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Rockin' the Volcano - Pululahua '99 (continued)
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Dogma Sinica from Columbia lifted the small crowd on the second day with powerful songs from their latest album "Cultura Del Ruido (Culture of Noise)". Designed to raise the level of Colombian rock by exploring new areas and ambiences. Singer Javier Reyes said, "It's about aggressive people attracting aggression in a negative atmosphere of mental noise, where aggression becomes a lifestyle. By putting noise into the music, we try and show the complexity of the feeling that it creates."

[IMAGE - the crowd © Simon Stettner]By introducing an authentic and darker sound to their hard rock and incorporating new elements, samplers, loops and noise, they have catapulted themselves to fame in Columbia. Javier praising the festival objective - uniting the different Latin American rock movements, declared enthusiastically, "It's magic, I've been filled with energy all day in this wonderful place of power."

The people dropped their fried bananas and KFC as Spanish rockers Girasoules (Souls Flowers) brought their own special brand of philosophic rock to Pululahua. They were promoting their third album "Mundo Feliz (Happy World)", which was produced by Joe Davorniak in London. The popular soft acoustic rock is a move away from the style of the previous albums, which explored Latin rhythms. Inspired by Aldous Huxley's "Brave New World", a social critique runs through the conceptual and melodic album. Playing for the second time in Latin America, Kike Tarraso, singer, though disappointed at the size of the crowd, found the festival superb. "Playing in a crater was the experience of a life time."

The atmosphere intensified on the third day with eagerly awaited Mexican band, La Dosis (The Dose), igniting the soaked crowd with an intense dose of analogue, drum and bass, electronic soul funk and ultramodern, conceptual lyrics. Philosophising about the danger of the thoughtless mainstream 'peddle bike' society, where no one thinks or examines the nature of their own existence. Invited by Sony and promoting their 5th album "Hydro", singer, Sara Valenzuela, found the crater to be a weird experience but a great idea.

The frenzy of Chilean reggae-rock band, Chancho en Piedra (Stone Pork) injected adrenaline into the frosty night. While practically unknown in Ecuador, their witty lyrics, catchy funk and strong vocals captured the crowd.

[IMAGE - the stage © Simon Stettner]Argentinean Babasónicos shook the crater with a blend of rock, funk and hip-hop, which enraptured the crowd to mosh in a mad, trancey and intense set. Tripping on a combination of oxygen for altitude sickness and volcanic mushrooms, front man, Adrian Dargelos described the feeling as great, "tripping in the clouds, throwing the vibe." Taking their name from the Hindu prophet Sai Baba and an allegory to the Supersonic ones, the seven members of the band started playing together in 1991, and are currently promoting their fourth album "Babasonica", an addiction to simplicity. Keyboardist, Uma-T explained, "All the personalities of the band are different and spontaneous, we are against formula music which destroys creativity. Our experimental and un-pure music creates absolute trance, an altered state of mind. It is tacky, trippy and psycho with a lot of flow. We try to be as tacky as possible, mocking cheesy, greasy, macho Miami-style Latin playboys."

By playing on Latin American taboos such as sex and spirituality, they are trying to break the antique conservative Hispanic heritage and make way for a new future in the new millennium. Their uncool approach is making them an up and coming and very happening band, icons of the youth culture.


by Robert Greening © 1999.
Photography By Simon Stettner.