The Bilingual Band That's Speaking Our Language
Where They’re From: Montevideo, Uruguay
Genre: indie pop, electrotango
Sounds Like: a New Wave ’80s band time traveled to South America
If it takes two to tango, Juan Campodónico is calling bullshit. The 41 year old Uruguayan musician, producer, and composer has no problem singlehandedly running the South American electrotango scene. As a former member of El Peyote Asesino and Bajofondo, he also produced Latin pop albums for Jorge Drexler, Luciano Supervielle, and El Cuarteto de Nos to name a few. After landing a Latin Grammy for his work on Drexler’s album and charting on the U.S. Billboard Dance Charts for “Los Tangueros” you’d think Campo would take some time to bask in the Montevideo tropical sun and his success. But nope! Campo is just getting started with his most recent musical project, CAMPO.
Consisting of himself and five members Martín Rivero, Pablo Bonilla, Verónica Loza, Roberto Rodino and Gabriel Casacuberta, CAMPO define their style as subtropical music, a blend of traditional tropical sound and the urban influence of the marginal neighborhoods in Argentina and Uruguay they grew up in. Forging a connection between tango and hip-hop and sprinkled with electric buzz, CAMPO reflects the dynamic local soundscape, where everything from Michael Jackson Coldplay to hard cumbia is heard bumping in Montevideo taxis on the streets. CAMPO approaches trendy electro, indie-pop elements with a touch of retro sensitivity, heard on tracks like “In a Dark Room” where current alt-pop pays a visit to a tango ballroom of the past.
Juan Campodónico’s got some pretty awesome names in his little black book, and CAMPO’S debut album’s production team boasts the best of them. Along with their frontman’s own skills, CAMPO got the help of two-time Academy Award winner for Best Original Score Gustavo Santaolalla (Brokeback Mountain and Babel) and Joe Chiccarelli, sound engineer of The Strokes, The Shins and The White Stripes. CAMPO, The 12 track EP features everything from South American songwriters who perform cumbias in English to Sweden jazz singers who like marcha tropical, just further evidence that music is a universal language. Check their video for “La Marcha Tropical” here: