Oh, those winter nights. Or spring, summer, autumn. The day when we smiled, danced until there was no energy left – that we lived a complete experience – and where the soundtrack could only be that one we were hearing.
We all miss concerts. Seeing the show announced, running to the box office to buy our ticket, warning our friends, making them join in that challenge. That pre-concert anxiety, when you can’t wait for the moment to arrive.
And it’s here. Now it’s time for a nice dinner. Afterward, we head up to the venue, wait in line with our dearest friends and, at the same time, see people who we admire also there, so close to us. Because they are also humans – and they also have the same tastes as us.
We go in. We have a drink, we are ready for the moment of our day, month, year. The one that will be marked in our imagination, in our lives – and that ten, twenty, thirty years from now, we will be commenting on with that tear in the corner of our eye of nostalgia.
It has begun. For the next hour and a half, there is nothing but that band in front of us and all the staff who are dedicated one hundred percent to give us a unique experience. We sing we dance, we shout: it is happiness in its purest state.
It’s over. We talk to our idols who gave us a moment like that. We thank each other because, deep down, we are all normal people. We buy some memorabilia that will stay with us forever. And we repeat this. We repeat it as long as we can.
Today the NWNA has one of those days. We are all fans of the artist, band, creative. He’s vibrant, at each new stage he reinvents himself and, like all of us, he’s Human. And it is that most natural touch that Luís Clara Gomes expresses in his latest work, Requiem For Empathy.
But who are we talking about? Moullinex.
When I talk to friends who don’t know him, they always throw Moulinex, the brand of kitchen robots, in my face. Let’s face it: while Moulinex, with one L, whets our appetite and comforts our stomach, Moullinex, with two Ls, not only sends shivers down our spine but also enters our ears with that unique sound that doesn’t want to leave. There are Singles, EPs, and many, many memories and beats that go from eight to eighty in seconds.
As for studio albums, we had their first appearance in 2012, with Flora, where fifty-three minutes are not enough to get lost in the differentiated rhythms – and where themes like Take My Pain Away, Deja Vu, or Undertaker own the way.
Before the most recent trip we still have time to talk about Hypersex, and a looser, freer world, without fads or bad habits, where we should all be accepted for who we are, without second, third, or fourth opinions. From Love Love Love, to Work It Out or even Open House, reinvention has always been a motto to follow – and from here we don’t want to run away.
Four years and half a pandemic later, the fourth album of originals arrives to conquer us once again. Requiem for Empathy is just that: the most Moullinex album Luís Clara Gomes has in his veins. If a fusion between the artist and the person is possible, here is the result.
Requiem For Empathy
The album unfolds in eleven themes, eight of them with collaborations and totally different sonorities. It’s 47 minutes of pure pleasure.
We kick off this Requiem with Inner Child. The song that defines this album – and these are not our words, but Luís Clara Gomes’, on 04/12/2020, in his Instagram. With GPU Panic always at the top of the list for a unique vocal power, the music enters our imagination and only asks us to move, as if that endless dark night of happiness would not end. And it is with this rhythm that we reflect on adult life, monotonous and with a lot of routines in hand, while all the kid spirit that moves inside us doesn’t want to stop dancing. And if at the beginning of this text we talked about dancing until there is no energy left, this is, for sure, one of those songs that we certainly want to hit on our favourite dancefloor.
And if we needed waves in our lives, Kelvin Wake Pattern is exactly that. With a hallucinating rhythm that promises us to dance until no more, in loop mode. A sound addiction is hidden in the middle of parametric equations.
It’s time to kick up your heels. And that is where Running in the Dark comes along. It was the second track presented on this record, with GPU Panic again delighting us with his angelic voice, as if it were a spiritual guide. And then we have a mix of rhythms and beats, in the background, that complete the flowery way in an exquisite way – and that allows us to dream, to reflect about life, even when the present can be blurry, without sense and, the future, completely lost in the middle of our personal struggles. And that’s where the music saves us. And Running in the Dark holds us with two hands and gives us that hope we needed.
And on the fourth round, the music that gives name to this journey. Requiem for Empathy is a metamorphosis of genres, where we feel ourselves in Luís Clara Gomes’ head, with all its ups and downs. If we were to do an intimate interview with the artist, this sound would certainly be in the background. In little more than five minutes, we see DJ sets, live concerts, and many, many experiences in the way of creating music. Here we have Flora, Elsewhere, Hypersex, Requiem for Empathy in one stretch.
With the powerful Sara Tavares in the mix, Minina do Céu is sung in Creole and tells us the story of a girl who wants to explore the cosmos. We close our eyes, follow the rhythm and, out of nowhere, we’re beyond. We’ve heard this song live – and all we can say is that it’s an experience the size of the universe.
