Who are the members of MiXTi FORi? And how long have you been playing together?
MiXTi FORi was started in the year 2000 by Marcos Da Silva (guitars, vocals) and its ranks have shifted a lot until arriving at its current lineup:, with Diego Nacimiento (drums and vocals) and Julio Montero (bass and backing vocals).
The band has released many EPs independently, it has been featured on several local and international compilations and it has also issued a LP titled “Incapaz de Amplificarse” in the year 2011, both online and as a physical CD. Continue reading →
This is the first video clip by Majorette, an ascending band from the city of San José.
The song is titled “Limbo”, and you can find it on their first EP, an eponymous work that can be freely donwloaded here.
The members of Majorette are Martín Curbelo (vocalas and bass), Mathías Briccola (guitar), Andréz Pérez (piano, sequencers and backing vocals) and Ismael Geribón (drums).
The video for “Limbo” was directed by Elisa Barbosa, and edited by Ismael Geribón. It was shot on Capurro (San José).
I’ll do my best to review the band’s EP soon. I have had it for a long time already, and every song has been clearly labored at with patience and a lot of dedication. If “Limbo” sounds like your cup of tea, then you can’t go wrong with the remaining songs on offer. Get their EP here at zero cost, or tune into their soundcloud profile.
A band whose members have really interesting musical backgrounds, Los Oxford grouped together in 2003. I became aware of their existence a long time ago, as one of their members got in touch with me and requested a review when I wrote about another Uruguayan band, Soundays. And I have always meant to write about them.
And now, the moment has come like sudden rain. Some things are just meant to be…
I have always meant to marry Colbie Caillat, for example. But that’s yet to materialize.
I mean, I know it’s within my reach. It’s meant to be. Just the other day I came across this pearl of wisdom on Facebook, and it renewed all these hopes which were starting to falter:
And if you need any more proof… Elvis Costello married Diana Krall!!! What else is there to say? C’mon!
More sights and sounds from Montevideo, the Ibero-American Capital of Culture 2013!
This new band is called Marvin Bridge & The Haddocks. It’s made up of Nikolas Araujo on drums, Martin Lyon on guitar, Max Ruano on guitars and vocals and Rafa Martinelli on bass.
Before going any further, I must tell you something: this band was new when they originally got in touch with me. That was about the time our national soccer squad was casting an almighty shadow over the whole of South America, so go figure…
Well, the fact I took my time to review Marvin Bridge & The Haddocks was actually a good thing. Because they have released their best work ever in the interim, an EP called “Abadejo” [Haddock]. Every cloud has a silver lining…
A leopard cannot change its spots…
And nothing lasts forever.
Dude. That shit goes on and on and on…
Anyway, this band was started in early 2011, and they lean a lot on 60s rock & roll and psychedelia. But their music also takes some detours along the way, and genres such as reggae and psychedelic-folk are visited more than recurrently.
Their influences include The Rolling Stones, The Doors, Pink Floyd, The Beatles, David Bowie, Bob Dylan, Marc Bolan, The Pixies. I mean, they’re evident. They surface at every turn, in a magnificent outpouring. Any discerning person would name these bands the first time around he listens to their music.
I just didn’t copy and paste that bit from their Facebook fanpage. And I didn’t forget to delete the comma between “Marc Bolan, The Pixies” and make the sentence read “Marc Bolan and The Pixies” to hide such an egregious maneuver, either. Continue reading →
“Power Ranger” is the latest single by a Uruguayan band known as “Power Chocolatín Experimento”.
The song is featured on a split that the band recorded with Cadaver Exquisito, and the Argentinean band Cuco. You can download it for free on CaracolRojo.com.ar.
To cut a short story even shorter, I’m including this video on MusicKO simply because any person that comes up with a lyric which goes “Quiero vivir como un hombre, y morir como un Power Ranger” [I want to live like a man, and die like a Power Ranger] can instantly consider himself my blood brother.
You can download Power Chocolatín Experimento’s music on their bandcamp profile. It basically comprises a 3-song EP named “Ernesto Paz”, and an eponymous album with 9 tracks.
