Resplandor was brought to life in early 1996, with a sound influenced by shoegaze and noise pop recording some songs that were published in 1998 (Sol de Hiel Ep). The band's debut single "Ninfa" firmly established them in the music scene, receiving great reviews. The long awaited debut live performance was hailed a success after a strong sold out audience pack at the Bauhaus Club. After several gigs along 1999, the band got into the studio to record their debut album "Elipse" which was published on Feb. 2000; some songs came along to be part of different international compilations as "Picnic Basket" from Shelflife Records, "Orange Pop" from Losing Today magazine, "Atlantic Flowers" from Alison/Clairecords/Midsummer Madness's compilation, "Test Tones vol.1" from Clairecords-Tonevendor and a tribute to Slowdive from So Soft. Resplandor hooked up with Alison Records from Germany in 2002 which released "Ambar" on Sep.2002 receiving greats reviews followed by a tour on the US East Cost, in BB.AA Argentina at Fuga Jurassica 5 festival. On April, 2005, Lunar Discos from Spain release a tribute to Echo and The Bunnymen titled "Play the Game" which the guys record a version of "The Killing Moon". The band re-released "Elipse" in digipack including 2 outtakes and 2 videos from 2000. IN 2006 two new songs Oeste & Solar were released in a CD Split with The Radio Dept, and then another two songs Twilight & Breathe, but this time were produced by Ian Catt, came alive with another CD Split with the band Mahogany. The band has performed live with bands such as The Jesus and Mary Chain, The Radio Dept., The House of Love, The Ocean Blue, Mahogany, Airiel, Lovesliescrushing, Robin Guthrie, Asobi Seksu, Soundpool, Elika, Mark Gardener among others, promoting new songs. In September 2007 the band went into the studio to start recording their last album with Robin Guthrie. This new album P L E A M A R reflects the best era of Resplandor, more mature and solid, with new lineup. The album was recorded at Estrella Negra and Alpamayo Studios featuring the collaboration from Andrew Prinz & Ana Breton from Mahogany and Scott Cortez from Lovesliescrushing and Astrobrite This new album compiles 9 songs where emphasize a mixture of sounds shoegaze and electronic with melancholic melodies and lyrics in which stand out this production. The album was completely produced and mixed by Robin Guthrie ex- Cocteau Twins. After a successful tour with Asobi Seksu in the US in March 2009, the band released the video of "Downfal" directed by Percy Cespedes. In 2010 Resplandor was the only peruvian band selected to perform at SXSW Festival in Ausin, Texas, also they played in New York these year. During 2011, Resplandor played again at SXSW Music Festival. In 2012, the band played at Culture Collide Festival in Los Angeles and they have recording a new album. In 2013, it could not have begun better for the Resplandor on having been the support band of the show of The Cure in the National Stadium of Peru.
Antonio Zelada - Guitars & Vocals
Bettine Solf - Bass; backing vocals
Christopher Farfán - Percussion & Drums
Sol de Hiel Ep (1998)
Elipse (2000) - first release
Bajo Oscuro Cielo - single (2001)
Elipse (2005) - re issue with bonus tracks
Resplandor/The Radio Dept. (Split 2006)
Resplandor/Mahogany (Split 2007)
Simply Breathless Stuff
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Simply breathless stuff and we don't mind saying quite possibly the easiest album we've had the plea...Simply breathless stuff and we don't mind saying quite possibly the easiest album we've had the pleasure of waxing lyrical about in such a long time.
Resplandor are a Peruvian based dream pop quartet based around the star gazing song craft talents of Antonio Zelada and Luis Rodriguez, formed in 1996 to date they've managed to release three full lengths bolstered by a plethora of singles, EP's and compilation appearances all of which have seen their reputation and stock rise steadily to quiet critical acclaim.
'pleamar' sees them returning to the fray after a lengthy absence from the scene following 2005's repackaged and re-mastered 'elipse' debut. Produced by the Cocteau's Robin Guthrie, 'pleamar' is a sumptuously honey glazed 9 track odyssey that should appeal principally to fans of Chapterhouse, Slowdive, Club AC30 and of course Cocteau Twins.
Delicately speckled with a pop orientated undercurrent (best evidenced on the chiming cortege of the sun burnt love noted 'Oeste' - a melting lovelorn spectral pop apparition, replete with dizzying eddies of spiralling and swirling ether crests delicately picked away by the lilting array of interweaving boy / girl vocals moulded very much in a style more associated with the Lover Speaks), this cosmic carnival is all at once embracing, uplifting and crushing and an album best served by nudging the volume dials to maximum in order to immerse yourself within its gossamer like velveteen folds. Accepted its saccharine saturated to touch yet unwrap the pretty outer packaging and scratch beneath the surface and you'll be charmed by the fusion of opining orbs in swirls of jubilance, celestial harmonics, reverberating hazes, chiming cascades and ether drawn jet streams.
The set opens with softly kissed radiance of 'Solar', transmitting or so it seems from hermetically sealed celestial atmospheres this babe is braided by lopping beats swimming amid tides of arcing life affirming swathes of spectral mistrals that longingly give way to 'downfall' itself shimmering teasingly as though the Psychedelic Furs had been spotted shimmying up to Ultra Vivid Scene. Richly festooned in a sublime silken aura the touching 'raindrops' features the unmistakable handy work of Robin Guthrie found here applying his trademark glacial crests though strange as it may seem instead of sounding like a ringer for the Cocteau's rather more coming across as though Johnny Marr had been found trying out for a sublimely sedated My Bloody Valentine.
