Every now and then, and not very often, we run into a collective, a label, a scene or a project of like minded peeps who unite with a sole purpose, and its results: fucking stellar! We’ve seen happen from Tijuana’s Nortec Collective to the Riudosón crew, from Buenos Aires’ Zizek Club to Santiago de Chile’s indie rock scene. Well folks, Costa Rica is breaking new ground and Sí San José, a brand new scene that began flourishing its musical crafts in a shanty old house in Curridabat, Costa Rica (recording without digital equipment but a a mixing board and a four track cassette recorder!!), exploded onto our radar with this killer Sí San José compilation. Nine Cosa Rican bands with two tracks each for a fucking superb indie-rock-heavy 18-track comp, featuring Niño Koi, Monte, Las Robertas, Polar, The Tower, The Great Wilderness, Los Problemas, Zópilot, and Continental. Free download all of it here:
Below read our Q&A with founder and producer of Sí San José, Vito Petruzzelli (aka Victor Perez).
So what’s the idea behind Sí San José? Is it a label? A collective?
Sí San José was named in homage to Brian Eno‘s No New York. I wanted to create an “audio documentary” of a time, a place, and the people who make it all happen — outside of the studio realm. It seems like now, after the recording process, Sí San José has taken on a larger meaning to describe the scene itself, like a super-driven mentality that the guys and girls have down there.
How did this project begin?
In May of 2009, some of the electronic music I was making found its way down to Costa Rica, via MySpace. I was included on a few compilations from the electronic scene down there, and they eventually invited me to play a show on the roof of a hostel down there. I went, and it was an amazing time. I wound up meeting some really great musicians and artists and stayed in touch with them. I decided to return to San José in January of 2011, which is when I wound up at a storefront acoustic show by the band The Great Wilderness. This got me really interested in the country’s DIY/indie scene, so I started asking around, found out about some really exciting bands, and around May of 2011, I decided to pack up my things and go record these groups.
Did y’all purposely NOT use computers or electronics for recording the compilation?
Yes and no. Originally I was planning on bringing my Logic rig down there, but the airlines wanted something like $800 for the excess/overweight baggage nonsense. I had been working earlier in 2011 with live sound through my role as an engineer with WFMU in Jersey City, New Jersey, and I had been getting really excited by the prospect of not being hooked to a computer while recording, so it was really just the combination of money issues plus the desire to fuse some sort of aesthetic “realness” into the documenting of what is truly a homespun, DIY scene.
Is it the first year you guys all collaborate on this?
Yes. For some of us (principally, the production team of myself, Daniel Ortuño, and Adrian Poveda), it was the first time we had ever met in our lives.
Who’s house is it?
Our friend Lufis, who plays bass in the band Los Problemas (who’re featured on the compilation).
How did these 9 bands come together?
With San José being the size that it is, most people seem to know each other, especially within the music/art community. Some of the groups in the compilation shared members, and other groups had relatives in other groups…It was a real web of connection, and I just used Facebook to exploit it all, haha.
What’s the future plans for Sí San José?
Right now we’re just trying to spread the word about the compilation. There are some really diverse acts on it – from instrumental post-rock to shoegaze to noise/sludge metal to experimental pop – so we’re hoping it’ll find its way into those niches. There’s a documentary coming out about the recording process soon, by the phenomenal Costa Rican artist Diego Arias, and members of the groups have expressed interest in playing shows to support Sí San José – really reaming up – but time will tell.