“Finis Africæ (or Finis Africae)”. Words redolent of mystery and myth, of Europe looking out to new lands, new worlds, new times. And so it is with “A Last Discovery”, the work of Spaniard Juan Alberto Arteche Guel and his musical co-adventurers, recorded between 1984 and 2001. After fifteen years of musical success in Spain with his band Nuestro Pequeño Mundo, Arteche was ready to experiment with new ideas, and with the purchase of a four-track reel-to-reel recorder he did so, exploring imaginary global music-worlds with a core of like-minded explorers. The group, dubbed “Finis Africæ” by JAA after reading Umberto Eco’s “The Name of the Rose”, where the term refers to forbidden books and hidden knowledge, released seven recordings over an eighteen-year period, the best of which are compiled here.
Finis Africae was part of the “new wave” of Spanish music which gradually emerged after the end of the Francoist regime. Using modern electric instruments and traditional acoustic instruments from many cultures blended together via studio alchemy, a magic which grew even stronger with the acquisition of a sixteen-track recorder after their second release, Finis Africæ created an outward-looking musical multiverse, an unclassifiable amalgam encompassing elements of folk traditions from all over the world, skillfully and lovingly shaped into an inclusive pan-global whole. Deeply influenced by African music, the group’s reverberant, organic minimal funk will appeal to DJs as well as all who yearn for the loving warmth that comes with the embrace of global possibilities.
With liner notes in Spanish, English and Japanese by JAA, “A Last Discovery” is available on CD and double vinyl (with two bonus tracks). This is the first release by Finis Africae outside of their native Spain. Come take a retrospective journey of discovery. New worlds await.