Sistema Solar, Disco Ruido
by Carlos Reyes
Two years ago Disco Ruido broke a few bandwidth accounts (ours included) with their viral-hit “Mrs. Love”; a catchy track that sampled The Beatles’ “You Know My Name,” and a slice of pop-heaven you would never expect to come from a Mexican band. Ever since, the lines between the hype and the actual qualities of the band have been questioned, mostly because of the lack of material (although their remixes have been a knockout after another). While a great single was enough to reveal the aura of talent (and was strong enough to get them to perform at Vive Latino), the arrival of an actual album would be the ultimate arbitrator for this Mexico City quintet. After a distribution deal with EMI, and a top-notch production by DR's own Julián Placencia, their much-anticipated debut LP Sistema Solar has finally seen the light, and at least half of it is quite stunning.
Sistema Solar coats its concept with a delirious preoccupation to strike at the dancefloor, but to limit its senses with a ‘dance record’ tag would be an understatement. Even if it has every drop of Mexican-import potential, it wouldn’t be just for its disco overhauls; Sistema Solar has real emotional connection, within its narratives you can feel an understanding of ‘in-between’ feelings and even better, degrees of music detailing. Leading single “Amorfos” is a heartfelt jam so pretty it hurts. Singer Mercedes Nasta has a peculiar voice, equally nasal as Macy Gray’s and as slim as Dolly Parton’s. Here were transported to a sort of intergalactic escape, falling into a black hole doesn’t seem that tragic after all.
Disco Ruido’s crowd-pleasing appeal is clearly seen in the potentially upcoming single “Go Twisters”, the obvious promo track if the album was to break into international proportions (would work great with both, the Gwen Stefani and Robyn crowds). This is an alerting, quick-moving dance track that could easily be the accompanying track to a Wachowski Bros’ car chase. They get melancholic in “Prisma”, which has the structure of a cabaret number, but strangely sounds like a Regional Mexican song. The album’s assembly is said to be centered around the acidic and slow-burning “Sol”, and that would make sense, lyrically, it's the most accomplished track in the record.
The album’s aesthetics and titles outline Sistema Solar as sonic survey of the stars and outer space beauty, but it’s far more anthropological on its actual execution. This servicing contradiction actually hurts the album’s most submissive tracks, particularly on the second half of the album (well, except for the splendid 4-wall defying "Morfeo"). The narrative in the second half is isolating and off-putting, but it’s refreshing to see a band capable of upgrading fundamentals and manipulating sound so audaciously. Considering the band is set to release a video for every song in the track, the conceptual recipe is still missing some ingredients, but the great tracks in Sistema Solar, are jaw dropping and all-revealing, and that’s just might be what we need to start polishing this very promising 2011.