DeLeon are on a mission to modernize Sephardic folk music. This outfit out of Brooklyn / Mexico City already have two albums to their name. For their third record, their fanbase got involved. DeLeon asked fans to put together a playlist of Sephardic tunes on Spotify. Then Dan Saks, the creative voice behind DeLeon, went about researching these ancient songs and deciding how to give them a modern kick. The result is Tremor Fantasma; a contemporary record with a timeless history.
Saks took songs from Spain, Greece and Turkey and went into the studio in Mexico City, where he recently relocated, to give them the DeLeon touch. Junk drums, Appalachian banjo, Morricone guitars and mariachi trumpets kick out these classic songs of joy and woe sung in Hebrew and Ladino. The title of the record, Tremor Fantasma, is a Spanglish allusion to the ghastly volcanic tremors occurring during the recording of this album.
“Shortly after I began working on this album, Mexico City was hit with a series of earthquakes — and then the local volcano Popocatépetl started acting up. I was experiencing phantom quakes in the studio and vivid volcanic dreams throughout the recording process. Being tuned into the instability of the very earth we walk on comes through to me when I listen to these recordings. This is our most organic and alive-sounding record yet.” – Dan Saks
DeLeon has gained a lot of respect from their peers. They’ve had the pleasure of touring with Gogol Bordello, Os Mutantes, Balkan Beat Box and Ozomatli, to name a few. Audiences around the globe love these groove-inflicted Sephardic songs even if they don’t understand Ladino or Hebrew. DeLeon’s eclectic take on these age-old songs is exciting and fresh. Listen to Tremor Fantasma above and get over to bandcamp to get the CD or download the album. Don’t miss DeLeon’s CD Release Party at Joe’s Pub on November 10th.
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