This is a selection of new music from Argentina. Most of it comes from Buenos Aires; all of it is great. While Argentina continues to sell itself as the home of tango and hard rock, there are a ton of artists there trying to make something interesting, often taking cues from seminal Western bands such as The Velvet Underground, Silver Apples, and Jesus And The Mary Chain–but also from legendary Argentine artists such as Andres Calamaro, Pescado Rabioso and La Trastienda. Hopefully this mixtape will act as a starting point for you to investigate these artists further, and enjoy a wonderful scene of underground Argentinian music.
Sounds And Colours is a UK-based publication about Latin American music and culture, with a focus on South America.
Curated by Russ Slater, of Sounds And Colours
Valentin y los Volcanes – “Al Baile de Ilusiones”
It seems only right we start with one of the stalwarts of Buenos Aires’ indie scene. Valentin y los Volcanes have been playing rock inspired by Sonic Youth and The Vaselines for a few years now. “Al Baile de Ilusiones” is a demo which sounds too good for that status. Their new album, Play Al Viejo Walkman can be listened to on their album.
El Mató a un Polícia Motorizado – “Viejo Ebrio y Perdido”
Possibly one of the biggest success stories on this mixtape, El Mató recently spent some time in Europe, playing the Primavera Sound Festival in Barcelona, amongst other things. They play rock music in the best possible way: rough and raucous.
Go-Neko! – “Go-Kraut!”
There’s no doubting the krautrock roots on this one, yet this could also easily be one of those extended grooves Mogwai used to be so good at getting into. Their 2008 album, Una Especie de Mutante, is full of this stuff.
Woodie Alien – “Cosas de Grandes”
Probably my personal favourite new Argentine band, Woodie Alien sit somewhere between Flaming Lips and The Earlies, but with something their own in the arrangements in vocal harmonies. Song after song, they manage to mine warmth out of every note. “Cosas de Grande” is a song, like many on their Yee-Ha! album, that manages to have an infectious lilting melody that suddenly takes off into the stratosphere, leaving you feeling a bit dizzy afterwards.
Modular – “Perdidos en el Espacio”
Snatches of Stereolab, Psapp and Basil Kirchen punctuate a jolly electronic journey–the kind which Modular like to go on often. This is clearly a band in love with the synthesiser.
A Banda de Turistas – “El Asombroso Misterio de la No Materia”
A Banda de Turistas normally stick to a winning formula of pop and rock these days, generally hiding the experimental roots that birthed the band. Here is one of their earlier compositions, showing lots more krautrock love!
Federico Falcón – “Desde el Fondo Mi Amor”
While traveling through some lesser-known spots in Argentina, I was handed a CD by Federico Falcón, an artist from Luis Beltran (one of the few on this mixtape not from Buenos Aires). The CD, Páramo, instantly became one of my all-time favourites, a beautiful mix of passion, open spaces, experimentation and interesting arrangements that never stop being so. This guy, and this group, should be known by far more people!
El Festival de los Viajes – “El Bautismo”
Mamushka Dogs is a bit of an institution in Buenos Aires; it is a record label responsible for releasing records by some of the newest and finest BA has to offer. Each record reflects the quality control of the label, and best of all, is able to be downloaded for free on the label’s website. El Festival de los Viajes is one of the most interesting bands on the label.
107 Faunos – “Pretemporada”
A pure injection of indie pop, taken off their recent Creo Que Te Amo album, which is full of this kind of stuff. You can download it for free from their website at http://www.107faunos.com.ar/.
Chau Fan – “Boletos de Tren”
Acoustic goodness from this boy/girl duo. A really beautiful song, “Boletos de Tren” (translating as “Train Tickets”) sees the pair share vocals, pluck guitars, and throw in some harmonica and xylophone, all to delightful effect!
Puna Punch – “Piedras”
A hazy pop song with the elegance of The Aluminium Group, this is taken from Puna Punch’s first EP (simply titled The EP), a sign of some great things to come.
Hacia Dos Veranos – “Despertar”
This is the first song on Canciones Pegajosas, a compilation of indie music from Argentina put together by the great people at the Zonaindie blog. It’s a great place for discovering new Argentine music (http://www.cancionespegajosas.org/index-en.html), such as this whoosy instrumental number from Hacia Dos Veranos. It’s hard not to feel like you’re in Scotland in the late ’80s while listening to this, with its overtones of Aztec Camera or Orange Juice.
Axel Krygier – Vuelo”
The renaissance man of Argentine music, Krygier has played in bands for years and written for theatre and tango productions, but it’s his solo music which is now getting all the plaudits. This restless electronic tune is taken from his 2003 album, Secreto y Malibu, a series of intoxicating plays on Latin musical forms. His recent album, Pesebre, takes his music to the next level and is without doubt one of the best albums of 2010.
Maxi Trusso – “All Those Mornings”
Here, Trusso somehow mixes Roy Orbison, German electro and Argentine folk music; it’s quite an achievement!
Flavia & The Motonets – “Hombre Tomate”
Always idiosyncratic, you never know where Flavia & The Motonets are heading next. Akin to listening to Daniel Johnston or The Shaggs, though perhaps even more confusing!