Free Download: Presidente’s Chuca Chuca LP [VEN]

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A few months ago Presidente-–the artistic name of Entorno Doméstico founder Heberto Añezreleased an EP that included what would become the first single for his next record, “Sólo.” Both the track and the video were an all-out vintage affair, leaning heavily on ’80s synth pop, chill-out vibes, and some glorious drum machines. Now we know that “Sólo” was just the tip of the iceberg, with the release of the full-length Chuca Chuca, a highly conceptual album meant to give you a sonic tour through the ages, while remaining closely tied to Añez’s beloved Maracaibo.

Listening to “Solo” it wasn’t hard to try to box Presidente into the almost fetishistic, retro movement going on these days. Nonetheless, I’m glad I was proven wrong. In Chuca Chuca, Presidente creates an incredibly smart, well produced, and well curated record that manages to paint a vivid picture of all the things—both geographic and artistic—Añez reveres. The opening track, “Miseridad,” is reminiscent of the era-defining, rock sound Soda Stereo crafted two decades ago, with Añez’s raspy alto giving the song the same sense of severity juxtaposed with calmness that you can hear in “Sólo.” While these two are close in their decades, “Live Sushi” transports the listener to the ’70s Latin lounge/bossa nova days, complete with a wind section, chimes, and cowbell.

It sounds like he jumps aimlessly from era to era, but it’s all actually very calculated to create a soundscape of emotions. He places “Requiém,” a piano ballad that sounds like it should be playing at the lobby of an expensive midtown hotel, as prelude to the ’90s rocker, “El 97.” He also features the big band sound in “Nudo de Espejos” and the R&B-flavored “Breve tratado de la illusion.” According to his band page on Entorno Doméstico, with this album he wanted to compose songs that sounded like they came from their particular eras, and I have to say he accomplished what he set out to do. All the while tying the record to Maracaibo (Chuca Chuca is the name of a children’s barber shop), in what he says is a “face to face dialogue with the past.”