Imagine Sonic Youth, the Cocteau Twins and the Cure re-imagined in a Tijuana basement by a group of friends -- what you get is Ibi Ego (pronounced ee-bee Eh-go) -- Latin for there I. The band fronted by You Schaffner, a.k.a. Dani Shivers, is back from hiatus with its new album, MCMXCVIII (for the Roman-numeral-impaired 1998), minus one band member.
The new album is drenched with synthesizers, acoustic-guitar musings and refreshingly melodic bilingual vocals dedicated to giving the listener a moody dream-pop experience. The 10-track album is a clear exploration into new territory for the new Ibi Ego lineup.
DITA QUINONES: What is significant about the year 1998?
YOU SCHAFFNER: People often ask us about the song, and I'm always very reluctant to go into detail about it 'cause I'm just not that comfortable talking about it. Nineteen ninety-eight is a year of loss for me, personally -- probably the first and biggest loss I've ever suffered. On a lighter note, 1998 is also the year that Placebo's "Without You I'm Nothing" came out, which is our favorite record of all time.
GABRIEL DUPRAT: “1998" was the first song we wrote as a trio, and I think its our most popular song or at least the one that's had the most exposure. It's a very significant song to us, and it represents the overall vibe of the album.
DQ: What was the highlight for each member working on this album?
DAVID BRAVO: For me it was the last day of mixing. It was the day Mexico beat France in the 2010 World Cup. I remember we couldn't record 'cause there was so many people partying in the streets!
GD: The mixing process was one of my favorite moments as well. It was the first time we really got to hear our songs finally sound the way we had dreamed. Daniel Zapata, our mixing engineer, did a wonderful job. I'm more into the technical aspect of producing, so it was a great learning opportunity.
YS: I'd have to say that my highlight is going on right now as we speak. The work we're doing right now to promote and share our music has me the most excited being with Ibi Ego in awhile. It's just that we've been putting this release off for so long. Finally being able to share it with everyone is super rewarding.
To listen to MCMXCVIII, hit up Ibi Ego's SoundCloud. The album is available for purchase as a limited edition cassette (with digital download included) through the Tijuana Prima Crush label. Buy it here. Next month, Ibi Ego will perform in Tijuana's All My Friends Music Festival on Nov. 16 at Casa de la Cultura.
Dita Quiñones is a multimedia journalist born in Tijuana with a passion for Latin alternative and hip-hop music news. Her main goal is to uplift and inform so that the Latino and Hip-Hop community get knitted into the fabric of American history. In addition to SoundDiego, she contributes to Latina, FOX News Latino, Poder, VidaVibrante, and HipHopDx. She is also the founder of the infamous music and politrix blog GN$F! Follow Dita on Twitter.