Blimey, you think Costa Rica was hard work. They seem to have gone somewhat the opposite direction to the former as well: compared to Costa Rica, one of the most peaceful nations on earth having abandoned it's army almost 60 years ago, Ecuador is described by the ever-helpful Wikipedia as "virtually ungovernable," being almost the epitome of the corrupt and destitute South American nation.
However, instead of being the exotic, passionate hotbed of musical eclecticism and soul-searing rhythms, one has to dig a little deeper to find out what's beating away underneath the traditional Incan and panpipe music. Not that that's such a bad thing in itself: it's a very pleasant and evocative listen - you can almost feel the Andean wind on your face. Maybe that's a little excessive, but this is a decent track all the same.
Alpamayo - La Lluvia
You have to employ some selective and judicius Googling to look out the Ecuadorian underground, but as everywhere, it's there alright. Maybe some proggy death metal - influences such as Tool are pronounced here, but the vocals sound like a less dramatic Stavesacre. Although reaching for the same territory as maybe Opeth, they're only partly successful. I wonder if I'm distracted by the sheer incongruity, though, a death metal band from Quito. Saying that though, the best metal drummer, actually best drummer period that I've ever met was Columbian, so who am I to judge?
SIQ - Virus
Or some fusion? Crazy talk. For Curare, this seems to involve playing fairly standard, slightly nu metal with Spanish vocals, congos and the occasional panpipe. Tribal metal was done better by Sepultura, definitely.
Curare - Ancestros
How about some massively, joyously unlistenable experimental electronica? It's nihilistic and bedroomy all at the same time, and while putting beats in their certainly doesn't pander to any taste or style other than the artist's own. It puts me in mind of certain Prefuse73 tracks where the lead instrument is the distortion rather than the guitar. This is far more extreme than that though, and though I generally prefer my homemade electronica a little more on the tuneful, accessible side, I fully appreciate and enjoy what this guy's doing.
Industria Masoquista - Bajo el espejo
Industria Masoquista - Sunday 04:30 AM
In fact Industria Masoquista's semi-painful but sonically-fascinating sounds are one of the real finds of my trip around the world so far. Much as I'm discovering a ton of what the beardy's would call 'world music' (isn't it all? I just don't know any more), I find anything outside of this to be seriously derivative. Now, this ain't always a bad thing either, and there's been loads of music I've really enjoyed, but with the exception of maybe Tropicalia, Industria Masoquista has been one of the few to be doing something I haven't heard before, or at least not to the same extent. So. Fair play to the man.
Visit his charmingly-named Ecuadorean label Rape Art on MySpace.
Buy Ecuadorian music
Buy Industria Masoquista
Sources: Wikipedia; Download.com
Tags: Ecuador; World Cup; Industria Masoquista; Rape Art; death metal
CIA Factbook: Ecuador
PS: Manuel Monestel of Costa Rica's Cantoamerica kindly emailed with a bit more info, so if you liked the track, you might want to check out the links he's provided...
Danza y Movimiento
Monestel, also apparently a renowned expert on calypso, says "the song "Canción del Oficio" [which was posted] is originally a poem written by Oswaldo Sauma, one of the top Costa Rican poets, and has to do with the artistic creation and all the difficulties involved."
So there you go.