Latin America's "reverb" musicians are first class world artists

Latin America's "reverb" musicians are first class world artists

2 weeks ago, LatinoAmerica Shoegazer was rebranded "sonidos que permanecen", "the sounds that will remain". For this occasion, Jairo Manzur wrote a great Editorial: ¿No hay nuevos sonidos? o ¿Nos estamos quedando sin etiquetas?

First of all congratulations for the rebranding of the blog. It gives a clear mission statement and underline nicely its philosophy. The new graphic identity is also very nice. I know from corresponding with Jairo that we have a similar view on many things, and thankfully also many differences.

These differences are to be cherished, as they help to discover many things and progress as a person.

Imagine if everybody dressed the same, thought the same, ate the same, listened to the same music! This uniformity would be a nightmare in itself. Many authors have been trying to depict this situation only to show the horror of it: Michael Moorcock in its books where Order (as opposed to Chaos) was a complete immobility of things an thoughts; The twilight dimension (black and white version) with an episode where a not very nice man wake up in a world where everybody is like himself; and I seem to recall an episode of futurama along the same  line. There would many more example to be sure.

All this to say that I do not agree with people thinking that Latin America culture is a second rate culture. Let’s take a few examples to demonstrate:

  • Culture: Well Latin America, unlike North America (apart from the native indians), has culture that pan out centuries. The mexican pyramides, the monuments that can be found in the Andies are world treasures, with a very rich history and culture.
  • People: Well all the people from south America are some of the nicest I know. They are mostly warm and open and really fun to be around.
  • Food: well I eat Fajitas and Tacos, and love them. The same way that I eat burgers, pasta, Thai cuisine, Sushi, and of course (being French), cuisine française. Mexican food does not strike me as being second rate. Churascaya restaurant in Rio de Janeiro where maybe the best meat restaurant I ever ate in (and I went to Texas).
  • Wine: some of my favourite wine are Chilean and Argentinian. The quality of these is second to none, and that’s coming to a French man.

These are but some example, certainly a bit silly. People more knowleageable would be able to add literature (Paulo Coelho, Gabriel Garcia Marquez, ...), cinema, TV and other. The purpose is just to illustrate that any outsider can identify many things that demonstrate that Latin America has so much to offer. 

So why would any one think that you are a second rate culture? It is true that some of the economies have not always been developed in the best way possible, and that the economic power is not what it could have been (yet). But a culture in not an economic power. It is all the rest and you can be proud to have a fantastic array of cultures.

And now to the Core subject: music! Well, samba, salsa, bossa nova, andean music, mariachi, tango, rumba is played and danced all over the planet. It is one of the richest, warmest, happiest body of music in the world.

While not have been promoted and showcased on MTV as much as other moreUS/UK genres, it may be listened by more people actually. I know that in Paris, there are many more bars where you can hear latina music than rock music. It is a much happier music, more fitted to these locations and for partying. Latin music makes people want to dance.

It is the same for Indie music. While Shoegaze started in the UK, it has spread all over the world. I was living in France in the 90’s and the love for this genre was high. But, apart from “Welcome to Julian”, there was no great Shoegaze or indie bands. And it was the case in most countries in the world with maybe one or two good local bands. People with more knowledge to the history of the scene may correct this statement, but I doubt to be far from the truth.

Noise Artists was started  to discover and promote “reverb” music I love from all over the world, first discovering bands from Asia (Japan and Thailand). Thanks to LatinoAmerica Shoegazer (now "Sonidos que Permanecen”), and also thanks to Jairo's personal recommandations, I was introduced to bands whose music is, again, second to none.

The quality of bands like Camille Claudel (Brazil), Vaya Futuro (Mexico), Sexores (Chile), Stellamaris (Brazil) to name but a few, is just amazing. The music is excellent, and made better by the cultural idiosyncrasies included.

Listening Frederico from Camille Claudel singing in Brazilian Portuguese, the most musical language in the world to my ears, is a thrill in itself. All the bits of tradition that are used and included make the music different, better. There  is a video of Vaya Futuro singing in a hotel room, and the quality of the music is exceptionnal.

There is a long list of supberb bands: Flame, Mint Field, Sadfields, Asalto al Parque Zoologico, un.real, Columpios al Suelo, and Jairo recommandations' list is not depleted yet. I look forward discovering many more, and promoting the one I love most in Noise Artists (I can only do a few, doing this in my spare time, which is not infinite unfortunately).

As a conclusion, it is a delight that Sonidos que permanecen stands up for his fellow latinoamericanos. They deserve to be promoted, loved and supported. The music from all these bands is world class and to be enjoyed immensely. They are full citizen of the world of “reverb” and will be part of Noise Artists, now and in the future.

Russell Hiscox, the eternal teenage Shoegazer

Russell Hiscox, the eternal teenage Shoegazer

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