La Lucha Constante
It’s still slightly baffling to look at bygone multinational musical movements like post-punk with the benefit of hindsight (and armloads of compilation records). That small cells of kids in places as far-flung as South America and Eastern Europe could all have gotten wind of punk records in a timely manner, and then independently decided to take those stimuli and move in darker, more disturbing, more electronically bent directions is some kind of magic trick. These days, with the internet’s instant distribution, it’d be surprising if microtrends didn’t automatically vault over borderlines. While Brooklyn or Denton, Texas, get the blame and/or credit for chillwave’s birth, it’s the world’s now. Proof comes with La Lucha Constanteby Venezualan loop manipulator Ezequiel “Cheky” Bertho, who dubs himself Algodón Egipcio (Spanish for “Egyptian cotton,” just to be confusing).
There are a few distinct advantages to listening to this sort of thing in Spanish over English (for a non-Spanish speaker, at least). There’s no need to decipher mushy vocals and concurrently no need to tolerate stunted adolescent lyrics. Bertho puts his vocals far up in the mix, anyway, demonstrating that the Spanish tongue is mellifluous in a way that English isn’t always. And isn’t it more fun to picture a truly exotic South American getaway than a subway ride to Coney Island? The beats are sometimes physical and house-influenced. Some portions sound, like El Guincho did recently, like Animal Collective’s tropicalia influences boomeranging back around. It’ll probably just be fodder for a genre retrospective collection one day, but it sounds pretty ok.