La Corporación (Erika Chuwoki) – Uruguayan Independent Artist

by Emilio Pérez Miguel on February 22, 2011

OK, I know I’m giving myself away big time here and tarnishing what little reputability I had to begin with, but… can you guess which album I have heavily rotated every day at my office for the past two months or so? Badly Drawn Boy’s turgid “Born In The UK”.

Don’t get me wrong – I admire the guy so much that if there were a Badly Drawn Boy plush toy it would be right there in my pillow every night. And if it came with interchangeable wool hats, then I would be the happier for it (jeez… talk about tarnishing one’s reputation! How far will this go?). But that particular CD is one of the biggest misconceptions ever since someone gave Scarlett Johansson the go-ahead for “covering” Tom Waits.

And now that I have brought the wool-hatted composer from the British Isles to mind, what I want you to imagine is what would happen if he went clubbing one night, met Syd Barrett at some mad one, and tripping out of his arse he crashed the night at Lou Reed’s. And recorded an EP before passing out. If you could indeed imagine the whole scenario, then: A) You need immediate assistance, and B) You will know what to expect from the debut EP that has been issued by this new Uruguayan artist going by the ceremonious name of Erika Chuwoki.

Erika Chuwoki

Erika Chuwoki

“La Corporación” [The Corporation] is a five-song EP. Moving within the stylistic parameters insinuated above (which the band aptly terms “pop psicobélico”), the album finely interweaves personal and collective appreciations on life, love and every single thing that goes “bump!” in the night. Yes, my little grasshoppers, that includes sex – the crash of romantic crushes is studied enthusiastically on “Amar El Mal” [To Love Evil], one of the noisiest, more memorable cuts of the whole disc.

Plus, the EP has a song named “Aguante La Puta Que Nos Parió” (an obscenity I can’t translate because merely looking for an English equivalent makes me blush and cry in my tea) – the kind of title that only Harlan Ellison’s psychopath music twin could dare use on an album cover. The phrase, incidentally, is not mentioned on the song once. As if the band were inviting a snicker in the finest rock & roll tradition, and then defying the snickerers by saying, “You morons, you judged something by the cover and not by its actual content”. Placenta, pleasure, placebo indeed…

The fist single to be culled from La Corporación is the song “Armstrong”, which makes sense – it is a metaphorical tour de force, eliciting the most fervent performance from the whole band (look for the fretwork near the end). The lyrics (which are quite reminiscent of some of Andy Partridge’s most characteristic pieces) include the interesting lines “confiás en la ingravidez de tu sonrisa al llorar” [you trust in the weightlessness of your smile when you cry], although I reckon that the closing verse is the one I would garble in a notebook if I were an adolescent rawk fan who wanted to denounce Jesse J for her vile crimes against the world of music: “pero esto no te importa/y vas llevando sin querer plantar/una bandera hecha mierda/que nunca puede flamear” [but that means nothing to you/and you carry, and will never plant/a fucked-up flag/that could never wave].

All in all, this is an enjoyable debut. Once you get past the samples from Spaniard movies that herald “Aguante La Puta Que Nos Parió” (which for reasons I can’t ever fathom out are the epitome of inventiveness for many a Uruguayan artist – Sordromo did exactly the same thing on the song “Vuelve”), there is nothing that would tempt you to climb the high heavens and turn the disc into a Frisbee.

This is the download link for the whole EP. No sign-up, no login, nothing to be paid. Get your copy before the Uruguayan government bans it from the Web owing to its cover which is “loosely based” on a popular wine that is made in the country.

Check the band’s MySpace profile.

{ 2 trackbacks }

Badly Drawn Bo’s “Promises” and “Nothing’s Gonna Change Your Mind” (Videos) | MusicKO
February 24, 2011 at 1:27 pm
Month In Review – February 2011 | MusicKO
March 1, 2011 at 11:30 am

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