Flanger (Uruguayan Artist)

flanger rock uruguay

You need more than Chuck Norris to save the world. You need people with courage, determination and a lot of heart. People who know the meaning of the words “sacrifice”, “honor” and “integrity”. People who would die for their ideals, and more.
While we keep looking for them, I’d like you to become acquainted with this new Uruguayan band. They’re called “Flanger”, and they’re a quartet which plays hard rock & roll. And they manage to do that in spite of their tender ages!
Don’t believe it? Well, this is the guys at their best:

Their influences obviously go from this:

To this:

The band is made up of Nicolás Pastorini, Fernando Pastorino, Martín Neme and Luis Canobra. I can’t remember who plays what right now – let’s just assume they’re all multi-instrumentalists who give Eddie Cochran a run for his money, right?

Nicolás Pastorini sings and plays the rhythm guitar, Fernando Pastorino is the lead guitar player, Luis Canobra is on bass and Martín “Tincho” Neme beats the skins. They’re all remarkable musicians, yet their lyrics still have a long way to go. Continue reading

Cínica Releases Its Self-Titled Debut EP

Cínica’s Debut Is A Five-Song EP You Can Download For Free On Their Site

Cínica’s Debut Is A Five-Song EP You Can Download For Free On Their Site

Cínica was the first Uruguayan unsigned artist that I featured on MusicKO, way back in April.

Well, the band has just released its self-titled (and self-funded) debut EP. It has five songs: “Panacea”, “Conciencia” (my personal favorite), “Piso Frío”, “Velo Gris” and an acoustic take on “Panacea” (which closes the disc).

You can get the whole EP for free on their website.

A great way for them to send off the year!


En Una Lágrima (RostbiF) – Video Clip

I’d like to share with you the first video clip created by one of the Uruguayan bands I collaborate with, RostbiF. The guys hail from Nueva Helvecia (an inland town) and this particular song has one of the very first lyrics in Spanish that I ever wrote. It is called “En Una Lágrima” [In A Tear].

I also penned two other lyrics for them – “Rebellion Winds” and “These Eyes”. You can listen to all of these songs in full on their PureVolume profile.

This is the video clip for “En Una Lágrima”. I have attached the lyrics below along with a translation into English.

Of course, look for a full profile and an interview with the band on MusicKO soon! Continue reading

Cínica (Uruguayan Unsigned Artist) – Part 2: The Music

(Read Cínica’s profile in the first part of this review)

Cinica 3

In art as in life, sometimes execution and ideals can occupy adjacent squares. That is rare, but it does happen sometimes. Think of Jeff Buckley, or Soul Asylum. When it happens, the music creates a mold of its own. And the musician ends up in a position that was perfectly defined by Cat Stevens in the song “Sitting”: “Sitting on my own not by myself, everybody’s here with me / I don’t need to touch your face to know, and I don’t need to use my eyes to see”. All senses but one are rendered superfluous because the power of sound conveys all there is to convey. It is the biggest form of communion between an artist and his public.

Yet, that is not the norm. In the same way that one has to renounce to some (or many) dreams in order to succeed in life, any performer that wants to make it has to sacrifice that ability to stand alone in the most crowded of places (yet always present and seemingly reachable to everybody) and gain a kind of immediacy that in the end disconnects him from those who cared about him, and that he cared about.

I am under the direct impression that many Uruguayan bands do not break into the big time internationally because not many of them are ready to make these sacrifices, compromises or whatever you want to call them. We are a small country, and the sense of unity is very strong – far, far more than some like to admit. There are unwritten rules and lines to toe that actually cross our geographical borders. Any Uruguayan artist crosses a single one of these, and the rest of us look askance on him for evermore.

It is difficult not to think about that when running through the songs any Uruguayan band records for its debut, and wonder whether or not they will reach the end of the process with the same frame of mind they had started out. In the case of Cínica, its first EP (to be self-funded and self-released by the band) will have four original compositions, and one of these (“Panacea”) is also going to be featured in an acoustic version. The remaining songs are “Salvación” [Salvation], “Conciencia” [Conscience] and “Velo Frío” [Cold Veil]. The music is colored with the melodic canvass of a band like Dream Theater, and intermittent brushes of Pink Floyd are used to decorate the remaining spaces.

On the whole, the playing is as tight as that of any band that has been around for some time (Cínica first got together in 2008) I was particularly pleased with the work of the lead guitarist and the drummer (Marcelo Simonetti and Manuel Kastanas respectively, the two founding members of the band). The guitar is suitably stinging and the way the drums are pounded makes me think of a heart that is flayed but that refuses to stop, accelerating when the lyrics require it (listen to the chorus of “Salvación” [Salvation] for a clear example). The combo is rounded up by singer Victoria Campbell and Marcelo’s brother Gonzalo in bass. Victoria’s vocals are focused, and Gonzalo gallops along to the beats set by Manuel pleasurably enough. Marcelo also sings backup, and the first lines of “Conciencia” [Conscience] are actually sung by him.

