Valencia, Spain based progressive / alternative rock project Néfele have recently released their new EP “Cristal Revisited”, a new forward-thinking collection of 4 songs in which they explore two of their main influences (Nine Inch Nails and Bunbury), and reinvent their music through two interesting remixes. Continuing from their previous offering Cristal, released in June 2019, the progressive wizards bring a whole new set of musical twists and turns to conclude the epic, atmospheric record that caught our ears immediately. To celebrate their work and keep the inspiration juices flowing, we have teamed up with the band to share their thoughts on their work, and give us some more music recommendations to digest.
Néfele is a progressive/ambient rock project from Valencia, Spain, composed by Salva Ferrando and Andoni Ros. It was born in 2017 with the need of express something through music, searching for its own identity and following the steps of all the artists that inspire them.
Asked about the very beginnings of their project, the band commented: “We are a progressive/alternative rock duo from Valencia, Spain. Néfele was born when I started composing for the project in 2017. Salva and I (Andoni) were trying to put together a band the previous year with another two friends that didn’t have any specific direction and didn’t turn into something serious, and then I started to think about composing songs with the idea of creating an EP that flowed as a whole, which end up becoming our first work “Cristal” (2019).
When it comes to another projects, Salva sings in a metal band called Caelus, they released the album “Lament” in 2018. And I have a solo outlet for my more electronic stuff named With Rainy Eyes, in which I have only made remixes for now.”
Both Salva and Andoni listen to a great variety of styles, from djent to black metal or synth-pop, being progressive or alternative rock the genre in which they feel more confortable, but they are always open to experiment.
Néfele‘s new offering “Cristal Revisited” (2020) is a complementary work for their first EP “Cristal”. Comments the band: “It includes two covers from one of our main influences –“The Hand that Feeds” by Nine Inch Nails and “Alfa” by Bunbury– and two remixes of our own tracks, one made by me as With Rainy Eyes and another from a local producer, Revendless.
Our intention with this new release was basically sharpen up our skills. We have a DIY philosophy, which in our case means among other things that I’m the one who produces, mixes and masters our music. “Cristal” was the first time I did something like this, so I wanted to practice and get better before we decide to release new original music.”
Néfele describe themselves as a project with a Do it Yourself (DIY) philosophy. All the songs have been composed, produced mixed and mastered by Andoni using his personal computer, and they are going to work following this path in their future releases. Andoni states: “I think that we live in a golden age for creativity. The idea that only using my computer and my guitar I’m able to give life to the music I have in my head seems pretty powerful to me, and I feel optimistic about what we’ll be able to create in the future”.
They continue: “Even if we are just starting and we are still far from having found “our own sound”, we already have a solid conviction that we don’t want to repeat ourselves and that we have a soft spot for experimentation. The artists that inspire us are the ones that doesn’t try to fit in and that follow their own path without worrying about what is doing everyone else. Because of that this release, even being complementary to “Cristal” (2019), we are trying to go in different directions. It’s a declaration that the style of music that we will do in the future with Néfele is open to change and evolution.
We hope that you find this little experiment interesting and that you enjoy this four reinterpretations. We are both very satisfied we the result and we believe that it represents a little evolution in our sound. We are eager to see where we will be artistically in our next release.”
Talking about playing live, it ’s one of the objectives that Salva and Andoni have in mind, but not for now. The main objective right now is promoting “Cristal”, experiment with different ideas for something that they will release soon, and composing new material. “Cristal ” it ’s just the first drop that defines the musical ocean of Néfele.
Track by track commentary
Both of us decided a song to cover, in my case it was “The Hand that Feeds”. Trent Reznor is one of my favourite composers and producers ever, from the first NIN release to his work in soundtracks with Atticus Rose. I chose this track even if my favourite albums are “The Downward Spiral” and “The Fragile” because it was the one that made me fall in love with his sound almost ten years ago, and because I had a clear vision of how I wanted to reinvent it.
“We still didn’t have plans for playing live in 2020, and now with the great difficulties of the pandemic until 2021 we don’t give the idea a chance. For now we will work in the promotion of the stuff that we have already published and of course working in new material and our skills as artists. Who knows, maybe if we work hard there will be a new release later this year….
The Pandemic is impacting heavily the music industry and local bands, but luckily we are in a point where it hasn’t affected us at all. In any case it has given us more time at home to put the finishing touches to our latest EPs and working in new things.” – they conclude.
