Saturday, 24 July 2010

Deepest, darkest electro from Peru

I just got a MySpace friend request from some girl from Peru. She didn't send a note, but it looked like she was part of a band. So I clicked about her profile and discovered that she's the new singer of a fantastic electro-techno band from Lima called SonoRadio, and I was hooked in seconds. Their squelchy, bouncy take on the European electroclash beats that are currently littering the lower regions of the charts were complimented perfectly by Amanda Veneno's breathlessly reedy and naive voice. It sounded familiar, yet completely from another planet.

I had to know more. Turns out SonoRadio formed back in 2004 as a slightly more traditional four-piece alt-pop act. They had guitars and regular song shapes, but were also instilled with a healthy slice of utter bonkersness that made them look a good prospect even back then. They played their first show two years later at the Bear Bar in Lima's up-and-coming Miraflores neighbourhood, causing an instant stir. The following year they were voted breakthrough band of 2007 by the local newspaper El Commercio, and their debut EP sold out immediately, earning them slots on both local TV and South American MTV.

Around this time they started to take a more electro turn and ditched the guitars and a couple of members to embark on a much more beatsy outlook. Now manned by singer Joy and sound demon Danny eM, although the VJ Xomatok joined the fold this year to make some cracking dynamic visuals to back up the pulsating uber-pop sounds.But then just as it was all about to take off, Joy left to see the world on a cruise, and Amanda Veneno was drafted in to add a whole new sultry flavour to the SonoRadio sound.

Anyone who's been to Peru will know that there's a lot more to their music scene than the endless panpipe bands that get sent over here to busk in the shopping centres of Europe. They've got an enormous fluro-techno scene - indeed I've been to some fabulous lung-draining raves up in the oxygen-lite heights of the Andes - and their metal scene is dark, violent and intense. But this is the first bit of pure and pounding pop that I've heard from this mountainous and exciting country - and I'm sure I've only just scratched the surface with SonoRadio.

So you see, when you get those random MySpace add requests from folks you've never heard of, at least give them the benefit of a quick look, because you never know what joys that may uncover.

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