SXSW Spotlight: Abstrakto (Featuring Asdru of Ozomatli + Balt Getty)

Ozomatli's Asdrubal Sierra and Balt Getty of the Purplehaus record label teamed up to create Abstrakto.
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Ozomatli's Asdrubal Sierra and Balt Getty of the Purplehaus record label teamed up to create Abstrakto.
Ozomatli's Asdrubal Sierra and Balt Getty of the Purplehaus record label teamed up to create Abstrakto.

Ozomatli’s Asdrubal Sierra and Balt Getty of the Purplehaus record label make up Abstrakto.

As lead vocalist with genre-mashers Ozomatli, Asdru Sierra has been helping redefine Latin music for a new generation. Now the Grammy Award winner has teamed up with LA producer, DJ and actor Balt Getty for a passion project that fuses electronic music, Latin rhythms and moody atmospherics.

Ahead of their South by Southwest showcase at 10 p.m. Saturday at Lucky Lounge, Sierra shared how the duo came together and what festgoers can expect from their live shows.

How did you guys hook up; What drew you together?

We met at our kid’s elementary school! Always had a great connection. One day Balt asked if I would sing on his “Solar Drive” record on a song we wrote called, “Go Away.” There was a great energy that made our creativity flow.
Once I showed Balt a few demos of songs I wrote, he loved an early version of “Marcando Paso.” Which became a first of many for Abstrakto.
He then said to me, “Make ten more just like that!” Since Balt launched his record label, Purple Haus Music, he asked me if I would be on it as an artist. Felt he could really produce my record. He did!!! Been magic ever since, man.

Ozomatli is known for energetic live shows, what can fans expect from Abstrakto live?

The record itself is a sonic, cinematic journey. Live, we try to recreate that, but approach it in an electronic sense, using the original music as organic loops and rolling the beats and rock the crowd that way. Almost like hip hop with Balt as a DJ and myself on vocals, trumpet and keys.
We also have a percussionist with us on congas and timbales. It’s different than Ozo, but we still have this intensity we create live that rocks the crowd.

Any new Abstrakto music/projects on the horizon?

We recently launched a double vinyl album with the leading vinyl company, the Vinyl Factory out of the U.K. They do all the major vinyl releases from all the big artists like Radiohead and Florence + The Machine. The vinyl release comes with one record being the original album, and the other being a few remixes we had some buddies do! Artists like Mexican American hip hop star, Kap G, who is out of Atlanta and signed to Pharrell’s label, are on it. There is also production from King Dave and Anthony Valadez from KCRW to give the remix album a unique and diverse sound. There are some electro and hip hop elements. We called the remix album “Abstrakto Remex” to play on me being Mexican…and the lyrics being in Spanish.

Honestly, the record sounds way better on vinyl, in my humble opinion. Since this is a record we intended to be really listened intently to, the music nerd side of me really shows when it comes to this. The digital version is coming very soon, so look out for it!

Balt’s vision as a label mogul and producer makes all this possible. We are looking to also release b-sides and possibly more remixes. Hey…maybe a second Abstrakto album. I’m sure more things will come!

The music has been described as cinematic and featured in a show for Robert Rodriguez’s El Rey network. Any plans to hook up with the filmmaker while you’re in Austin for SXSW?

Ah!!! No plans made. I really hope to meet him, some day. I know he writes his own music to his movies. But I hope for a collaboration some day. Balt is also a triple threat as an actor! So I hope there’s a mega, creative, awesome venture in our future.

It was an honor that he used one of our tracks on his TV show! I love everything he does! My kids and I love “Sharkboy and Lava Girl,” which, from what I understand, he wrote with his kids!! I still geek out every time I watch “Dusk Til Dawn,” pythons and all.


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