Never one to sit still, Carwyn Ellis is continuing his voyage into Latin Americana with the release of his second album with Rio 18, ‘Mas’.
Like it’s predecessor, the acclaimed ‘Joia!’, this album is a collection of songs sung in Welsh combined with distinct pop and South American flavours drawn from Bossa Nova, Cumbia, Samba and Tropicalismo styles, recorded in Rio de Janeiro, Caernarfon and London.
Mas feels strangely right for our times: an album whose title means several things, as befits its global outlook. Mas means “out” in Welsh, “more” in Spanish, and “but” in Portuguese: these meanings filling that single syllable with promise, potential, but also the subtle edge of a warning. It’s a mood that fits the more political tenor of Rio 18’s second turn around the world, as Carwyn and his friends explore some substantial subjects: the drowning of villages, climate change, migration and the rise of megacities. They do so not in sober, serious settings, but beautiful, uplifting songs. Other tracks also celebrate the vivid pleasures of love, nature and our essential humanity.
Mas is a record of beautiful songs that says, wait, listen, delight, come together, then act. We owe it to ourselves, to each other, to our beautiful world.
released February 26, 2021
Kassin - bass, guitar, synthesizer, percussion
Shawn Lee - drums, percussion, guitars, bass, keyboards
André Siqueira - percussion
Manoel Cordeiro - guitars
Domenico Lancellotti - drums
Elan Rhys - vocals
Marged Rhys - vocals
Nina Miranda - vocals
Maïa Barouh - flute
Maxi Padin - charango, ronroco, cuatro venezolano, percussion
Dominic Glover - trumpet
Paulo Braga - percussion
Produced by Kassin, except tracks 1 & 9 produced by Shawn Lee
Additional production by Aled Wyn Hughes
Engineered by Mauro Araujo and Felipe Arêas in Rio, Aled Wyn Hughes in Llandwrog and Paul Elliott and Pierre Duplan in London
Mixed by Shawn Lee and Pierre Duplan
Mastered by Andrea de Bernardi
Recorded at Audio Rebel in Rio de Janeiro, Stiwdio Sain in Llandwrog and The Shop Studio in London
All songs by Carwyn Ellis, except Track 1 by Carwyn Ellis & Marged Rhys and Track 9 by Carwyn Ellis & Shawn Lee
Art & design by Diego Medina
Photography by Fernando Neumayer
Logos by Cargo Maxima
Genuinely haven't been this excited to find an artist in a long time. Listened to Black Is on repeat for most of last year but Masterpiece from this album is one of the most beautiful pieces of music I've heard. That 'all I think about is you' sample that comes in about halfway through and the way it works with the other vocals is just sublime. fortitude