Once Might Call Them A “Colectivo” Of Animales
Weaving together Argentinean folk music, lonely psychedelic soundscapes, fantastical children’s tales, and at least one ill-advised pun, Los Animales Superforros are bringing a brand new sound to Buenos Aires’ hyper-saturated rock and roll scene.
The name Animales Superforros is a joke Spanish translation of Welsh psych-rock act Superfurry Animals. Except “forros” doesn’t mean “furry” – it’s a crude insult in Argentinean slang that roughly translates as “condom.” Animal Collective is also a big influence on their music, from the spacey vocal harmonies to the synth and percussion-heavy backdrops. But Los Animales Superforros isn’t just American indie emulation. The members cite Argentine and Uruguayan folk artists Atahaulpa Yupanqui and Alfredo Zitarrosa as influences, and the albums are peppered with Andean flutes, shimmering charangos, indigenous Argentinean drums and chacarera rhythms. The result is a sound that is futuristic and ancient all at once.
The band is made up Coco, Imi, Chaqui, and Koke. Imi is originally from Buenos Aires. Koke is Colombian, and Coco and Chaqui both come from a small city in the desolate windswept nothinglands of Argentinean Patagonia. (Their hometown Rada Tilly is known as a destination for “landsailing.” That’s when you put a sail on a four-wheeled vehicle, and use the wind to drive around). In Buenos Aires, all four work in artsy fields such as graphic design and composing music for commercials (Imi wrote a jungle for an Argentinean MTV promo!). Coco has a Tumblr filled with animated GIFs that move at seizure-inducing speeds.
The band formed in 2009 and started recording a handful of loose songs for fun. Then in May 2011, they recorded their first album, titled Coplas (and available for streaming on Soundcloud right above). In June of that same year, they recorded a conceptual kids album called Monona en la Calesita – an aural re-imagining of a contemporary children’s book commissioned by Buenos Aires’ stylish MALBA modern art museum.
The entire concept of Los Animales Superforros, of making experimental rock music with a strong folkloric flavor, is something really new for the Argentinean scene. After all, this is a city in which there are so many die-hard Rolling Stones fans that there’s a local slang word for them: rolingas. Balls-out rock of the bluesy variety dominates the music halls, and few groups are interested in experimenting with Argentinean roots sounds, apart from the nu-cumbia ZZK crew. With that in mind, Los Animales Superforros are treading seriously new ground, puns and all.