From 2008 to 2012, Chilean record label Cazador helped establish the country as a creative hub for underground music. Their roster is a veritable court of talented people upping the game. Founded 10 years after the creation of the iconic Quemasucabeza label, Cazador picked up where the old guard was leaving off with fresh blood.
In 2012, however, the label hit a wall and ceased to exist, going out with a bang in the form of a concert. That should’ve been the end of the story, but the label has just announced they’re back in the game with a brand new roster of artists, including Bronko Yotte, Tus Amigos Nuevos, and Círculo Polar. They’re kickstarting their new lease of life with a show at Centro El Cerro on March 27, the same venue that housed their farewell party.
As they begin a new chapter, we take a look back at some of the best and most influential acts the label spawned.
The band now records for Chilean indie kingpins Quemasucabeza, shining as one of the most brilliant bands in the label’s stable nowadays, but back in the day, Cazador gave them their first shot. On their first album Nortinas War, Protistas were a folked up lo-fi combo that referenced Nirvana at their most unplugged. But they were already hinting at what they would become, with excellent songwriting chops and a fresh ear for melodies.
With apologies to El Guincho (whose Pop Negro was licensed to Cazador for distribution in Chile), Dënver are probably the most high-profile act on the label. While their start in the music world was a very grassroots affair, Cazador put out their breakthrough album Música, Gramática, Gimnasia, which helped them gain international attention and success.
Chile is ripe with synthpop bands, and Adrianigual could be the unsung hero of the genre’s Chilean practitioners. Endorsed by Alex Anwandter (who produced the debut and contributed to the follow-up), Adrianigual crafts exquisite electronic songs with impeccable hooks, as exemplified by joints like “Arde Santiago” and “Me Gusta La Noche,” both from the Cazador record Éxito Mundial.
Fother Muckers is one of the earliest bands that helped establish Cazador as a force to be reckoned with. Fronted by Los Mil Jinetes’ Cristóbal Briceño, Fother Muckers garnered a big following thanks to their pop/folk/rock fusion, poignant political lyrics, and tons of humor. Their formula touched on their homeland’s sociopolitical history while remaining contemporary and lighthearted enough for audiences to lose their minds.
Los Mil Jinetes
You could say that this is the band that started it all; after all, Cazador began by putting out Los Mil Jinetes records. The duo of Cristóbal Briceño and Andrés Zanetta helped put the label on the map, and in turn, made them household names in the Chilean music landscape. Their folky pop project, full of joyous and gentle songs, remained delicate and organic throughout their run on Cazador.