Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Choice - Nine Rain

Choice is Ninerain's "definitive collection of the tracks composed by Ninerain between 1993-2002". Only 1000 copies of this album were issued.

This is what Ninerain is all about in the words of Steve Brown, the leader of the band:

"Ninerain the name comes from a cut-up of the Aztec calendar. There are 20 days in the Aztec month each with a name. Day #19 is 'rain' day #9 is water. '19 rain' was too cumbersome so we changed it to 9. Hoping the gods won't be angry. Nikolas and I thought we had invented this name, ninerain. A few years later we were surprised to learn from an old gentleman well versed in Mexican history that 9rain was a deity, a 'tlaloque'. (Tlaloc is the god of rain for the Aztecs. A tlaloque is a deity related to Tlaloc.) He said the pyramid in Cholula was related to 9rain. A year of so later I happened to be visiting Cholula and I took a tour of what was left of the pyramid... not much... from what once was the apex now stands a little church and from there you can see down in the distance the perimeters of what was the largest pyramid in the world second only to Giza in Egypt. On the tour I summoned the courage to ask the guide if he knew anything about a deity by the name of 9rain. Expecting a negative reply I was overwhelmed when he explained that the original pyramid built on this site and later encased in the larger structure (every 52 years the Aztecs would re-build a new pyramid over the old) was built for the god 9rain who represented the concept or essence of rain. People pray and give offerings to Tlaloc for rain for the cropc etc... no rain no crops no eat no live. Tlaloc was important. Nobody prayed to 9rain. 9rain was beyond Tlaloc. 9rain was the deluge; 365 days of rain... the matrix as it were. I still think this is why it rains almost every time 9rain plays or has a meeting. I also think 9rain is alive and well and living in Belgium.

9rain History
Nikolas Klau and I moved to Mexico in 1993. By 94 we were playing in a trio with composer - guitarist Jose Manuel Aguilera. Instrumentation was: guitar, bass, tapes, sax, clarinet, voice. For a while I projected videos I had made on certain songs. In 1995 we recorded our first CD by now with new members Juan Carlos Lopez on drums and percussion and Alejandro Herrera with his Veracruz strings (re-quinto jarocho and jarana). Mexico is a land full of music and people who love music - Mexican music. There is live music everywhere and people pay to hear songs that they know - most Mexicans can sing along with the musicians any number of tunes. I've never been anywhere with such a vibrant musical culture. I once asked a guitarist-singer in a cantina how many songs he knew by memory. Around 300 was his reply. 9rain does not play traditional Mexican music. People don't understand a Mexican band that doesn't play Mexican music or at least a genre they're used to. This has begun to change perhaps in part due to groups like 9rain. Like Tuxedomoon 9rain has depended on the support of independent record companies. Almost always it comes down to a personal relationship between artist and company. Companies of human beings that are willing to produce music that they like motivated more by their love of music than by financial gain. Yes people like this do exist. Neo Acustica is a group of such people in Russia. Speaking for myself and the band I can say we are thrilled and proud that for the first time a legitimate 9rain CD release is now available in Russia through the offices of Neo Acustica.

Steven Brown Oaxaca Mexico August 2002"

Photo: my own version of the pyramid of Cholula.

And here's something by 9rain, via youtube.

1 comment:

  1. hey!!
    please would you have the two new tracks of this compilation "COLD" and "BROTHER AND SISTER"??
    I`ve been looking for everywhere but nothing!!
    please, thanks!!
    my email: