PRESS

Devendra Banhart

LOOP | by José Miguel Salazar Z.

Emergente artista folk editado en Young Gods Rec
Spanish + English

Devendra Banhart es un músico mitad americano, mitad venezolano, de sólo 23 años. Con dos grabaciones previas, el álbum "Oh Me Oh My... The Way the Day Goes by the Sun is Setting Dogs are Dreaming Lovesongs of the Christmas Spirit" [2002] y el EP "The Black Babies (UK)" [2003], lanza ahora su primer registro de estudio producido por Michael Gira, ex líder de Swans. Lo anterior es relevante, dado que sus dos anteriores producciones habían sido grabadas en una casetera de cuatro pistas y en distintas grabadoras telefónicas, usando sólo una guitarra acústica y su peculiar voz.
Su crudo folk, que recuerda a Mark Bolan acústico y a los olvidados Comus [aunque para algunos también es una suerte de nuevo Nick Drake], ha tenido un gran impacto, en parte por la precisa forma en que transmite emociones y por la atmósfera íntima y frágil que es capaz de producir. Estamos frente a un músico que, en oposición a las tendencias más consolidadas, desconfía de la tecnología para materializar sus ideas y de los discursos académicos del arte para fundamentar su obra, sobre la base de su experiencia como artista plástico. Así, desarrolla su trabajo en una mezcla de fragilidad e ingenuidad, apoyado en la pura intuición artística, con magníficos resultados, dando lugar a una pequeña revolución en la industria.
Este disco reúne 14 hermosas canciones interpretadas principalmente en guitarra, piano y voz, con algunos efectos, acompañamiento e invitados [entre ellos, una de las leyendas del folk psicodélico inglés, Vashti Bunyan]. En varias de ellas, además, es interesante percibir la influencia de Víctor Jara, tanto en la forma de frasear como en la de emplear la guitarra.
El disco se abre con "This is the way", una hermosa pieza de voz y guitarra que funciona como una suerte de declaración de principios, seguido por "A sight to behold", en que la forma de tocar guitarra evoca en alguna forma a Robie Basho [al igual que "Poughkeepsie" y "Tit smoking in the temple of artisan mimicry"], mientras un conjunto de cuerdas da al tema un sentido algo épico. Por otra parte, "The body breaks", "Dogs they make up the dark", "Rejoicing in the hands" y "Todo los dolores" (sic) recuerdan permanentemente a Víctor Jara, si bien hay también en ellos una indudable influencia de los C.O.B. y de la misma Vashti Bunyan. A su vez, temas como "Will is my friend" parecen inscribirse una tradición americana que aúna folk y country. Finalmente, indudable es la influencia de Bolan en temas como "This beard is for Siobhán" y "See Saw", que parecen evocar una suerte de cabaret ya extinto.
Todo lo señalado podría sugerir que Devendra Banhart logra más un inteligente sincretismo de distintas tradiciones que la conformación de una identidad propia. Pero en verdad toda la gama de influencias que denota este disco se articulan a partir de la premisa de su pura personalidad, que va dando lugar a una clara y destacable obra. Un disco para oír [y mirar] repetidas veces. Más información en younggodrecords Devendra Banhart, 'Rejoicing in the Hands', Young God Records, 2004

Devendra Banhart is an American/Venezuelan 23 years old musician. With two previous recordings, the album 'Oh Me Oh My... The Way the Day Goes By the Sun is Setting Dogs are Dreaming Lovesongs of the Christmas Spirit' [2002] and the EP 'The Black Babies (UK)' [2003], now launches his first studio recording produced by Michael Gira by ex-leader of Swans and owner of Young God Records. The previous thing is quite important since their two previous productions had been recorded in a tape recorder of four tracks and different telephone recorders and using only an acoustic guitar and his peculiar voice.
Its crude folk that remembers me of a acoustic Mark Bolan and to the forgotten Comus [although for some he is in the likes of Nick Drake], has had a great impact, partly by the precise form in how he transmits emotions and by the intimate and fragile atmosphere that is able to produce. We are in front of a musician who, in opposition to the consolidated tendencies, distrusts of the technology to materialize his ideas and of the academic art speeches to base his work, on the base of his experience like a plastic artist. Thus, he develops his work in a fragility mixture and ingenuous, supported by his pure artistic intuition with magnificent results, giving rise to a small revolution in the industry. This disc mainly reunites 14 beautiful songs composed on guitar, piano and vocal, with some effects, support and guests artists [among them, one of the legends of English psychedelic folk, Vashti Bunyan]. In several of them besides it's interesting to perceive the influence of the murdered Chilean song writer Víctor Jara, as much in the form to phrase as the way he plays the guitar.
The disc opens with 'This is the way', a beautiful piece of voice and guitar that works like a sort of declaration of principles, followed by 'A sight to behold', in which the form to play guitar evokes in some form to Robie Basho [like 'Poughkeepsie' and 'Tit smoking in the temple of artisan mimicry'], while a set of cords gives to the track a somewhat epic sense. On the other hand, 'The body breaks', 'Dogs they make up the dark', 'Rejoicing in the hands' and 'Todo los dolores' (sic) permanently remembers to Víctor Jara, although there is also in them a doubtless influence of the C.O.B. and of Vashti Bunyan. As well tracks as 'Will is my friend' seems to register an American tradition that combines folk and country. Finally the Bolan's influence is evidence in tracks like 'This is for Siobhán' and 'See Saw', that seem to evoke like an extinct cabaret.
All this may suggest Devendra Banhart achieves more an intelligent syncretism of different traditions than the conformation of an own identity. But in truth all the wide range of influences that denotes this disc articulates from the premise of their pure personality that is giving rise to a clear and remarkable work. A record to hear [and to watch] repeated times. More info. at younggodrecords

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