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Aterciopelados

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Part of a golden era of 'Rock en Espanol' in the 1990s, Colombian alternative outfit Aterciopelados created a glorious collision of flamenco rhythms, Colombian folklore and leftfield art-rock, marking themselves as one of Latin music's most influential bands. Bass player Hector Buitrago originally played in a hardcore punk group called La Pestilencia in the 1980s, but recruited his art student girlfriend Andrea Echeverri to form Aterciopelados in 1990, setting out to experiment with more melodic grooves and a melting pot of ideas.

During an era when Colombia was considered too dangerous for international bands to tour, the pair founded a small bar in Bogota which gave people an opportunity to escape the bombs, violence and drugs, and started performing and partying there alongside other local acts. The absence of British and American groups also meant that Latin bands such as Argentina's Soda Stereo and Mexico's Caifanes began gaining more attention, and soon the record companies discovered Aterciopelados and radio began playing their single 'Mujer Gala'. Their debut album 'Con El Corazon en la Mano' was highly charged with scruffy punk spirit but also included traditional folk tune 'La Cuchilla' and the unique sight of a female-fronted experimental band also made them stand-out as their track 'Bolero Folez' became a favourite on MTV in Latin America and helped them build fan base across the region.

Always diverse and slightly eccentric in their approach to music, they brought traditional 'Llanera' sounds from rural Colombia into their writing and created a rock-bolero style on 'El Dorado' in 1995, worked with Roxy Music's Phil Manzanera on 'La Pipa de la Paz' in 1996 and recorded their electro, synth-pop opus 'Caribe Atomico' in New York with no-wave heroes Arto Lindsay and Marc Ribot. They also won their first Latin Grammy Award for 'Gozo Poderoso' in 2000 and their continued dedication to social justice, peace and political activism led to Amnesty International turning their song 'Cancion Protesta' into an anthem they called 'The Price of Silence'. Buitrago and Echeverri also released solo albums, but returned with sixth album 'Oye' in 2006 and based 2018's 'Claroscura' around two comic characters that told the duo's life story and their continuing evolution.

Artist biography compiled by BDS/West 10. All rights reserved