"The Uruguayan Prince” Monocle
RIYL: Tropicalismo, Candombe, Tima Maia, Jorge Drexler, Baile Funk
Uruguayan singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and producer Martín Buscaglia returns with the new album Basta de música (enough with the music), a dazzling and often surprising record of folk, electronica with a traditional Uruguayan shake.
A key figure in the Southern Cone contemporary music scene for some years now, his chameleon like approach to music, matching a range of different Latin American genres with psychedelic grooves, has repeatedly earned him the moniker of ‘Montevideo's Beck’.
His variable approach to music is perhaps best demonstrated in the singles that have preceded this album. The bouncy, uptempo Me Enamoré is followed by the sweet, lo-fi folk of Para Vencer. The third and final single, the bass heavy and glitchy Chuza, is yet another change in pace.
In the past Martín has recorded and played with a wide diversity of Latin artists like Jorge Drexler, Arnaldo Antunes, Julieta Venegas, Leo Masliah, Jaime Roos, Juana Molina, Jackson Browne and Os Mulheres Negras. He has also composed for Theatre, for Carnival and played Salsa bass on cruises of the Caribbean, and even acted as “host” with Paul McCartney for Caetano Veloso’s shows in Uruguay.
“The album was recorded in analogue fashion”, explains Buscaglia ”everything you hear was actually played manually, including effects, drum machines, and programming. Some parts of that programming were assembled with combinations of keyboard presets recorded with microphones, others by finger drumming, and others using prehistoric samplers.”
A renowned guitarist, on this album, Buscaglia turns to piano and percussion: “The way I play the piano oscillates between a bubonic plague-ridden Bola de Nieve and Hugo Fattoruso with a sunstroke on the Kon Tiki.”
However the biggest influence on this latest record was the three years he spent doing a radio show – "La Casa del Transformador" – for Gladys Palmera.
As Martin explains, “Those broadcasts slowly but surely shaped a certain island and jungle vibe.”
Despite his numerous connections none of the musicians who appear on this new album are what you would describe as famous.
"As Hollywood has shown us on numerous occasions, the more stars are in a movie, the higher the chances it’s an unnecessary jumble." Hence the sobriety. “If there’s one famous guest on it, it’s probably Milan Cardozo, an 80-year-old Paraguayan harpist who lives in the jungle of Misiones, and who collaborates on a couple of songs with the harp he built himself.”