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The Montevideo Connection (I)

Life is dynamics. One day you find a site or a blog, another day you start to like it, and maybe, the next day you end up writing on it. That’s what I celebrate just after turning 29 yesterday from the close-to-spring-but-not-so-warm-yet Montevideo at the very moment I´m writing my first post fot TNLF.

In this city, the capital of the tiny but still south american soccer champions Uruguay, is where I live and work as a music journalist and editor in newsroom for a national newspaper. Given the nature of the job, I usually like to spend time searching for new music. That´s what brought me to here. So, what´s the main goal here? We´ll see that but as a start, I would like to show you some of the stuff that is moving the indie scene here.

Montevideo is a city where not more than a million people live. His cultural scene is vibrant but can also be defined as a little conservative. There´s little places for new bands to develop, but in the other hand, internet and the actual economical scenario are giving them more chances to show what they can do. In Montevideo, indie rock and pop (both areas of my preference) are still in a very emergent level, and have above them other genres like more massive rock and murga, a very popular combination of spanish songs with social critics. But the movement is good.

One good proof of that are the Hablan por la Espalda guys. These big Black Flag fans are together since 1996 and have developed a more richer range of influences such as the disturbing psychodelia activated by frenetic hammonds, the blues and most recently, local influences as the candombe, a typical percussion rythm that any uruguayan can recognise everywhere.

So, two years ago, HPLE got their first record edited by a uruguayan local label (all their previous works came out thanks to indie labels in Brazil, Argentina and even Germany and Switzerland). That can be observed as something more than a coincidence: this is the first record in which they do a solid mix of all those influences. The songs of “Macumba” send you to a desert and apocalyptic highway where they can suddenly appear like a truck full of The Doors fans driving recklessly at 140 km/h. And some other time, they can activate a danceable, corporal, mystic voodoo experience of rock and local roots. They never stop playing so lots of nights, in the apparent calm of the city, HPLE can be throwing one of their sinister parties in small, dark venues. So, there you go, hope you enjoy and know that is an honor to sign this first piece for you. There´s a lot more to hear from this corner of the world.

[audio:http://thenewlofi.com/wp-content/audio/2011/09/03%20Vamos%20a%20movernos.mp3|titles=Hablan Por La Espalda – “Vamos a movernos”]
Hablan Por La Espalda – “Vamos a movernos”

[audio:http://thenewlofi.com/wp-content/audio/2011/09/06%20El%20Ciervo.mp3|titles=Hablan Por La Espalda – “El Ciervo”]
Hablan Por La Espalda – “El Ciervo”

[audio:http://thenewlofi.com/wp-content/audio/2011/09/13%20Macumba.mp3|titles=Hablan Por La Espalda – “Macumba”]
Hablan Por La Espalda – “Macumba”