Salva chose “Alfa” because Bunbury is one of the singers that have influenced him the most, and this is the last track from his most experimental album. We love artists that think out of the box, so we thought it could be interesting to bring a song different from our style –this one is pretty electronic– to our sound. Both covers can give a hint about the direction that may take our next release.
The remix of “Océano de Cristal” is the first experiment I’ve done with my electronic solo-project With Rainy Eyes. I tried to go in so many different ways –I took influences that go from Chvrches to Burial, Moderat or even Rosalía– that the final result landed in a weird place among them. I’m proud to a large degree of how it ended, being it my first step in electronic territory.
“El Vacío” was one of the two interludes from our first EP, and Revendless has transformed it in a completely different song, giving it a brand new identity mixing elements from the original with brand new recordings. The first time I listened to it I was completely blown away by the way he approached it, I’m a huge fan of his work as a producer and composer and I’m so happy that he decided to collaborate in “Cristal Revisited”.
Top 5 records inspirations
“I would like to talk about 5 records that have blown me away since last year. Also, lately I’ve been trying to understand better and be more influenced by the audiovisual arts, so I’d like to share 5 films/series that I saw recently and inspired me.” – Andoni
1. Night Verses – From the Gallery of Sleep
The album that I have listened the most since I discovered it. Night Verses is a band so artistically driven and ambitious at everything they do… they are crushingly technical as much as creative and musical, and they transcend genres and are pushing the boundaries of what they are capable of. They’re three of the most inspiring modern musicians if you ask me.
2. Moderat – Moderat III
Moderat makes me wanna quit guitar and become a full time electronic producer. I love Sascha’s work with Apparat, but his union with Modeselektor resulted in something really magical. I hope they put this act together again someday in the future. Beats for the body and soul.
3. M83 – Hurry Up, We’re Dreaming
To be honest I’m not the biggest fan of the eighties musically speaking, but this opinion is changing over time. And part of this shift is caused by all the modern artist that draw influence from this decade. This double album is a true rollercoaster: from the mighty hooks of “Midnight City” to the crying game of “Wait” you must be ready for the travel. But the thing I love the most about Anthony’s work is his craft as a sound designer: if I listen to the smallest frequency of his synths, I still can tell it’s him.
4. Matt Lange – Bleed Together
This guy is pure genius, can produce tracks that go from dark techno to cinematic industrial or even electro-rock tracks with a clear Tool influence –check his song “Punish Me”–. This EP has 3 of my favourite tracks by him, specially “Calliope”. You can tell this man gets personal with his music.
5. Sleep Token –Sundowning
This album is magical and from the future. You can’t miss it. I can almost guarantee that these guys are going to get big. Modern metal mixed with modern pop in the most soulful of ways, with an evident influence from bands like Deftones. Bless your ears with “Sundowning” while worshipping this masterpiece.
For more inspirations, check out our special Spotify Playlist with the artists that both of us have been listening lately. This is the most recent one:
Top 5 movies / series inspirations
1. The Fall (Tarsem Singh)
This piece of art is everything I want a film to be. Dreamy and with a colourful photography, a plot both innocent and dark, and characters that I can empathize with, even being as simple as they are. This film put Tarsem Singh among my favourite directors.
2. Beyond the Black Rainbow (Panos Cosmatos)
Visually this film will blow your mind away. From a narrative point of view it is weird and gives you very few details or information, so it can be slow or difficult if you’re not in the mood. The soundtrack is as good and trippy as the film. Not for everyone, but I found it pretty inspiring.
3. Mr Robot (Sam Esmail)
Throughout the years I ignored the hype around Mr Robot thinking it couldn’t be that good… and I was so wrong. The best series I’ve seen in years, and the best ending for a story like this in like forever. In the last scene I was literally speechless. If not in anything else, I’m grateful to 2020 for having discovered me so many good art in different forms. I feel inspired for ages to come.
4. Memories of Murder (Bong Joon-ho)
After watching Parasites at the cinema I dug in the director’s filmography and discovered some really good stuff. If you’re into crime thrillers with drama and really good acting, this film is a must watch for you.
5. Häxan (Benjamin Christensen)
A more than curious film from 1922 about witchcraft and sorcery in the middle ages. As someone who finds aesthetically interesting all the things that surround this kind of mystic stuff at the same time that feels rejection for any kind of esoteric or religious beliefs, I found this film portrays everything in a really great way.