Chilean psych group Vuelveteloca highlight the beauty of resistance on ContraJamie Ludwigon September 16, 2020 at 1:00 pm

American news media can be frustratingly myopic. But even when mainstream reporting fails to deliver the goods from outside our bubble, the simple act of listening to an album can remind us that we’re part of a global community of people who share more common interests–and face more common threats–than our leaders would have us believe. On Contra, the new seventh album from Chilean four-piece Vuelveteloca, the band use a spacey blend of psych, Krautrock, and post-rock to tap into dystopian visions of the future and a beautiful spirit of resistance and reemergence. The record’s title means “against” or “opposed,” and its six brightly colored songs conjure feelings of warmth and movement, even when their moods turn mysterious and their themes–such as on the hypnotic “La Sangre del Oro” (“The Blood of Gold”)–hint at something darker. The single “Ciudades Subterraneas” (“Underground Cities”) was inspired by a visit to Cappadocia in Turkey, where for centuries networks of hidden caves and tunnels protected citizens from persecution and invading armies. Over ebbing and flowing desert-rock riffs, chunky metallic chords, and hazy grooves, the band draw threads from that history to the present day, when people around the world, Chileans included, are rising against oppression. But even those currently at the top of the pecking order could be at the mercy of some unknown forces pulling the strings: on the meandering closing track, “Puentes Etereos” (“Ethereal Bridges”), Vuelveteloca explore the concept of otherworldly beings that anonymously bend mankind to their will. That might sound scary at the outset, but as the band glide through smoky clouds of percussion into a motorik rhythm, their blend of triumphant, silky guitars and soaring atmospheres suggests that everything could turn out all right. v

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