It's gutsy to attempt to cover someone as idiosyncratic as Manu Chao, even more so to do a new rendition of his 1998 instant classic 'Clandestino'. Kansas City-based Making Movies took the plunge, and the result is a beautiful, cumbia-tinged cover that takes the song to an emotional, intimate realm.
Making Movies' version of 'Clandestino' features Bay Area producer and guitarist Philthy Dronez (also known as Mr. Philthy from the band SuenaTron) and updates the song to honor Latinx immigrants in the Babylon that is the United States. "Mexicano, panameño, venezolano, peruano, africano..." sings Making Movies' frontman/guitarist Enrique Chi in this new version, also singing: "Hermana y hermano, agarra mi mano. No hay ser humano ilegal".
"Clandestino has always been an important song in my life. The song pretty much hits the nail on the head on what it is to be an undocumented immigrant. I have my citizenship but 80% of my friends don't", says Philthy Dronez. "It is an honor to collaborate with a band such as Making Movies who isn't just a band playing songs... they use their voices as artists to talk about important issues."
Making Movies's version of 'Clandestino' will be part of an EP of protest songs titled 'You Are Another Me' to be released on December 1st, which also includes a collaboration with David Hidalgo of legendary band Los Lobos. "The spirit of collaboration is exactly what Making Movies stands for", says frontman Enrique Chi. "We, as Mr. Philthy believe that there is no vehicle more precise and focused as a device to deliver empathy. We hope that by playing songs that share the stories of migrant workers, immigrant stories, our stories, we can shed a little light into the darkness leading us today."
Making Movies was formed in 2009 by Chi and his brother Diego, who plays the bass. The band also includes brothers Juan Carlos and Andrés Chaurand, percussionist, and drummer respectively. They are currently on a 22-city tour which they have called 'Immigrants are Beautiful Tour'.
The band is also premiering an intro to the track taken from a real recording of them getting pulled over by police.
Making Movies' 'Immigrants Are Beautiful Tour' ends November 19th in Watsonville, California.