Chilean artist/producer Alex Anwandter announces El diablo en el cuerpo, his first new album in over four years, will be released on May 26th. Self-recorded and produced over recent years since his move to New York City, the 16-track neon dance epic ushers in a bold new musical chapter, and is Anwandter’s most vibrant work to date – featuring a large ensemble of live musicians, orchestral arrangements, and collaborations with Buscabulla, Julieta Venegas, Javiera Mena, and Christina Rosenvinge. The album’s new single, ‘Qué piensas hacer sin mi amor?’ (‘What are you going to do without my love?’), is out now alongside a disco fever dream video directed by Jennifer Juniper Stratford, with choreography by Ken XY and dancing by Ken XY, Vince Rossi, and Prince Julio.
This is a song I wrote about being heartbroken and scornful, and using the dancefloor to exorcise these demons. There’s really nothing like a propulsive beat to dance the pain away. We shot the video in LA and were trying to capture the feeling of late ‘70s TV shows – an era of darker, more sexually charged performances.
Anwandter also announced he’s signed his first global publishing deal with peermusic, the world’s largest global independent music publishing company, operating from 38 offices in 31 countries. The publishing deal encompasses Anwandter’s entire song catalog, including his solo material and work with Teleradio Donoso, plus future works. With well over a million titles owned or administered by the company, peermusic is the largest privately owned company of its kind in the world.
On his fifth album, Anwandter offers up a wildly extravagant form of dance music built on larger-than-life emotion: all-consuming desire, burning infatuation, heartbreak so exquisitely brutal it turns transcendent. He matches that unrestrained feeling with his elegant yet adventurous sense of composition — once again tapping into the sophisticated musicality that’s earned him three Latin Grammy Award nominations, including Best Alternative Album for his previous full – length (2018’s critically acclaimed Latinoamericana). In the tradition of pop iconoclasts like Prince, Anwandter hits every pleasure center while exploring infinitely complex matters of the heart and mind and soul — ultimately turning El dia blo en el cuerpo into a dazzling meditation on queer life and love.
Anwandter drew from his voluminous musical vocabulary across the album – which first took shape in the early days of lockdown – mining inspiration from such eclectic sources as proto-synth-pop, the avant-garde disco of Arthur Russell, Marvin Gaye’s 1976 quiet-storm classic I Want You, Latin ballads, Brazilian pop, and post-romantic classical music. In addition to the featured collaborators, Anwandter also shaped El diablo en el cuerpo’s maxima list sound with the help of a Buenos Aires-based orchestra and an extensive lineup of female backing vocalists.
El diablo en el cuerpo fully leans into the over-the-top emotionality of classic disco and is rooted in Anwandter’s vision of dance culture as a “world where you can become who you really want to be.” It takes its title from a darkly hypnotic track encapsulating the album’s seamlessly intertwined themes. “The title translates to ‘The devil in the body,’ which ties into the idea of moving with the body, connecting with the body, communicating with the body,” he says. “It’s also related to the other grand theme of the record, which is desire and what happens when you give yourself over to it.”
‘Qué piensas hacer sin mi amor?’ follows his other album single ‘Maricoteca’, a sultry party anthem and his first release in three years that earned praise and support from Rolling Stone, Billboard, Remezcla, and more.
Photos by Bruno Nogueira