A really great acquaintance I made as 2012 was ending, Colmena Gr is a young Uruguayan composer that has steadily been releasing a series of EPs over the course of the last two years. And he has just compiled the best of his work on a LP (which also includes a couple of new cuts), so what better time to feature him on MusicKO?
The way he describes his music is so accurate and full of sentiment, that I’ve transcribed the full text he sent me when I asked for some background information below.
I began writing music in 2009, but I only started recording my melodies in mid-2011. My first EP was named “Colapso”, and it comprised short-length compositions with just piano. It was a very personal piece of work.
Afterwards, I came up with “Rec”, an EP with 11 instrumental melodies which were edited and produced much more elaborately than ever before.
My music is aimed at experienced ears, the kind that can discover each and every sound (even if there are not that many of them, each sound I use is there for a very good reason).
One year later (and once I had perfected my new sound), in November 2011 I published “Pusil”. The tracks “Analepsis”, “Luminor”, “Prímula” and “Mutílido” had been issued in advance, and they were greeted with enthusiasm by most of my listeners. By mid-November three more melodies were ready – these were done in just a couple of days, the result of an intense and enlightened inspiration (I love when such magic surrounds my head). And it was right there and then that my fourth EP was born. It went by the name of “Tilda”, it included 4 tracks, and it had a mysterious cover with a black widow as its star.
I have always been attracted by little worlds, particularly these of insects. Their diminutive lives fascinate me, even more so when I’ve got a camera at hand. The worlds inhabited by ants and bees are what I like the most.
I’m specially fond of bees. I’m deeply attracted to the world of hives, and that’s where the name of my musical project is derived from. I’ve combined two words that are little conventional [“colmena” is Spanish for “hive”], and I’ve come up with a brand of its very own.
Just two weeks ago I released my first LP, and that makes me feel extremely glad. I brought together the 3 EPs I issued in 2012, and I added 3 new melodies. These 3 new tracks sound far more seasoned – or a lot less “amateur”, if you will.
I named the album “Anthophila” (after the word used to categorize these insects that love flowers, IE bees), and you can both listen and download it for free on Bandcamp. This is the link:
1) I think these guys can certainly sing, and 2) I think they are releasing music that’s largely tasteful.
1) Louis and Liam have NO REASON WHATSOEVER to be on the band, and 2) They are NOT good-looking. They are NOT. The Backstreet Boys were. N-Sync were. Boyzone were. The Wanted are (though a couple of them look like they’ve just gotten out of prison, and they’re about to star on the next “Fast & Furious” movie). One Direction are NOT.
Actually, there’s only one band member who looks any good: Niall. And how do I know? I know, because I’ve found irrefutable scientific proof online. I mean, see what I’ve managed to find on the WWW after incessant hours of research:
(I found it online, I swear. I didn’t come with this shit up. I’m a master troll, but my life doesn’t revolve around drawing hearts on pictures of members of One Direction)
You know, I’ve taken this very personally. The amount of abuse I’ve received from these directioners has been relentless. I can’t even concentrate, and do my job properly.
A girl went as far as to telling me, “my boyfriend is going to break into your house tonight, and bang your head against your keyboard!!!”.
Oh, yeah? Really, sweetheart?? Is that it??? It’s almost 2 AM and I’m still waiting for him. Tell him that when he xbnowdukrf jneirfh er ekwoigo hg wilrgjw oufvjs lfjowr pgj rgjrldig jrgarig 76irgirtjh gitrjhgit ur8yedhnf lkw fhuefgvu ierfg kdyv rurbgt dfpgrgiort krtgk jekh feuyfu eyfuef.
(Emilio wakes up 8 hours later over his keyboard, and rubs his forehead. He says in a hushed voice: “Man, my head hurts like shit! And for some reason I can’t seem to sit very well! Nevermind, I’ve got a job to do…”)
There’s this new Uruguayan band called “Limbo” that has recently issued their first demo. It’s one of these Uruguayan bands that sing in English (like my doobie brothers Casablancas, my northern siblings Soundays, and these soul ravers who make up The Bear Season). Yet, Limbo stands out if only because their songs deal with romantic matters. You know, boys who like girls, girls who like boys and people who can’t stand up for falling down. Continue reading →
A middle-aged couple hired a young girl to look after their kids while they attended a party. The girl arrived early in the evening, and she stayed with the children as the couple went their way.
