Arts & Culture

Whenever the Clash Speak in Spanish

By Anand Balasubrahmanyan March 22, 2010


Chilean electro producer Matias Aguayo had carved out a niche for himself as a sleek minimalist, an artist with a knack for profoundly spare dance floor jams. But then came last year's Ay Ay Ay, a left field love letter to the human voice.

Matias transformed clips of chatter and whimsical a capella into a joyful mess. It's a record made by a passionate goofball, filled with WTF moments that stun and make you giggle. It's the anti-dubstep, a dirge free party that punctures the self-serious.

Dude's at Nectar tonight and I'm stoked.



Aguayo—with his deep surf guitar voice, sparkling glockenspiels, and whimsical exclamations—sings mostly in his native Spanish. But sometimes a small phrase of pop English babbles out of the mix, and you feel like a Chilean kid probably does whenever the Clash speak in Spanish.

Sometimes Matias brings in afro-cuban rhythms and his sampled voice takes on Ladysmith Black Mambazo feel. “Koro Koro” does this the best, with Aguayo alternating between Spanish and nonsense. The song builds into an amiable bustle of voices, each with a secret melody.

My favorite track is “Rollerskate,” a masterpiece of bass vocals. The song trundles along, rollerskates slung over it's shoulder, humming buoyantly to itself about, um, rollerskating. Matias unleashes a giddy choir that's impossible to turn down. The song is smiling, and it won't take long before you join in too.

Matias Aguayo plays the Nectar Lounge this Monday, March 22. 412 N 36th St, Seattle, WA
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