Saturday, September 5, 2009

FROM PATAGONIA TO BUENOS AIRES AND NOW TO THE USA. OTHERNESS ARE GOING PLACES. OTHERNESS is a quirky alt/rock band that made their way from the furthest reaches of Argentina's Patagonia to Buenos Aires four years ago. Since then they have worked constantly, recording, playing. and touring. Now the hard work has begun to pay off with notice in their adopted city and as far away as London Seattle and New York . Their first South American CD titled Lite 2007 released in sold out almost immediately. A video of one of the CD's songs Once Begop went into rotation on MuchMusic Latin America. Now the band have set their sites on bringing their special brand of techno-punk to the US and Europe. It's a goal brothers Gonzalo and Martin Cativa have had since their days growing up in the cold desolate landscape of Comodoro Rivadavia Argentina.

While growing up Martin and Gonzalo Cativa and Adrian Bersais took comfort in the fact that some of their musical heroes- Leadbelly, Arthur Alexander, Kurt Cobain-were able to escape the gloomy confines of dull grey backgrounds that offered very little future. Comodoro Rivadavia was a boom town gone bust in the 1990's. There was little time or opportunity to put into dreams of becoming rock musicians. But their drive led them to uncover the music of Nirvana, John Lennon, Elvis Costello and the Argentine grand master of tango, Astor Piazzolla. Paying careful attention to the craft of artists like these has helped Martin and Gonzalo Cativa to become the authors of hundreds of catchy, exciting songs that are entirely the product of their own talents.

Along the way the three created their own sort of manifesto. It has become an outline of the way they view life in the 21st Century. The basics of this include observations such as;

• The pilgrim needs to travel, if he stops he can die at the hands of what he considers the final learning-or perhaps adoration.
• Everyone is addicted to something.
• What is achieved with drugs can be obtained by other means.
• Explore alternative knowledge.
• Human beings are simply sexual.
• Marriage is an obsolete institution that died in the 20th century.
And just for good measure;
• "El sexo y el dolor firman la identidad de la carne" - W. Burroughs

If this makes the band sound like earnest young idealists, the fact is they are also full of fun and a sense of wonder. There's a sense of hope and positivity in their music and lyrics that make them seem ...well....happy. The addition of drummer Pablito Gaggioni in 2008 has rounded out the band and given the extra drive they had been looking for. They have made a commitment to write and perform their songs in English which goes against the current trend in Argentine rock. These days Argentine pop seems a bit doctrinaire in it's insistence to be sung in Spanish when in fact most of it is nothing more than a re-hash of older British and English sounds. The sound Otherness has created doesn't even fit easily into today's pop music pigeon-holes. It's a quirky, upbeat sound that pays serious attention to the tradition of intelligent pop music. It also honors sounds like the traditional choros of Northern Argentina and Brazil, as well as the tango...a tradition that rose out of the Buenos Aires slums to become one of the most recognizable musical genres in the world. The members of Otherness show great deference to the master of Tango, Astor Piazzolla, but never overuse the style . Thus avoiding the pitfall of sounding like twee "world music". They are the furthest thing one imagines from musical archeologists. In fact, the August 2009 issue of London's Rock Pulse says:

"A fresh new rock group from Argentina are hitting the American and British music scene with their quirky and fun sound. Their name; Otherness. They have recently released their new single digitally. Containing the tracks Adorable and Pill-grim. They are an interesting four piece, sounding unlike anything I've heard before. Mellow and fiesty songs with a hint of electro. I love the vocals and rhythm that seems to come so easily to them, without trying too hard to impress. Otherness have passion and dedication and truly sound brilliant! Their first US tour is sure to be a success..."

Their first US album is being released on the eve of a tour that will take them across North America for the first time. It will fulfill a dream of following the spiritual journey of great American travellers like John Stienbeck and Jack Kerouac and fellow Argentinean Che' Guevara. The CD is being released by Seattle independent label dadastic! Sounds and includes eight new songs as well as Once Begop the hit from their debut album The CD is scheduled for release October 13th 2009. It will be available directly though the dadastic! sounds website at As well as, CD Baby, i-tunes and many other download sites worldwide. Check out the band's video of ONCE BEGOP.

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