Track By Tracks: Milford Mocs & Gunther Cucs - El Mantodeu (2022)

“Mantodeu” is a sort of unconventional name for “praying mantis” in the Catalan language.

“The Praying Mantis’ Den” (El cau del mantodeu) is an allegorical explanation of being trapped in a hellish relationship with someone who can harm you in all manners possible. The song expresses with short but sharp lyrics and chaotic and unstructured music what does a prey feels trapped in the beast’s den. Originally the track was composed during the 2015 sessions for another MM&GC recording but never made it to the studio. This version is an improved one of that track. As a funny fact, the lyrics were written the same morning of the recording session because Milford Mocs was stuck for weeks uninspired. During breakfast and under schedule pressure he could, at last, write them, making changes with a pen even inside the recording cabin during takes.

“The Praying Mantis death” (La mort del mantodeu) is the counterpart of the first track and it describes the perception of the one who finally escaped and feels safe. Is it a look back to the past but not with resentment but both with calm and clarity? The song is based on an old instrumental track that was originally a four-string quartet rearranged to be sort of a ballad. As an anecdote, Milford wanted female choirs supporting Cucs’ main vocal track, but as he could not secure any female vocalist both Gunther and Milford finally recorded themselves the backing vocals.

Both tracks were recorded at Heartwork Studio, in Barcelona. The band stayed at a relative’s place during those days. Unfortunately, it turned out to be a hoarder’s lair with hundreds of layers of trash and dirt all over the place. It was so bad, in fact, that Cucs developed an ear infection that pestered him during the recording sessions.

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