Working on the new album, Alex showed all his originality. The theme of this album is constant changes, improvement. Since his solo debut in 2004, Alex has grown greatly in his art. Each of his new steps was a revolution in Cuban music. Such a long path of self-development has given a good start to the creation of Lo Único Constante.
A great influence on Lo Único Constante was rendered by the "filin" – a romantic musical style, which is characterized by tender melodies, laconism. Much attention gives to arranging songs. This style was popularized by such performers as César Portillo de la Luz, Jose Antonio Mendez, and Omara Portuondo. The source of inspiration for these musicians is the Cuban music of trova, which is performed, mostly on guitar. "Filin", which appeared in the 1940s, has much in common with American jazz and soul.
The first single – "Todas Las Cabezas Están Locas" – is most consistent with the "filin" style. Alex Cuba recorded it in Montreal along with producer Jean Massicotte. The track begins with the gentle singing of Alex accompanied by an acoustic guitar. Then Benoit Charest, composer of the soundtrack Les Triplettes de Belleville, joins Alex with gentle gypsy jazz chords. In the background, they are passionately sung by vocalist Bia, originally from Brazil. Their voices smoothly pass into a rhythmic chorus, accented by multi-layered vocals. Another important feature of the composition is the joyful clapping.
The arrangement of the song "Chekere" is full of percussion. It tells us about the religious roots of the shakers. Among other instruments, you enjoy hearing in this composition, there were the drums of a Cuban secret society, the predecessors of the conga. With its help a misterious rhythm peculiar to shakers was created. In this unusual way, Alex once again demonstrated his original vision of Cuban music.
To record the track "Lágrimas Del Que Llora" Alex went to the Musigrama in Madrid. In a duet with Josemi Carmona, a batch of piquant flamenco was recorded. Carmona – heir to the flamenco dynasty, Carmona Jerez, a former member of the innovative group "Ketama". In the 80’s, members of this group made their debut, thereby provoking the discontent of the purists. Today Carmona is considered one of the greatest jazz guitarists working in the style of flamenco.
In the track "Piedad de Mi" Alex continues to experiment with the arrangements. Initially, the main part of the song was to be represented by the music of the Cuban horn. For the orchestral component, several vocalizations were recorded. In the process of connecting, Alex realized that the sound of vocalizations is much more interesting and original than the horns. As a result, the track was recorded like a cappella.
Alex’s adventure in the work on Lo Único Constante was also evident during the recording of the album. In addition to traveling to Montreal to work with Massicotte, he recorded the percussion parts for Emilio Del Monte Jr. for the album via Facetime, while Del Monte put them in Maimi.
At Victoria’s Baker Studios, Joby Baker and Alex co-produced the rest of Lo Único Constante. Together they combined separate parts, tracks into a beautiful single package.