Manu Chao is putting the finishing touches on La Radiolina, his eagerly awaited first new studio album in six years. Chao has produced the album with the help of mixers Mario Caldato (Beastie Boys, Jack Johnson) and Andrew Scheps (Red Hot Chili Peppers, Mars Volta). As of today, the album's first single, "Rainin in Paradise" is available for free download at www.manuchao.net.
Chao begins his most extensive North American tour to date on May 25, following a highly acclaimed co-headline performance at this year's Coachella festival. The set was chosen as a festival highlight by The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, and many others, including Pitchfork, which wrote that Chao proved a "the ringmaster of a multicultural, cross-generational, genre-busting circus that can whip tens of thousands of people into a frenzy even if they don't speak the same language." Manu sold out a tour of select North American cities last summer-his first performances Stateside in five years.
The forthcoming album is Chao's first since the live Radio Bemba Sound System (2002) and his first studio release in the U.S. since Proxima Estacion: Esperanza, which in 2001 topped the European charts and was named one of the best albums of the year by Rolling Stone. Among many critical accolades he garnered worldwide, Manu made the front page of The Wall Street Journal. Proxima Estacion was preceded by equal fanfare for his debut album, Clandestino (1998), which The Los Angeles Times called "superb." Clandestino remains one of the best-selling albums in French music history, with more than 2.5 million copies sold to date.
Manu Chao is widely acknowledged as a pioneer of Latin alternative music, which he was making as early as the 1980s as the leader of Mano Negra. His music is multilingual and broadly multicultural, blending rock, reggae, punk, ska, found sounds, and more. The Paris-born, Barcelona-dwelling artist of Spanish descent finds inspiration in street cultures everywhere.
Manu has earned international praise for his explosive live shows. He performs to sold-out crowds of tens of thousands around the world. Throughout his career, Chao has remained true to his anti-establishment principles and continues to mix music and politics by performing at events that promote anti-globalization efforts.
In the interim since his last album, Chao also earned tremendous acclaim for his work producing and guest starring on Amadou & Mariam's Dimanche Bamako, which has sold over 600,000 copies worldwide and was voted one of 2005's best albums by Rolling Stone, MOJO, SPIN, Blender, National Public Rad