The release date of “Fantasías de un Robot Psicodélico” is definitively set for July. The album shows the work and advances of all those years and recovers some of the most interesting, already released songs so far, especially highlighting material from the “Micro Films” demo (2008) and “El Triángulo de las Bermudas” (2005). The result is a solid, essential album that shows the surprising and personal trajectory through indisputably addictive songs, and that means the full-length debut of MODULAR has finally arrived. From the sunny day surrounded by lalalas from “Perdidos en el Espacio”, a composition that could perfectly represent their sound - catchy melodies, songs with vital and elusive structures that bring to mind names like THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA of Burt Bacharach, washed with grandiose arrangements – to that “Picnic en al Arcoiris” on which Mariana is like a 21st century Jackie DeShannon, and to the kaleidoscopic landscapes of “Playa Biquini” that timidly hide touches of ye-ye and remind us of LE MANS at their most pop. On “Ovni” at first it seems like Toni Bennethimself is going to take the mic, to end up seeming like a score from “The Time Machine” (George Pal, 1960) or from a Martian movie by Ed Wood, and this cinematic tone is another of MODULAR’s greatest strengths, constantly giving the feeling of being in the middle of some science fiction story by H.G. Wells or Aldous Huxley. The touches of sitar on “Master en Tarot” are surprising, as are the sampledelic playfulness, the naturalistic (and vegetarian?) message of the instrumental “Revolución de Vegetales” and the precious “Hombre Hormiga”, or the circus-like tone of “El Bufón de Broadway”. And we can’t forget about “Flasheando”, one of their best songs and possibly the song that most clearly reflects their THE BEACH BOYS inclinations.
These and many other songs make up this impeccable letter of introduction, joyful and colorful, lively and happy, psychedelic and spatial, from one the most surprising groups of recent years. Let’s rejoice in the possibility of enjoying such a fantastic collection of songs as this debut album. And we mean fantastic in all senses of the word.
In summer, come to Europe, and they open the third edition of the british festival, Indietracks, where they act on the Elefant stage.
“Sinfonías Para Terrícolas” started brewing right after the performance of MODULAR at the Indietracks Festival. Making the most out of their trip to England, Mariana and Pablo spent several weeks in the studio of Andy Ramsay (STEREOLAB) with demos of some of their songs and together with Andy and under the sound engineering supervision of Joe Watson(STEREOLAB, but also sound engineer for groups like THE HIGH LLAMAS, among others), they began to record the basslines, voices, percussion, piano, and synthesizers. Andy spontaneously offered to record the drums on some of the songs and experiment with Russian drum machines he collected over the years on tour with STEREOLAB – something which gave a fantastic and experimental groove to the album. Little by little, this unrepeatable, dreamy, incredible album came together- an event that we celebrate ecstatically- and was polished off in the Quark Studios and Microfilms Studios in Buenos Aires. Everything about this album is magical: it is fantasy, imagination, amazing anecdotes, excitement…
The influences that are part of MODULAR (for example, Piero Umiliani, Hugo Montenegro, Giorgio Moroder, Roger Nichols, TWIN CONNECTION, Margo Guryan, THE 5TH DIMENSION and Dave Grusin) are far from the habitual ones and not at all predicting. Joe Raposo(composer of some of the original songs of Sesame Street, of which they will participate in two tracks on a tribute album out soon) guided them to these mixes of piccolo and glockenspiel which curiously outline some of the melodic lines of the album. Brazil spreads out all of its exoticism (“Moog Safari”) in the hands of Mariana and Pablo, profound scholars and enthusiasts of the tune, evoking their most danceable and funk under the names of Eumir Deodatoand Joao Donato (“Panamá Motel”). The psychedelic solitude also plays an important role, from the Beatles-type lines battered in spatial effects in “La Rebelión De Los Robots,” to the tune “El Clon De Paul McCartney” which will also enter in the cinematographic Music Library of people like James Clarke and Syd Dale (yes, the very ones who influenced STEREOLAB and BROADCAST). The sonorous experimentation acquires an evocative, powerful force in “Laboratorio Submarino,” where inheritances of the albums of Delia Derbyshire for the BBC Radiophonic Workshop are found. In “Zapatófono,” pop feverishly enters with an unconceivable tribute to Superagente 86, Maxwell Smart, winding through the sunshine pop of NUEVOS HORIZONTES and the sonic games of Giorgio Moroder. The elegance of lounge music also participates in an important way throughout the entire album, with outstanding mention of “Los Mentalistas” with the beautiful and precious aura of Bacharach. Since it could not be any other way, kraut dives in its poppiest aspect (HARMONIA, KRAFTWERK) and in the final orgy of “Samba Espacial,” a fusion is created between styles and sound, a clear representation of the level of imagination and creativity in which one finds the personal musical language of MODULAR and which so many admirers have prompted among specialists.
An album filled with swaying movements and hide-outs, changes of rhythm and twisted melodies, but always maintaining the sweetness and the evocative capacity which they have always celebrated, a perfect equilibrium between experimentation and pop. Russian drum machines, tape delays, unlikely effects with the melodies…After ten years as a duet, the formation of the group (Diego Pérez, Gabriel Sanabria, Nano Tonelli and Sebastián Murguiondo are the current additions to the group MODULAR) has achieved the perfect consistency that a sci-fi story needs by emptying out all the hollowness that the imagination is always prepared to dream and disseminate all the nuances of an album so that you can continue to listen to it over and over, yet still discover new details (some songs have over 100 tracks).
The spatial imagery and science fiction settled in their lyrics, bathed in surrealism which accentuates even more the teletransport sensation. As proof of their dedication, the group held a relaxation ceremony after each intense recording session: viewings of bizarre films from B series directors such as Jesús Franco, Russ Meyer, Mario Bava, George Romero, Joe D'Amato, Emilio Vieyra...All a declaration of intentions that filter in every pore of their compositions and their imaginary and unreal world.
With all this, the uniqueness and unbeatable aspects of this group, which grew up on the shores of Rio de la Plata, are apparent. A legend which will increase even more with “Sinfonías Para Terrícolas,” an album which combines sweetness and elegance, with extravagance and psychedelia, while always constantly maintaining a purely pop spirit. Marvelous.
THE PRIMITIVES REWORDKED BY MODULAR
Elefant Records, in its constant search for new ideas and projects, is beginning a new collection of limited-edition Singles called “Reworked By Series”. The main idea is that groups on the Elefant label appropriate, play with, and remix each others’ songs. It’s an explosive mix that can create (and has, in fact, already created) really exciting cocktails. The Argentinian group MODULAR has once again created a cosmic, spacey world based on Paul Court’s guitars and Tracy Tracy’s vocals, making “Purifying Tone” and “Lose The Reason”.
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