Coral feels like it was recorded at the bottom of the Sea, where we feel at peace with the world, and the world with us. It’s the right time to remember. To be with our own. To embrace. To feel nostalgia. And My God how much we miss doing so many things.
Ven comes in collaboration with Dominican Ekstra Bonus, and it’s with these electrifying rhythms that Ekstra’s voice comes into our lives as the Bonus we needed. It’s smooth, dreamy, and the combination is so sensual that we don’t want to stop dancing.
Ngoma Nwana guides us on yet another eloquent journey, and it is with Selma Uamusse that we merge into a beat that seems sung just for us. And what does the name of the song mean? Dance, children. And we join in the challenge: move until you drop, because unique moments like this are to be enjoyed until the body can do no more.
Heading towards the end, it’s time to step into our favorite video game room. And it’s with BREAK/OUT/BREAK that we explore that incredible nostalgia of unique video games from the timeless brands of the gaming world. The connection between what is virtual and real is distinguished right away with the always moving voice of GPU Panic. But the non-stop rhythm doesn’t let us fall to the ground. And when we sense a Game Over, it’s the exact moment where we insert a new coin in the arcade.
Luz (Light), the first single from the album, recorded in the middle of the pandemic and where the video was made before the music itself, using an iPhone with binoculars, captures the essence of each artist Luís comes across – those who are isolated, in their windows, balconies or rooftops. Because the greatest light of hope we have to overcome adversity is ourselves, the rhythm of the theme in fusion with the always touching voice of GPU Panic makes us want to keep on giving more, and more, and more.
We close with a golden key, and one last collaboration on this vibrant track. Afonso Cabral joins Luís on Hey Bo, and it is in this set that we feel totally confident to embrace our beloved, with that declaration of love we always dreamed of. Is it possible to merge two souls into one on the dance floor? Absolutely. The result? Happiness, for sure.
Interview with Luís Clara Gomes
With our chests full after an intensive listen to the album, we challenged Luís Clara Gomes to a brief conversation.
[WtMM] After three records and going into a fourth, who is Moullinex today?
I am less insecure but more vulnerable. I link to think my records have been parallel to my own life, and reflect how I feel and what I want to say at every stage of it.
[WtMM] Flora was your debut album, following on from Elsewhere and its timeless rhythms, through to Hypersex, a statement of ‘new normal’ for many people. What can we expect from Requiem for Empathy?
This is the record I’ve enjoyed the most doing, and which I feel best represents who I am.
[WtMM] The album has numerous collaborations, all of which are very distinctive. What was it like to interact with so many different rhythms and artists?
After so many collaborations in so many records and other projects, it’s become quite hard for me to not do it at all. I like to manage those multiple identities under an umbrella concept. In this record, the central theme is Empathy, which of course implies vulnerability, and the collaborations stemmed from that headspace.
[WtMM] Who is your biggest inspiration?
[WtMM] ‘I’m running in the dark, and you can see me crystal clear’ – who would you see at this moment?
More than “who”, “what”: most of the population already vaccinated, safe and legal cultural events. Part of me still believes they will be possible in the short term.
[WtMM] What have you been listening to recently?
Kelly Lee Owens, Zora Jones, Autechre, WhoMadeWho, and DJ Hell’s International Deejay Gigolo Records’ catalog.
[WtMM] Your biggest musical bet for next season?
I’m not very strategic and often play by ear, but I’m especially loving the late 90’s influence creeping in dance music at the moment: breakbeat, spiritual textures, some trance in small doses.
[WtMM] Your biggest musical guilty pleasure?
I don’t really believe in guilt in pleasure, only pleasures! Still… Britney.
[WtMM] If you could collaborate with any artist/band now, which one(s) would it be?
Stevie Wonder, Floating Points, Herbie Hancock, Hermeto Pascoal, Trent Reznor.
[WtMM] What is yet to be achieved in this industry?
I’m happy with what I’ve achieved. But I’d love to provide my own Label, Discotexas, with more resources to empower upcoming artists. Basically, create more opportunities.
[WtMM] Plans for the Post-Requiem?
Play it live as much as possible, as much as we’re able to. And I’m always making new music.
[WtMM] In a word, how would you describe your music career so far?
The WtMM team would like to thank Luís Clara Gomes and Discotexas for this interview.
Requiem for Empathy defines the soul of Luís Clara Gomes to the whole world and is so well-conceived that it doesn’t allow us to take our attention away from all the beats, rhythms, and sounds that are hovering around our ears. If we needed salvation, we hit the nail on the head with this challenge – and that is, without a doubt, a Where The Music Meets recommendation.