In Scene Report, CMJ’s latest column, musicians from all over the globe fill us in on what’s going on sonically in their hometowns. This week Cheky of Algodón Egipcio gives the scoop on Caracas, Venezuela.
I wouldn’t dare to say that there’s something to call a scene in Caracas—or at least not yet. The growth of the music scene in the city is hindered by insecurity and violence on the streets, high inflation, very little support from the traditional media and a lack of venues. So, I think that for now it’s better to talk about the music in Venezuela rather than just Caracas, ‘cause for now, the scene is in diapers.
In recent years, relatively new bands have begun to gain a lot of attention and followers. These bands make the kind of rock destined to make people move and dance. The most important example is La Vida Bohéme, a bunch of guys with a tight artistic concept that, today, is able to sell out practically all of its shows and just signed to Nacional. The most interesting band in the same vein, however, might be Chupi Lumpi, which takes a more pop and progressive approach to dance rock.
The electronic scene here has evolved nicely since the past decade, from drum and bass, breakcore and indietronica to more current rhythms like dubstep, U.K. funky, kuduro, stuff like that. Pacheko And Pocz is on top of the list, keeping it interesting by making quality music and regularly throwing Abstractor parties that bring out artists like Chrissy Murderbot, Kid 606, DJ/rupture, Mala, Quantic and more.
Since the scene is predominantly dominated by rock, punk, metal and dance-oriented electronica, it’s been harder for more acoustic or more stripped-down acts to get attention. But artists from Maracaibo (second biggest city in Venezuela), like Ulises Hadjis, Jan Paweł and …Al Cruzar La Calle, and others from Caracas, like Domingo En Llamas and Jóvenes Y Sexys (my other band), we’ve all been managing to shine through these main genres and gain spaces for this other kind of music.
Next page: Bands Worth Watching