Monday, April 2, 2012

The Nintendo Nightmare of Super Gauchin

Mario is, without a doubt, one of the most important figure to emerge from the latter third of the 20th century, at least in the Western world. Now imagine a 200-foot tall Mario (similar to the intro of Super Smash Bros. Melee for video game nerds), walking calmly through the burning wreckage of a civilization that lies scattered about his feet. Shrieking his “Brrrrring-HA!” battle cry at deafening volume, he is the last man standing, a solitary figure striding fearlessly towards the future. 

Insert Super Gauchin, a new group that recently joined the roster of the much-beloved ZZK label, whose music brings to mind this nightmarishly pixilated scenario. Formed by the Argentinean brothers Ignacio and Luciano Brasolin, the group makes a souped-up hybrid of a number of the most active currents running through modern dance music, one held together by the brother’s unique cultural style. Ruthlessly mixing various aspects of genres like cumbia and dubstep (both present in a number of their possible forms), Super Gauchin refracts the rhythmic results through a set of sounds elicited from the brother’s (apparently extensive) collection of bent and repurposed gaming systems, ending up with a sound that is totally unique despite its readily apparent origins.

Admittedly, the Brasolin brothers are not the first to either reuse the primitive soundcards of vintage videogames for modern music, or to hitch low-quality synthetic tones to the structures of dubstep or cumbia. However, their music is set apart by both the quality of the sounds that they produce, as well as the effectiveness with which they deploy them. Although Super Gauchin shares some of the manic lightheartedness that is a characteristic of Chiptune music, by using the sounds of the arcade in the context of the relatively laidback rhythms of cumbia, they are able to defuse its potentially cloyingly qualities while still retaining its power as a nostalgic symbol. Super Gauchin is fantastic because their vintage sounds come across as both culturally meaningful signifiers and tonally fascinating musical tools. Their double impact is fantastic.  The bands first E.P.  “Piratas Y Finchines” is out now on ZZK records- you can stream it from their soundcloud. A full length is scheduled to be released later this year. Watch for it!

For now, you can sate your 8-bit appetite by watching this awesome music video for their track, "La Gorra."

-Sam Backer 
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