Both “Salvación” and “Conciencia” are studies on the perils of submissive acceptance in which the catharsis is brought by the instruments, but my personal favorite from these sessions is “Panacea”, maybe on the strength of the intimidating vocals. The sound also seems even more fleshed out than in the other cuts, with the song bearing the most refined introduction from the whole set.   Continue reading

Cínica (Uruguayan Unsigned Artist) – Part 1: Profile & Interview

It fills me with immense joy to officially inaugurate the section of MusicKO devoted to Uruguayan artists that are yet to find a record company.
The first band to be featured is Cínica, from my hometown of Montevideo.
This is the first part of the article, here you can read some basic band information and the answers to the questions I put their way. And you can read my opinion regarding their music in part 2. Of course, you can listen to it here.

An enormous “thank you” to Marcelo, Victoria, Gonzalo and Manuel for their time and enthusiasm.


Band Information

Name: Cínica

Genre: Alternative Metal

Band Members:

Victoria Campbell – Vocals
Marcelo Simonetti – Guitars/ Backing Vocals
Gonzalo Simonetti – Bass Guitar
Manuel Kastanas – Drums

Been Together Since: June 2008

Some Questions

How would you capture the essence of your band in words?

If we’re talking specifically about the band, we could say that we have a great chemistry that is evident if you ever see us onstage. That chemistry is also felt when it comes to writing and giving shape to new songs. We all come from different styles, and in our opinion that is a plus when playing and composing. The resulting music has a mix of various flavors, but always with metal and hard rock at its root.

Are you trying to make a “new” artistic statement as far as Uruguayan music goes? Or will you just let history play its role?

The band started as two friends who met and played for fun, and it developed from that. It got more and more serious, and it eventually grew into a full band. We’ll try to play the music we like and reach out to the most people we can. We know our music has things in common with other bands but we like to think the combo is pretty unique in this country. So time will tell.

How does your music fit in global terms, IE what perception will a person who is located at the opposite end of the world have of it?

In spite of the language (we agreed from the very beginning that the lyrics would be in Spanish) our music could be heard all over the world. We don’t add (yet) elements that have exclusively Uruguayan roots like Candombe or Tango to our music. Most of our lyrics are also about universal issues – IE, issues that anyone could relate to. Continue reading

Laberinto (La Trampa) – Uruguayan Music

"Laberinto" Was La Trampa's Fifth Album. It Was Issued In 2005 To Good Sales And Mostly Positive Reviews.

"Laberinto" Was La Trampa's Fifth Studio Album. It Was Issued In 2005 To Good Sales And (Mostly) Positive Reviews.

“Laberinto” [Labyrinth] constitutes the fifth album of original material released by Uruguayan rockers La Trampa. Alongside La Vela Puerca, No Te Va Gustar and Buitres the band possesses immense popularity in the country; and like the aforementioned bands, it has been making inroads in the Argentinean market.

This time around there is a strong presence of both Uruguayan and Argentinean folk music in the compositions (all penned by guitarist Garo Arakelian), which coupled with the traditional approach of the band results in a captivating listening experience. The entrance to this particular labyrinth is not that unusual, though: “Puente De Estrellas” [Bridge Of Stars], “Las Décimas” [The Ten-line Stanzas] and “El Poeta Dice La Verdad” [The Poet Tells The Truth] are classic La Trampa, competing with the best moments of preceding albums such as “Caída Libre” [Free Fall] (2002).

However, come the fourth selection, a “zamba” (an Argentinean rhythm, not to be confused with the Brazilian “samba”) titled “Ronda De Lenguas” [Round Of Tongues] and the thread abruptly disappears, leaving the listener wondering how to proceed. The bands playfully leads him through a maze of gentle songs interspersed with harder-sounding offerings, until “Vagos Recuerdos” [Vague Memories] signalizes the way out. Along the way he is bound to find “Canciones Al Viento” [Songs To The Wind], which combines a measured introduction with an energetic conclusion, emphasizing the will to transcend of the lyrics (“Quiero una canción que vuele cuando ya no vuele yo/Que se haga viento en el aire cuando no respire yo/Quiero un viento que te cante cuando ya no cante yo”) [I want a song that flies when I no longer fly/That becomes wind in the air when I no longer breathe/I want a wind that sings for you when I no longer sing] and the salient “Pensares” [Thoughts], bearing the most realized chorus of the whole album, alongside a pensive guitar solo that complements the lyrics perfectly. Continue reading