And everything was going fine, until the husband’s mobile rang. It was the girl, she wanted to know if she could cover the clown’s statue in the kid’s room because the children were scared by it, and they couldn’t get to sleep. The man said we don’t have a statue of a clown in our house, quick get the kids out and call the police.
It turned out the clown was a convict who had broken into the house.
And if you don’t copy and paste this text in the wall of five of your Facebook friends, tonight at 3 AM the clown will be at your bed, with a chainsaw in his hands.
OK, I’m sorry. I’m sorry. That was too good a chance to miss. I’m sorry. I won’t ever do that again, I swear by God almighty and by my High School Musical DVD.
Today, it’s time to cover a new Uruguayan artist on this blog. And I’ve found one that has got quite an interesting background. His name is Federico, and in addition to being a recording artist of his own he runs an independent label named Nikikinki Records. This label gathers together a distinctive number of Uruguayan performers, but some international acts have been joining its ranks recently.
So, if you visit Nikikinki’s website you’ll be able to download music from local performers such as Ari Vinitzki, Lila Tirando a Violeta, Fabián Echandía and Turra Total, along with Eric Bejaranbo (from Mexico) and Johnny Slidell (from the US) to name just a few.
In all cases, the music you can find on the site is available at zero cost. You just have to submit your e-mail address, and that’ll be the start of a thousand lives with the music of this league of extraordinary gentlemen.
Federico himself has released two volumes of love songs named “Los Amores Imaginarios” [Imaginary Loves], and he also fronts a band which goes by the name of “Julen y la Gente Sola” [Julen and the Lonely People]. I became familiarized with his work while I was online one day, goofing around on Facebook. I came across a live performance of his, he had posted a song named “Asuntos Ajenos” [Other People’s Businesses], and I gave it a whirl. Usually, I click on such videos and then keep on scrolling down my news feed. And that’s precisely what I did when I first crossed paths with “Asuntos Ajenos”.
But I didn’t get very far. A couple of seconds into the performance, I stopped scrolling down. I was listening.
And when Federico started singing, I had to scroll up again to see him play. There was a sort of magnetism both in his voice and his overall demeanor. You couldn’t call it technical prowess, you couldn’t call it interpretative proficiency or smoothness. But it was some sort of coruscating quality all the same.
And you know, that’s good news. Really good news. That’s what I always want to see on young performers.
Frankly, I was amazed. I mean, not amazed in the same way Taylor Swift is amazed at awards shows, and she puts her patented OMG face on, like this:
(If you look carefully, you’ll also notice that when this happens Taylor Lautner is always, always on the very first row. He’s staring all dove-eyed at T Swizzle, until he realizes the cameras are on him! And when that happens, he turns his head with haste, as if thinking “Oops, I’m not supposed to harbor feelings for her any longer!”
I hate you! Vile monster! How could you break our sweetheart of the rodeo’s heart?! Hope they cast you in a suckass saga with endless sequels! Hope you’re condemned to do the same mediocre role for ever!
But I was surprised by how much Federico could elicit, by how much he could transmit in a way that seemed so effortless. And I decided to take a closer look at his work.
So, I downloaded the first volume of his “Amores Imaginarios”. And that’s the album I want to tell you about today.
According to the liner notes, Federico recorded the 12 songs that are included between 2009-2011 on his bedroom, using an acoustic guitar and his computer. This is a lo-fi album by definition, so that if you’re enamored with Okkervil River’s marauding guitars on songs such as “We Need A Myth” then I’m afraid you’ll have to browse. This album is not about sounding good, it’s about conveying ideas in a way that’s unembellished and completely spontaneous.
