Feel good vibes and eccentricity aplenty from Uruguayan singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and producer Martín Buscaglia – who returns with the new album Basta De Música (“enough with the music”) – mashing up folk, electronica and Montevideo shake.
He’s a key figure in the Southern Cone music scene, first releasing his debut in 1996. Buscaglia fuses different Latin American genres with psychedelic grooves – repeatedly earning him the moniker of ‘Montevideo’s Beck’ – and ever-present on his eighth album, out now on Lovemonk. His chameleon like approach to music can be heared on preceding singles, such as the uptempo Me Enamoré and the lo-fi folk of Para Vencer.
Third single Chuza is another bass heavy and glitchy change in pace.
In the past Buscaglia has recorded and played with a diversity of Latin artists like Jorge Drexler, Arnaldo Antunes, Julieta Venegas, Leo Masliah, Jaime Roos, Juana Molina, Jackson Browne and Os Mulheres Negras. He has also composed for theatre, for carnival and played Salsa bass on cruises of the Caribbean. He even acted as ‘host’ with Paul McCartney for Caetano Veloso’s shows in Uruguay. Despite his numerous connections, none of the musicians who appear on the new album are as famous as any aforementioned. “As Hollywood has shown us on numerous occasions, the more stars are in a movie, the higher the chances it’s an unnecessary jumble,” Buscaglia says. “If there’s one famous guest on it, it’s probably Milan Cardozo, an 80-year-old Paraguayan harpist who lives in the jungle of Misiones, and who collaborates on a couple of songs with the harp he built himself.”
“The album was recorded in analogue fashion, everything you hear was actually played manually, including effects, drum machines and programming. Some parts of that programming were assembled with combinations of keyboard pre-sets and recorded with microphones, others by finger drumming, and others using prehistoric samplers.”
Although a renowned guitarist, on this album Buscaglia turns to piano and percussion: “The way I play the piano oscillates between a bubonic plague-ridden Bola de Nieve and Hugo Fattoruso with a sunstroke on the Kon Tiki.”
However the biggest influence on this latest record was the three years he spent doing a radio show – ‘La Casa del Transformador’ – for Gladys Palmera. “Those broadcasts slowly but surely shaped a certain island and jungle vibe,” he says.