Shindig Magazine [uk]: Artículo "Sinfonías Para Terrícolas"
JEANETTE LEECH goes back to the future
Named after a Moog synthesizer, Modular is one of those very rare musical endeavours: their technicolour curves offer a fine homage to the past, yet it’s no simple wallow in nostalgia. This Argentinean band gave us one of this year’s sweetest confections, the Elefant Records album Sinfonías Para Terrícolas.
Originally a duo comprising Mariana Badaracco and Pablo Dahy, Modular formed 12 years ago in Buenos Aires, making music, they say, with “retrofuturistic airs and fantastic splashes, and a touch of kitsch”.
Their earliest influences – easy listening and toytown psychedelia – saturated their fine 2009 debut album, Fantasías De Un Robot Psicodélico. Now, expanded into a six-piece groove machine, Modular also has a swollen grab bag of inspirations on their new album, from Burt Bacharach to Delia Derbyshire via Os Mutantes and Eumir Deodato. However, it’s the band’s concentration on specific details that makes the project so interesting. For instance, they are big fans of the work of Joe Raposo, who composed the classic Sesame Street theme tune and many of its best-known songs, like ‘C Is For Cookie’. “Raposo guided us to piccolo and glockenspiel,” they say, “which outline some of the melodic lines on the album.”
Modular’s closest contemporary reference point is Stereolab, and the ‘Lab’s drummer, Andy Ramsey, pitched in on Sinfonías Para Terrícolas. “He spontaneously offered to record the drums on some of the songs,” they say, “and experimented with the Russian drum machines he’d collected over the years on tour with Stereolab.”
“We held a relaxation ceremony after each recording session”
The cinematic nature of many of their songs – as if they should soundtrack Raquel Welch kicking robot ass – probably isn’t a coincidence either. “We held a relaxation ceremony after each recording session,” they say. “We viewed bizarre films by the likes of Jess Franco and Russ Meyer.” Many of their lyrics (sung in their native Spanish), they say, deal with the optimism of the space age and early science fiction. They even sing of the cloning of Paul McCartney. Modular: for that psychedelic, Radiophonic, popalicious-shaped hole in your life.
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