We could debate incessantly how valuable such a thing is from an artistic point of view; writers like Victor Hugo used to claim that there’s nothing more detrimental to art than the rush of inspiration, that ideas have to be diligently refined, and that the greatest works come from a process in which corrections and reformulations are always in order. Conversely, authors like Byron (who were uttermost expressionists) felt that saying what one had to say in the way that it would naturally come out was the fairest thing to do.
How much you’ll get from an album like this one (and from most of Nikikinki’s oeuvre, actually) depends on where you stand on this debate. If you collapsed to the floor and cried aloud “Deflower me! Deflower me, Dave!!” when the Foo Fighters won their last Grammy Award and Grohl mentioned that they had recorded the album at their very own garage, then look no further than this. Continue reading →
Good ol’ Pete Townshend. He releases a chunky bio, and the standout passage is the one in which he confesses he fancied the ass off Mick Jagger when he was young. Actually, he mentions that he fancied another part of the Rolling Stone’s physiognomy. But let’s leave it at that, OK?
It just had to be.
Then, Kelly Clarkson announces the release of her first “Best Of” package, and when you glance at the tracklist “Sober” is nowhere in sight. “When beauty meets ignorance they shout in the street”, right darling? What’s your excuse?
It just had to be.
And now, Casablancas release their first EP, “Please Don’t Be Like Me”.
And is it any good?
It just had to be.
Casablancas, my half-blood brothers from the Merseyside. I’m going to write a movie script about the time I spent with the core of them when I was younger, maybe someone at Disney buys it for the next “Star Wars” trilogy. For chrissake, they hired Billy Ray Cyrus to do a show! It can’t be that difficult…
This EP (download it for free) was recorded by the band and their producer, Álvaro de León. Casablancas comprises Martín Rela on voice and guitar, Syd Jay on guitar, Nacho Lorenzelli on bass and Seba Moroni on drums. Álvaro de León added guitars, piano and Hammond to several numbers.
In case you want to put faces to names, there you go. Yes, I know. It would be delightful to have one of these magnificent photographs in which the whole band is featured in a clockwise manner. But I never learned to use Photoshop, I was too busy learning how to write movie scripts, OK?
The guys define themselves as a group of friends who love making music and having a good time on the liner notes. But that doesn’t mean they are doing things by half measures. No, not at all. They’re a true example of commitment, and a firm reminder that anything can be accomplished by sheer strength of will and devotion.
“Please Don’t Be Like Me” features five different compositions, all penned by the band. You have the two songs they had recorded when Casablancas came around a couple of years ago, and the band played their first “Pepsi Bandplugged” competition amidst pussy-willows, cattails and fluorescent adolescents. They are “0800 Casablancas” and “Liverpool”. They have been revamped, and their present selves are a lot beefier thanks to the fuller-sounding production.
But the new cuts are the ones that make more of a lasting impression, for the simple reason that these songs reveal a sense of dynamics that I just didn’t know the guys had in them. Besides, Martín’s voice has grown different – there’s more of a gruff in it. Time doesn’t go by in vain, I guess. It’s only natural that the moon and the sun will change places, as if in a race to meet the ribbons of the morning first.
And cigarettes can fuck up one’s voice in no time, also. Whatever. Martín’s vocals now suit the material a great deal better. Continue reading →
Uruguayan popular music is enjoying a whole new lease of life, with a generation of singer/songwriters that are updating its idioms and gestures. Influenced by artists such as Eduardo Mateo, Fernando Cabrera, Jorge Drexler and Mauricio Ubal, these young performers are bringing popular music to an audience that was previously strange to it.
And Ismael Collazo is one of the most emblematic singer/songwriters of such a movement. Born in 1980, he plays a healthy mixture of traditional Uruguayan music. Murga, tango, candombe, chacarera… his repertoire includes all of these, in equal measures.
His first album was titled “Rincones” [Corners], and it was issued by Perro Andaluz in 2009. As of the time of writing this, Ismael is recording his second album.
I’d like to share a couple of live performances with you, along with the links to his MySpace and Facebook pages. The videos are for the songs “Todo Alguna Vez” [Everything Sometime] and “Río de Tambores” [River of Drums].