In the coming days (if not months) we will be awash with tributes to Gustavo Cerati because of his recent passing. It’s not like he doesn’t deserve them—the man had a deep impact on millions of music lovers—but a lot of people would love to be associated with such a legendary person. Unlike many who will grace us with their homages to the Soda Stereo leader, Apachi O’Raspi pays respect to him using a hashtag on his newest song “Reflejos”: #GustavoNuncaMorirá.
Apache’s music is deeply in debt with Cerati’s, as “Reflejos” proves it. It balances a new wave sensibility with a debonaire attitude and romantic elegance; in turns its soft, loungey and noisy. Luckily, O’Raspi’s stuff is not a simple throwback to the heyday of Cono Sur rock. The arrangements are as trippy as psych pop get, with a violin melody sweeping in like a wave to gently change keys and direction only to get the whole thing back to the first part of the song. “Reflejos” is a microsymphony that would make Brian Wilson proud, had he spent some time hanging out at Buenos Aires clubs in the late Seventies.
Apache is no newcomer. The album of which “Reflejos” comes from, Ven Para Allá, is his third (it’s slated to come out later this month). Produced by Erick Espartacus, it promises to be a firm step forward for the half-fi genre O’Raspi founded, as well as a synthesis of what he has learned in his time playing with bands such as Suave As Hell and Los Amparito, and years playing in festivals and different shows.
More than a tribute, Apache makes the biggest vow an artist the status of Cerati can get: He acknowledges his influence to make forward-thinking sounds.