This week, Epicentro is celebrating their second edition and it’s cause for celebration for everybody who likes current music in Latin America. This is one of the most forward thinking festivals in the world; one that integrates music with networking, discussion panels and keynote speeches. Everything is done in the hopes of bringing people together for music’s common good, as well as an excuse to map what’s going on and what needs to be better.
Right at the core, there’s the music, of course. Since the first edition of Epicentro, Costa Rica has given us acts that have made an impact outside its borders, putting the country on the proverbial map. So you don’t need us telling you why you shouldn’t miss favorites like Raido, The Waldners or Ave Negra. It’s almost mandatory you see them on their home turf. Which is why we prepared this little guide to some of the must see out of towners.
The Parrots (Spain)
It’s no secret that Spain has recently gone crazy with a garage rock fever, just ask Hinds and Los Nastys for proof. The Parrots are a particularly bratty trio who relish trashy 60s melodies drenched in reverb and badly mic’ed instruments played at top volume. This should be one of the most fun sets of the fest.
Balancer (Colombia/Puerto Rico/NYC)
Colombians and Puerto Ricans get together in this New York band that is making waves. They successfully crowdfunded their Tipsoo album, which our own Cheky has described as “feel good indie pop informed by psychdelia.” Needless to say, their tunes rock, as does their contribution to the Talking Heads tribute Sin Mucho Sentido. Their minimal take on music will have your ears glued to their set.
EL Último Vecino (Spain)
The last we heard from Spanish sound revivalist Gerard Alegre Dória, he played NRMAL in Mexico City, so it’s safe to say the band is currently conquering the American continent one festival at a time (I apologize for the choice of words, something came over me…). The Eighties-inspired synthpop act debuted almost two years ago with its eponymous full-length album, making great strides thanks to their impeccable songwriting, as seen and heard on “Tu Casa Nueva.”
The Mexican indie-rom specialist seems to be on a quest to win over the heart of every lovelorn music fan in the world. Fresh from a stint at SXSW, Caloncho is sure to make an impact on festival goers. Given the chance, he could become this generation’s balladeer; it remains to be seen whether he will treat Epicentro like a modern day OTI Festival or not.
ÉL Mató Un Policía Motorizado
Thanks to music that combines the heady with the heartfelt, as well as touring non-stop; Él Mató are fast becoming cult sensations. So far, they have been rewarded with a U.S. deal from household label Nacional, as well as hundreds of fans in many countries, and more joining the ranks every day. Blending a minimalist style that is equal parts Interpol and Spacemen 3, with a very Argentine way of writing melodic vocal hooks; Santiago and cohorts will have the diehards sing along with their memorable songs, while those unfamiliar will be perking up their ears during their whole set.