Matorral's New Album Marks Decade Together

Ten years ago Chilean folk-rock band Matorral released their first album entitled Voces del Rincon. Since then, Matorral’s two original members, Felipe Cadenasso (guitar/lead vocals) and Gonzalo Planet (bass/vocals), have withstood a changing line-up and the hectic coordination of half a dozen side projects to put out 2 more records and become longtime staples in the Chilean DIY music scene. Now, six years after the release of their last album, Resonancia en la Zona Central, they’re finally gearing up to release their new as yet untitled LP sometime in April on their label Cápsula Discos.

 Matorral at Pulsar 2012 (photo by Magdalena Tavonatti)
Matorral at Pulsar 2012 (photo by Magdalena Tavonatti)

Listening to the pre-released single "Hiss," there is a definite departure from their previous work: the guitars are heavier, fuzzier, and the beat is more insistent than many of the melodic finger-picking melodies of their preceding albums. Cadenasso’s voice is moody and crooning, a signature element for Matorral, and it is well complemented by the spacey sonics present just beneath the surface of the mix. Overall, the new track is decidedly less folky and more alternative, albeit with a touch more pop sensibility. As one fellow listener described it: “Manuel Garcia plus Soda Stereo's nineties stuff, with some Thom Yorke vocals circa OK Computer.”

 Felipe Cadenasso, vocals (photo by Pablo Fuente)
Felipe Cadenasso, vocals (photo by Pablo Fuente)
These changes could possibly be the influence of new drummer Italo Arauz, who is classically trained in jazz, and electric guitarist Antonio del Favero, who currently also steers dream-rock outfit Cóndor Jet. Personal projects have led to creative growth as well- Cadenasso has successfully launched a solo career and Planet has experimented with both a spoken word collaboration and writing a book; so while Matorral may have been on hiatus, its members have been anything but.

Matorral’s next show is this Saturday, March 9th, at Onaciú Club at 11:30 pm. A record release party is tentatively scheduled for sometime in May. I asked Gonzalo Planet a few questions regarding their new material and upcoming plans:

 Gonzalo Planet, bass (photo by Pablo Fuente)
Gonzalo Planet, bass (photo by Pablo Fuente)
When is the new album scheduled to be released and where can people get it?

“Matorral's next album will be published during April 2013. We're excited because it's our first vinyl release. It will be available on CD and for digital download too. Our existing discography is available though digital download vía www.portaldisc.com/matorral. Some records are out of print, but you can get the Resonancia en la Zona Central double album at La Tienda Nacional [Merced 369, metro Bellas Artes]. Also you can listen to many tracks at soundcloud.com/matorralchile”

How does the new work compare to previous albums?

“Before, you could clearly notice the sixties music influence through our songs, but on Resonancia en la Zona Central there was some clues about a different direction. Our new record definitely has a different sound, almost like a new band. The current tracks are more direct, with no guitar solos, for instance.”

 Antonio del Favero, guitar (photo by Pablo Fuente)
Antonio del Favero, guitar (photo by Pablo Fuente)
How has time and a changing line-up influenced your sound?

“Through the years we've inevitably been listening to a lot of different music, and we now pay more attention to contemporary musicians instead of the sixties bands we listened to before. Also, all of Matorral’s members have played and produced side projects: other bands, experimental music and movie soundtracks too. Adding a fourth member to the line-up also changes the sound of the band. Before, as a trio, usually each instrument depended dramatically on the other. Now, the music can take different ways to develop the sound.”

What are some of the challenges you've faced in recent years?

“Our latest challenge was to change Matorral's well known sound after a decade of classic rock background. It would be easy to continue in the same way, but we wanted a different approach to our music, and that's what you're going to hear in the new record. Producing side projects is always surprising, because we're always trying to get a different point of view, never trying to create a ‘Matorral 2.’ Last year I recorded the album Aqua en Polvo with Chilean writer Enrique Winter [under the name Winter Planet] developing the music as a soundtrack to his poems. It was a big challenge but the result was great.”

 Italo Arauz, drums (photo by Pablo Fuente)
Italo Arauz, drums (photo by Pablo Fuente)
Do you have any future plans or goals in association with this new record?

“We're in the middle of the production a full length film based on our new LP, directed by Felipe (Cadenasso) mixing fiction and documentary. We hope it will be available in 2013. We want to tour through Chile again to present the record, and we would like also to visit other countries for the first time!”

You can get updated Matorral news at www.facebook.com/matorraldechile and follow them on twitter @matorralchile

Matorral @ Onaciu
Saturday, March 9th, 2013
11:30 pm
General Admission $5.000 CLP
Onaciú Club
Loreto 460
metro Patronato
http://www.onaciu.cl/

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