jueves, 24 de marzo de 2011

Sumo - Obras Cumbres (2001)

Bueno, este post va en inglés, porque en Argentina ¿quién no los conoce?

Talking about Sumo is impossible without mentioning its leader (though I think he would rather not like that term): Luca Prodan. Luca was born in Italy, with a mix of Scottish, Turkish, Italian and Austrian ascendance. He wandered around many countries and situations, coming from a very wealthy family, passing by a very posh school in England, rubbing elbows with "important" people (such as prince Charles), and finally getting sick of it all and arriving to Argentina in the middle '70s, flying from his addiction to heroin, as he many times pointed out.

In the '80s some crazy band started to perform gigs at several underground pubs in Buenos Aires and nearbies. It was a time of regained freedom for underground culture after eight years of brutal military dictatorship, so young people were in the search of new sounds. But as most of the pop & rock music came from outside, we Argentinians developped some kind of stupid prejudice towards the music made by local bands, rating it as a mere copy of foreign rock & pop. It would be true in many cases... but not in this one. Curiously, Sumo was not a typical "Argentinian rock" band, Luca laughed at the rock nacional label, full of pretentious and boring "geniuses".

Sumo was an incredible band, performing a colorful palette of sounds: reggae, rock, punk, blues, ska, disco, new wave and also many experimental songs, all with Luca's distinctive charisma. He brought all his experiences in the '70s alternative British music scene and fueled the band with them.

Some stiffy necks stated Luca did not sing well, that he was a mere junkie drunkard set out to scare old ladies with his bald head and loud voice. Sad lack of musical sensitivity in my humble opinion. Listen to Sumo and you will hear a lot of musical styles performed by a precise and talented set of musicians, multiple rythms full of energy as well as cool atmospheres, and Luca's expressive voice singing in English or Spanish (with a funny Italian accent) lyrics full of edgy irony, delirious humor sense and sheer perception.

Many of Sumo's songs became hits in Argentinian FMs, and were danced all accross the country since they are no less than smashing songs. Their first hit was La Rubia Tarada (The Stupid Blonde) which surely will make your head nod and nod and nod; followed by other remembered songs like Debede, with its furious "disco baby disco" chorus, or Los Viejos Vinagres (you may translate it as Cranky Old Men). But I personally prefer some other songs, like Estallando desde el Océano (Bursting Out of the Ocean), a catchy surrealistic road rock fantasy growing into an anthem that always makes me want to go full speed with a car "down in the pampas". Or Hello Frank, try to listen to that without a grin.

Sometimes Sumo becomes plainly experimental: Cinco Magníficos is a song that gives voice to different characters, Argentinian inhabitants, who talk about themselves in an odd atmosphere... you can perceive some avant-gardish hue there; or Abasto, a dreamy song describing (the best description you may ever get) a morning in the popular Buenos Aires' Abasto quarter. Or Banderitas y Globos (Little Flags and Balloons), a kind of delirious trip with wonderfully uncomfortable scales. You also will perceive the typical eighties' dreamy echoing saxo sound, oi ska, furious punk, catchy blues, all wonderfully mixed.

Luca died in 1987, a shitty day since he was not only a talented, sensitive and intelligent artist, but also and more important -I barely saw him personally, but a lot of people knew him and the opinion is unanimous- a good guy. Despite his skinhead looks he was all the contrary, and being a foreigner he expressed glimpses of Buenos Aires in a way few native people did.

So here we have a big compilation of songs that Sumo performed during the '80 in Argentina, including hits as well as some never issued material. This is my way of spreading the word about SUMO, enjoy it!

Obras Cumbres:

CD 1:

01 Heroina
02 La Rubia Tarada
03 Mula Plateada
04 No Acabes
05 Regtest
06 El Reggae De Paz Y Amor
07 Debede
08 Mejor No Hablar De Ciertas Cosas
09 Divididos Por La Felicidad
10 No Duermas Mas
11 Kaya
12 Fiebre
13 Cuerdas, Gargantas Y Cables
14 Cinco Magnificos
15 Estallando Desde El Oceano
16 T.V. Caliente
17 El Ojo Blindado
18 Fuck You

CD 2:

01 Los Viejos Vinagres
02 Nextweek
03 No Good
04 Que Me Pisen
05 Aqui Vienen Los Blue Jeans
06 Ni Mas Nada
07 Crua-Chan
08 No Tan Distintos (1989)
09 Banderitas Y Globos
10 Mañana En El Abasto
11 Hola Frank
12 Ojos De Terciopelo
13 Lo Quiero Ya
14 La Gota En El Ojo
15 El Cieguito Volador
16 No Te Pongas Azul
17 Brilla Tu Luz Para Mi
18 Callate Mark
19 Años
20 Noche De Paz

2 comentarios:

Anónimo dijo...

CD I: http://www.megaupload.com/?d=QLY3QU0E

CD II: http://www.megaupload.com/?d=R86QZN0W

Anónimo dijo...

Good article, Rumanian surname, exelent funk (only compared and more powerfull ,in my opinion, than Parliament Funkadelik). Surrealism in his lyrics is the most powerfull I´ve ever felt in a rock star world wide. I´m saying this guy was one head away from guys like Roger Waters, Sting and others. More closer to Sid Vicius or Jim Morrison, Luca is a "Door" in him self, a black hole "busting out of the ocean" and his message "maybe trying to change to late in like can kill you in life" . He also sang tango "cambalache", and discribed the "abasto" market like no one did. Also played "Stand by me" and transformed songs like "Know Yourself Mankind" of the Gladiators reggae band into "1989", "Heroine" of Lou Reed to song of same title, "IBC" of Joy Division into "Divided by joy", "Fever" of The Doors into same title version with his own lyrics and own band performance. This band is the lost jewel of world rock, maybe Luca was the gratest rock star ever. His story is fabulous, and to finish I think he was the guy who introduced reggae, funk, ska, punk, post punk and experimental heavy drugs into rock songs in latin america.