Some music takes a while to brew its way into your soul. As with much of the shoegaze genre, I tend to avoid the sonic indifference and casual cacophony of overly emotional ballads, preferring my music to energize, vitalize and generally pull me up from my usually manic funk of ups and down, into a trance of raging dance-aholic fits.
But, not everyday is a rager and not everyday is worth a booty shaking juke jam. Instead, you sometimes find yourself taking care of a friend of a friend’s apartment with two cats, listening to Kate Bush albums and raiding their fridge for chocolate and beer. Yes, even Latinos, if not especially angsty folk from down under, have reason to get kind emo. Venezuela’s avant art collective Tan Frío el Verano is no such exception. And if anything, these guys have even more reason to be a little down in the dumps than anybody else in the world.
Let’s just say first world privileges and first world problems tend to pale in comparison to those of our developing world partners, so when you find a dedicated collective of visual artists, graphic designers, and musicians coming together anywhere that isn’t the U.S., throwing their heart and soul into a massive project with sweeping scope and narrative intent, there’s cause to celebrate. Tan Frío el Verano captures the heart of an era — it’s modernity, it’s surprising interplay of classical sounds, instruments and juxtaposing rock guitar, drums and electronic elements, coupled with stark imagery, make for the most complete and intent made sound and art instillation I’ve witnessed in a long time.
With influences in electronica, post rock, ambient noise, trance, and ’70s classic rock, this collective boasts a visual and sonic style incomparable to most anything out there, yes bands like Radiohead, Sugar Rós, Chicago’s Wilco, M. Ward and Mogwai have been noted as their inspirations, with just cause, but none of these band’s fast food quality quite compares to the trailing depth that Tan Frío el Verano offers. Tan Frío el Verano literally will paint you a picture, throw you a film screening, whip you up a design and bombard your ears with a soundtrack to life, drawing a picture of a languid life, full of soft intervals of contemplative pause.
Whether you download their free EP Invierno, a subtle ride through vagrant emotions, or their production of Venezuelan artist El soundtrack de tus historias, Vol. 1, a massive arching trek through a desert landscape, or the collective’s epic, Pulsar Nébula remixes featuring remixes of La Vida Bohéme among the many, you won’t be disappointed. I just wish I could see their audiovisual show and take in the full effect, but imagination is still stands as a powerful tool and the collective unconscious still stands as promising tie. Since there’s a lot of things happening here, I’ll just recommend you check out “Lego” on the El Soundtrack de tu historias, Días de Septiembre production for the most complete sample of what this collectives angsty riffing, all of Invierno tapers experimentation well, while the piano and trumpet work throughout, simply elevate and elate.