Category Archives: vallenato

ESCAPE ROOM

Today, EarthDay, Thursday April 22, I’ll be DJing in Pittsburgh @ The Brillo Box. details.

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VBC EscapeRoom

The cat pours the dog a stiff drink. The dog longs for opposable thumbs so he can reload the shotgun. His furry hindquarters rest on a handmade stool imported from Japan; the animals like it here because everything’s sized for them. But maybe this bar is in Japan (that would explain the good lighting) and the stools are locally sourced and it’s the liquor that’s imported. The cat and dog aren’t talking so we can’t get any clues from their accents. Honestly, we could be anywhere. Even Los Angeles.

Very Be Careful are an L.A. band who play Colombian vallenato with a hardcore purist aesthetic. Which of course is totally impure, willfully anachronistic, and leads to strangely dry album production yet their live shows are meant to be quite lively. I am suspicious of people who are suspicious of “remixes” and “synthesizers” although I do love accordion, voice, percussion, and respect this band for zeroing in on that, channeling OG vallenato heroes like Alejo “Big Black Man” Durán, writing new songs in an old style and keeping the VST plug-ins switched off even though they’re recording & mixing with computers just like everybody else.

VBC disdain ‘the contemporary vogue for hybridity’. They say: “[Ours] is a purist style that strives to pay tribute to the classics, and we aim to compose in the same vein. This is a greater achievement for us than dropping in some obscure unrelated beat to the music.”

An unauthorized cumbia remix of VBC (“Mi Fantasma”), stripped of identifying meta-data, achieved popularity in Buenos Aires bailantas against the band’s wishes. The remixer didn’t do much, this is the power of laziness!

VBC came on my radio show two years back.

Here is a song from their new album, Escape Room, buyable.

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Very Be Careful – El Viajero del Tiempo

And here’s the original version of Very Be Careful’s “Mi Fantasma”, an eerie, powerful track (someone have time to post a quickie translation in the comments?) whether or not a young Argentine has slapped a guacharaca-and-kick loop on top: