Nothing qualifies the sound and essence of Morakestra more than El Paso. Founders and key creative minds David and Will Mora are twin brothers who were proudly born and raised in the West Texas border city. Fellow El Pasoan Jim Ward contributed to the rebirth of Morakestra via production and recording of the band’s latest album, Witness to Connection, out June 2nd on indie label Stratking Records. A musical legend in El Paso, Ward founded post-hardcore innovators At the Drive-In, rock quintet Sparta and alt-country act Sleepercar. Witness to Connection is the first for Ward’s new producing partnership with jack-of-all-trades musician and sound engineer Gabe Gonzalez, who is getting greater acclaim for his production work with bands like San Antonio’s Girl in a Coma.
The twins took guitar lessons as children from local guitar legends Mario Otero and Charles Teitsworth, who pushed the boys towards honing original compositions into solid tunes. In early 2007, the Moras began recording their debut album Live from Moraq in Austin. An acclaimed line-up of session musicians contributed to the project, including Robert Palmer drummer Donnie Wynn,Eric Johnson’s bass player Chris Maresh and the Tosca String Quartet. The brothers did all the guitar work and vocals themselves, also producing it on their own. Live from Moraq was released in Summer 2007,while the brothers continued to assemble an ever-revolving cast of musicians around them for live gigs. Word of mouth built up about “the twins who were dueling guitar players.” Success with recording Morakestra’s, Witness to Connection, was Gonzalez and Ward’s expertise. “The guidance we gave them I don’t think I can put into words—that’s the intimate part of making a record with someone,” says Ward. “I’ve had that experience as an artist with producers that I look up to. It’s so much more than just music; you end up spending so much time together in close confines that it extends to a personal life…I want to leave younger bands with a more positive experience, be a positive role model…it’s fun to be around that energy, that push of, “I’ll do anything to get my music heard” thing, because that inspires.”
For while the subject matter of their songs is universal, the Morakestra sound is very much their own. Ward felt a felt a greater connection to the Moras’ music beyond the city kinship.” They have interesting chords, which I like, and even though their voices are similar they’re distinct enough to complement each other really well,” he explains. Witness to Connection displays interesting guitar signatures, thunderous drums, and effective melodies. Drummer Daniel Gomez and Bassist Guillermo Vargas joined the Morakestra in postproduction. They have played together in bands in the past and have a similar connection with the twins in time signature and musical structuring. Recommended!
The Morakestra - Tell You Something
The Morakestra @ MySpace
SONG OF THE DAY: Bellini - Numbers
(from The Precious Prize Of Gravity, released May 19th on Temporary Residence)
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