Meridian Brothers – Desesperanza

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Meridian Brothers – “Salsa Caliente (Versión Aumentada)”

Bogota’s Meridian Brothers have a new release out on Soundway Records entitled Desesperanza, which translates to “hopelessness” in English. Meridian Brothers is the Latin rhythm & psychedelic groove project of Eblis Álvarez, who composes and plays everything on the new album. Hailed by his contemporaries in Colombia, Eblis is known for his avant-garde guitar style. He plays in Mario Galeano’s band Frente Cumbiero and was one of the 42 musicians on Ondatrópica, which we featured back in June and is also out on Soundway Records.

Meridian Brothers’ story begins in 1998 when Eblis began twiddling knobs and experimenting with the sounds of instruments and electronic media. His Argentinian rock influenced cassettes began appearing on the underground music market of Bogota. In 1999, Eblis joined Mario Galeano’s Ensamble Polifónico Vallenato which peaked his interest in the tropical music of Colombia, directly influencing the sound of Meridian Brothers. He went on to study in Denmark at the Royal Danish Academy of Music and the DIEM (Danish Institute of Electronic Music), where he experimented further with complex electronics and signal processing.

By the time Eblis Álvarez returned to Bogota in 2008, the music scene was exploding with cumbia, salsa and currulao all being explored by a new generation of Colombian musicians. He released Meridian Brothers VI in 2009 which explores the tropical sounds of the 60s and 70s in Colombia while touching upon highlife, Ethiopian music, surf and Peruvian and Colombian cumbia. To take his work on the road, Eblis established a live version of Meridian Brothers with Damien Ponce (percussion), Maria Valencia (clarinet, saxophone and synthesizers), Alejandro Forero (keyboards), Cesar Quevedo (bass) and Eblis Álvarez (vocals, guitar and electronics). 2011 saw Meridian Brothers release Meridian Brothers VII, which brought even more influences to the table, including Latin American rock, champeta, jazz, cumbia and tropical. With more experimentation, a wide range of sounds found their way onto this album full of modified voices, surf guitar, and cut-up percussion samples.

Desesperanza is available now as a worldwide release. This record is dedicated to salsa and tropical music as interpreted and imagined by Elbis. These psychedelic sonic experiments are successful and intriguing. Elbis is very creative with the way he transforms his ideas into songs. Give a listen to “Salsa Caliente (Versión Aumentada)” above or at soundcloud to hear what Meridian Brothers are all about. Grab the LP/CD/Digital wherever fine music is sold.

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