Puerto Rico’s Orquesta El Macabeo have a new release: the double single / 7-inch 45 “Ikiru” b/w “Familia” (Discos de Hoy/Peace & Rhythm/Chateaudisc/Lucha Libre Discos/Discos Machete). After recording the double LP live album Décimo Aniversario En Vivo En El Nido for the band’s 10th anniversary in 2018 and the motion picture soundtrack for La Ultima Gira (the Daniel Santos biopic from 2021), plus the reissues of Lluvia Con Sol (2013/2023) and Salsa Macabra (2010/2018), “Ikiru” and “Familia” are the first original songs released by the band since their last new full-length album, La Maldición del Timbal (2016).
These two tracks will not be released in a future full length album and will remain exclusive to the 45 / double digital single, as it closes a previous era of Orquesta el Macabeo (celebrating 15 years of existence) and opens a new one (looking towards the future), with new members and new songs for an upcoming LP currently in the works. The cover artwork, made by Puerto Rican tattoo artist Manolo Fernánez (Instagram: @manolo_shodai_tattoos ), can be appreciated as a representation of this evolution of the band in reparation for a new era. “Ikiru” means “To Live” in Japanese, and “Familia” means “Family" in Spanish, two concepts that are central to Orquesta El Macabeo’s existence. The song lyrics also deal with similar themes, including celebrating one’s chosen family and community, ideas of survival, resistance, sustenance and the necessity for artistic evolution, all of which is evidenced as well in the band’s music video, featuring one long sequence where the first song transitions into the second and the lyrical themes are brought to life with the band’s visuals.