Monday, February 4, 2013

Pitstop: Il Abanico

It really says something when an opening band can captivate a whole room and will them into movement. Especially in a cynic city of discontent non-movers like New York City. And yet that's exactly what Brooklyn  by way of Bogota fivesome Il Abanico did at their most recent gig opening for Freelance Whales with Hundred Waters.

In a city where indie rock is the norm and hundreds of bands are pumping out things that sound incredibly similar to music that already exists, a band like Il Abanico is a revelation. Intricate and precise with ever-clear tight-knit grooves; tropical-infused percussion, and a intense sense of musicality that seems to burst out of vocalist Juliana Ronderos, Il Abanico are one of those all too rare bands that absolutely must be experienced live. Their live set leagues ahead of their only record: the Crossing Colors EP. Live, Ronderos takes on the daredevil-esque insistence of Raphaelle Standell-Preston of BRAIDS (particularly in "Plath Heart") or SoftSpot's Sarah Kinlaw. The band flittering away at breakneck speeds while maintaining a pristine clarity. Each member's path brightly illuminated; completely unobscured.

And yet despite the impressiveness of the band's pyrotechnic displays of virtuosity, Ronderos remains the group's emotional core. Providing a focus through the blustering stream of notes and drum hits and adding to the spirited technical maelstrom with a vivacious energy of her own. Here's hoping on their next record, Il Abanico can channel the showmanship and tight-rope-walk risk taking of their live set because anything less than that undersells the absolutely incredible band to those that should be into them. If not, at least we'll have have the live shows.  

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