“Sweet Harlem” is the first single release of Willy Raussert's upcoming music album Gotta Be Somebody! From folk to funk, from folk to soul, from folk to rhythm & blues . This is the best way to describe Willy Raussert's new and third music fusion album Gotta Be Somebody, which will be released later this year. From contemplative, thoughtful songs to good mood songs and songs that make you move, the album describes a wide range of musical styles. At the same time, it shows a clear and unifying signature that runs through the entire arrangement of the songs. Produced by Humberto Lopez DJ (Guadalajara) and in collaboration with musicians from Mexico and the US, the third album marks another step in the musical development of the academic and multidisciplinary artist from Germany, who teaches at Bielefeld University. All songs and lyrics were penned by Willy Raussert during the pandemic years 2020 and 2021 and were recorded at the Bialclap Music Studio, Calle Ghilardi 243 in Guadalajara, Mexico.
Production and Master Mixes: Quetzal Flores, Los Angeles
Voice and acoustic guitars:
Wilfried ‘Willy’ Raussert
Susana Rocha Teixeira
Bass, Electric Guitars, Synthesizer, and Percussion:
Recording Studio: Nicolai Records, Germany
Cover art: Alina Muñoz
Original Cover Photo: Eberhard Grossgasteiger
MURA Productions 2021
What I found in the hidden treasure boxes of the newly released albums is exactly that: The Art of Starting Over. What initially looks like an unusual collaboration turns out to be quite conclusive at second glance. The music album The Art of Starting Over is the result of a collaboration between the Grammy-award winning musician and producer Quetzal Flores and the music-writing scholar and guitarist Willy Raussert (Wilfried Raussert). It represents the debut album of the latter and was recorded at Flores' studios on Meridian Avenue in Los Angeles. What both have in common is a creative and scholarly engagement with music. Flores has been the head of the Chican@ fusion band Quetzal for several decades, whose music includes elements of Son Jarocho, jazz, rock, and Latin American musical forms. Flores, along with his wife Martha Gonzalez, was also head of the Seattle Fandango Project, which established music as a community-building medium in Los Angeles and Seattle communities. He worked on several musical heritage preservation projects with the Smithsonian Institute in Washington, D.C. Raussert, who teaches at Bielefeld University in Germany, works particularly on issues related to American musical forms and their relations to social and political movements in a cultural studies context and has published several books on music-related topics in the Americas. What both wanted to achieve in the musical realization of Raussert's compositions was a musical journey back to the days of folk rock in the 1960s and 1970s. That this has succeeded in large parts, suggests the comment of George Yúdice, who feels strongly reminded by the songs of the folk rock scene in Greenwich Village at that time: “The music has the effect of taking me places – curiously to the Woodstock of the 1990s where I had a house and musicians who lived the 60s of the rockification of folk still played, and whom I befriended, and also the Village in NY where I lived and frequented many clubs of the folk scene and folk rock scenes in the 1960s.” The songs are poetic, moving, folkish, at times immediate, at times polished, partly autobiographical like “Mother’s Voice”, partly with social reference. The song “No More Fire,” for example, alludes to the resurgence of racism in the USA during the Trump Administration, and the song “Red Ball of Fire” to the lives of street children in the favelas of Brazil. In a way, the album represents a personal and transcultural heritage work, as it recalls the folk rock compositions of previous generations; on the other hand, the album develops a new poetic voice and intimate expression that is certainly more at home in the world of music cafés or small bars than in large concert halls. Put simply, the songs create atmosphere. In addition to Flores’s contribution as bass player, electric guitarist, and producer, Raussert's voice and acoustic guitar are accompanied by Asian American violinist Tylana Enmoto and Chican@ drummer Alexander E. Gonzalez who all collaborated in the creation of this music album definitely taking you places.
José T. Mahier (San Francisco Chronicle)