Touching down from Bogota, Columbia, Meridian Brothers are here to shoot their deliciously weird and loose psycho-tropical groove!
At its core this is the one-man family band of restlessly experimental musical director, adventurous guitarist and legend of the Bogota subterranea Eblis Álvarez; yet on stage Meridian Brothers scale up to a five-person rocking squad fit to hot-wire festival stages… With every last limb busy on an array of synths, brass, percussion, electronics and peculiar props, it’s a rich and strange, BPM-surfing dance floor concoction all garnished by Álvarez’s slithery, effects-laden croon and freewheeling six-string deviations.
Far from a mere 21st century update of the melodies and rhythms of cumbia, porro and salsa, Meridian Brothers ingeniously do things the other way round: Alvarez’s own idiosyncratic soundpool (honed across years of splenetic cassette release activity on the independent Columbian scene) forms the template for a style undoubtedly steeped in the potent mores of those traditional musics, but also venturing deep down into the same playtime weirdo-rock cavities as latter day Deerhoof, the vintage film soundtrack archive, the dub-bass echo chamber and the laced late-sixties sonic crop harvested by Silver Apples/Presidents Of The USA et al… all brewed up and boiled down to perfection in an overcrowded Bogota bedroom.
Debut album Desesperanza (Hopelessness) came out in 2012 on legendary outernationalist London imprint Soundway: the album is dedicated exclusively to salsa and tropical music, twisting it through a dark and theatrical soundscape but never abandoning the traditional aesthetics. They released Salvadora Robot in 2014 and Los Suicidas in 2015, both album were well received by the press. Their fourth album ¿Dónde Estás Maria? appeared in 2017.