Pandemic and all, Poetas Marcianos have been working quietly, persistently, and with great conviction from a few years ago, present an advance of their second album, “Afrodyziaco”. Containing six out of thirteen tracks, they provide a glimpse of an elaborated, disciplined endeavor. Their framework, already presented in their first album, released in 2015, consists mostly in three-to-four -minutes-long tracks arranged like little intelligent-techno-pop goldsmiths. Music for trance, dancing in the midst of an electronic drunkenness, or for attentive listening, since this framework is filled with sonic and compositional details.
Words are by Poeta Morgue and Poeta Oz, except “Respiro Azul”, by Sandriuska Theremin; music is generally by Morgue; arrangements are by the group, carrying a predominant quasi psychedelic sonic quality around them, fitting very well in the communicative atmosphere these artists aim at. Creative and intelligent sound inserts closing some tracks are real highlights, such as “El Diario de Tesla” (Tesla Journal), a beautiful retrospective of an individual’s cosmic vicissitude turning into an anti military claim; or “Respiro Azul” hypnotic trance, where Sandriuska’s vocals number, both in Mapudungun and Spanish, sensitive political mapuche claims, closing with a tribal voices and fifes invocation ritual. A highlight we are grateful for is that beats and rhythmic patterns are not programmed in a constant tempo: there are variations, moving from 4/4s to 7/8s, some of them easily danceable to or inviting a careful listening, for the theremin and other electronic devices outer space touch connects us to German 1970s prog, specifically Cluster and Harmonia. Thus, these tracks run away from the rhythmic and melodic monotony found in many Chilean electro pop artists productions.
Thus, the overtly political aims of these songs deconstruct cheap national cliché, such as the ironic Chilean cuisine praise (“Cazuela”), Chilean singer Rosita Serrano’ Nazi flirtings (“Transgénica”), or local pop culture tributes, like 1980s comic strip characters (Lautaro Parra’s “Blondi” or Marcela Trujillo’s graphic novels) becoming claims on sexual and gender discrimination or helpless, proletarian descamisadas masses. Words are skeptical, parodic, filled with an overt, bitter irony, revealing these poet/musicians literary background and their mastery of present-day oral and vocal poetry resources.
Suffice to say that that “Blondi” has also been taken to video clip format -available via YouTube-, in a 1920s German expressionist silent cinema aesthetic.
Poetas Marcianos music isn’t escapist at all, carrying a dramatic intensity, as a result of both vitality and social critique, not falling prey to many politicians’ grave mood, likely to present existential martyrdom as the only politically correct way. This band’s work presents true criticism, providing also room for humor in their ultramodern electronica and poetry mixture enchantment.
Since we’re really close friends with the band, I see no conflicts in reviewing their work. I try to keep a distance, but the eulogy fits here, for this album contains very good music and poetry. As simple as that.
Fabio Salas Zúñiga
Escritor / Writer
(Santiago, Chile. Septiembre / September 2020)