Rodrigo Jarque´s album 'Monstruos Bajo la Cama' (LeRockPsicophonique, Santiago de Chile, 2006), has been largerly considered to be one of Chile's best unknown-famous shoegaze albums in the last years. The guitar-driven sounds, the lopped tapes with ghosts in them and the whispering and subliminal psychophonic voice suggesting some archaic type of Spanish, gives the album a luminiscent, yet dramatic aura. Critics in Chile and overseas have considered 'Monstruos Bajo la Cama' to be a 'soundtrack' album, since most of the songs are more than 5 minutes long and have low-motion dynamics. After its release in november 2006, the Chilean director Matías Bize picked up 3 of the 9 album's tracks and included them in his new Spanish feature film 'Lo Bueno de Llorar' (About Crying), world-premiered at Locarno's International Film Festival in august 2007.
The spectral sound design (especially in what comes to voice mixing) and the ghostly instrumentation in this album (most of the songs where recorded in a barroque 415 Hrz pitch, thus giving the album a deep and somewhat detuned atmosphere as a whole) have created a certain remoteness from massive audiences in Chile and Spanish-speaking countries. Nevertheless, fans in Denmark, Germany, Greece, England and Iceland have been able to enjoy what some people overseas have called the 'discovery of an unknown latin rock' in Jarque´s psychophonic music.
Though not a straightforward political album, 'Monstruos Bajo la Cama' has been considered to have one of the best homages to those who disappeared during Pinochet's dictatorship (1973-1989) in Chile: 'Patio xxix'. Moreover, Rodrigo Jarque is well-known in his country because of his work with refugees as Head of the Languages Programme at the United Nation's High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). Political or not, the album and the artist behind have brought some discussion forth about human rights and immigrants.
Rodrigo Jarque is now recording a second album that will probably be called "illuminaciones", to be released on march 2008. Meanwhile, the band is about to release a Li-fi acoustic session video of 3 songs that will be included in the next album (the songs are 'nubes', 'quema las naves' and 'la luz inicia'). Along with Jarque, there's now a new band formed by Angelo Agurto (Bass), Pablo Yovane (Keyboards, Glockenspiel, Guitar), Rodrigo Soto (Drums, Keyboards) and Sebastian Gonzalez (Guitar, Sound effects).
Some of the influences that have been traced out from this artist are: Slowdive, Ride, Sigur Rós, My Bloody Valentine and Radiohead, amongst others.
(James Avernon, City & Rock)
Official site (so far): www.myspace.com/rodrigojarque .
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