January 2012. Entitled Area 52, the album is their first recorded collaboration with another group of musicians; a thirteen piece Cuban orchestra composed of some of Havana’s finest young players, collectively known as the C.U.B.A.

The album has been produced by Peter Asher, known for his work with James Taylor, Bonnie Raitt, 10,000 Maniacs and Diana Ross. The album was co-produced by Rodrigo and mixed by Rafa Sardina, 25 times nominated (and 11 times winner) at the Latin Grammys.

On Area 52 Rodrigo y Gabriela revisit nine of their compositions and reinterpret them in a new and dramatic fashion, this is Rodrigo y Gabriela as they have never been heard before.  For a taste of the album head to download a free copy of ‘Juan Loco’.

The album was arranged by Rodrigo y Gabriela working closely with Switzerland based pianist Alex Wilson, who did the Cuban arrangements for the orchestra. He has worked with Courtney Pine, Ernest Ranglin and Mali Latino. Recording took place during the summer at Abdala Studios in Havana, founded by Cuban folk hero Silvio Rodriguez. Guests on the album include Anoushka Shankar on sitar, rock drummer John Tempesta (The Cult, White Zombie, Testament) on two tracks, jazz bass player Carles Benavent (Miles Davis, Paco De Lucia, Chick Corea) on two tracks, Palestinian group Le Trio Joubran and Samuel Formell Alfonso from Los Van Van.

Rodrigo explains the album title: “It’s an obvious reference to Area 51, it must be a fact that Area 52’s next door right? We felt it was the right time and place to deal with unknown ways to create music. It was an opportunity to experiment and dare to do things we never believed we were gonna do”. He adds: “Of course, all the musicians we played with on this album could be coming from another planet. Their technique and passion is almost beyond human understanding! We feel very lucky because for us this exercise has been like a Master’s Degree for all we’ve learned from them”.

Rodrigo y Gabriela have sold in excess of 1.2 million albums, earlier this year they collaborated with Hans Zimmer on Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides.

They have sold out world tours that span London to Los Angeles, Paris to Tokyo and Dublin to Sydney.  In Australia, they have taken the stage at Falls Festival, Sunset Sounds Festival, Southbound, East and West Coast Blues and Roots Festivals, in addition to performances this year at the Palais & Enmore Theatres. In recent years they have worked with Robert Trujillo from Metallica, Zack De La Rocha from Rage Against The Machine, Al Di Meola, Alex Skolnick from Testament and Strunz & Farah.

New album – AREA 52 – out 20th January 2012
View the album trailer here