Bathed in halos of hollowing hazes of fuzz laden feedback 'breathe' shifts through the lunatic gears nodding along the way to 'boy' era Moose and 'kaleidoscope' era Boo Radleys as it caresses, shifts and peaks amid statuesque pockets of stratosphere piercing pines. In sharp contrast the reclining 'Boreal' offers a moment of tenderness into which the intricate needle worked chimes harness the essence of Vini Reilly fused with Barry / Mancini. Elsewhere the lulling mellowed murmur of 'whisper' casts an affectionate eye towards the much missed Le Mans though it's the parting 'twilight' that provides the set with its most defining moment, a captivatingly hypnotic and ethereal gem stone of willowy lunatic drones and aquatic ambience anchored upon a seductive bed of softly demurring cosmic cascades and bliss fuelled states.
In short 'pleamar' is the equivalent of dying and waking up to find yourself in dream pop and with that offers a lushly arranged garland of affectionately poised celestial canons.
Key tracks -
Full of shimmering layers of guitars
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Resplandor are a shoegaze band from Lima, Peru. When you Google the band name, you get lots of hits ...Resplandor are a shoegaze band from Lima, Peru. When you Google the band name, you get lots of hits indicating that El Resplandor is the Spanish for The Shining, as in the movie with Jack Nicholson. (Brendan's Note: Or the book by Stephen King.) Likewise when you Google "Pleamar", you discover that Pleamar is a TV channel based in Seville, Spain. A search to translate the word indicates that it means "high tide", so i am not sure if this is some oceanic reference or indicative that the band are fans of TV from Spain.
At any rate, Resplandor have been making music in Lima since the mid-90s. I have been vaguely aware of them through my internet shoegazer connections, but this is the first of their records that i have heard in full. Not to say that i have been unimpressed with what i have heard; to the contrary, Resplandor's limited catalog is of high quality, but rather difficult to track down in North America. I made extra effort to track down this release, for Pleamar was produced by none other than the Godfather of Shoegaze himself, Mr. Robin Guthrie. (Or should that be M. Robin Guthrie, now that he lives in France?) Aside from being one of my favorite guitarists of all time, Guthrie is a very skilled producer, and the bands he works with are usually worth hearing. This is no exception.
Resplandor pull in some of their friends in the international shoegazer scene for help. Downfall features a backing female vocal bit courtesy of Ana Breton of Mahogany. Breton and bandmate Andrew Prinz join Resplandor to add still more guitars and voice to Twilight, the album's long, slow closer. Interestingly, towards the beginning of that song, there is a guitar riff that is very Guthrie, and i wonder if he lent his axe to the proceedings, or if his numerous disciples simply ended up sounding like him, however briefly. According to the Resplandor website, Scott Cortez of Loveliescrushing also plays on the record, although his influence is more subtle and not as immediately noticeable to me, perhaps because i am not as familiar with his work.
So, Resplandor are a long running Peruvian shoegazer act with numerous connections in the international shoegazer mafia, who have put together a 48 minute album featuring a lot of heavyweights in the scene. How does it hold up? Is the band more hype than they are worth?
Fortunately, the album does hold up. Pleamar is among the best shoegazer records that i have heard in, well, a long time. It is full of shimmering layers (upon layers upon layers) of guitar, big shiny melodies, and tremolo that positively oozes out of your stereo. The songs tend to move at a mid-tempo pace, as if weighed down by the density of music that went into recording them. If you like that classic shoegaze sound, which Guthrie records so well, then you will enjoy this album.
I think some of the singing is in English, and some in Spanish. Usually the voice is buried in the mix, hidden under guitar washes, so it is never clearly heard. Heck, they could be singing all of the songs in Klingon for all i know... it's not important really. However, i know that some people get obsessed with understanding the words. If you are one such listener, then you might want to avoid Pleamar, as the lyrics are something you might never decipher.
There are no snoozers here, especially if you like the style from which they do not deviate. The real standout for me is Oeste, which occurs in the middle of the album. The sound here is somewhat darker than on the other tunes, the voice referencing both Ian Curtis and Steve Kilbey, while the guitars chug along over a beat that reminds me of Seefeel. Dark electro shoegaze, which lyrics that i think are in Spanish. There is a lot going on with the guitar work here: it grinds, chimes, and chugs all at the same time. Very very nice.
Another stunner is Boreal, in which the three Resplandor boys try very hard to sound like the work that Robin Guthrie and Harold Budd have been doing of late, and succeed rather well. But they push that light sound further, adding a thick fuzzy guitar over the chiming for great effect.
There is a lot to absorb on this album, and i expect to be delving through it deep layers of sound for quite some time. If you like shoegaze, this is absolutely essential. People who are not fans of the genre probably will not be converted by this, but oh well. It's a beautiful disc, but not for everyone.
A must-have for anyone
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Some rather superb and deep shoegaze sounds from, of all places, Lima, Peru! Boasting of production ...Some rather superb and deep shoegaze sounds from, of all places, Lima, Peru! Boasting of production and mixing by one Robin Guthrie (Cocteau Twins), these songs shimmer and drone like long-long cousins of Slowdive. Take that as some serious praise.
And, like that influential group, the vocals here are little more than a series of echoes, coos, and breathy “baaaah's.” That said, I do detect some English lyrics (maybe), but in reality, who cares? The music is simply heavenly, drifty, melodic, and soothing in a womblike way. The title track singes, sizzles, and burns with heavily-effected guitars while epic drones encase the whole sound into a cohesive whole, and the melody oozes out. This is a must-have for anyone who laments the lack of new material from My Bloody Valentine.
'Boreal' incorporates some glitchy electronics into the mix, and effectively places Resplandor outside the realm of purely retro acts and nudges them into the future. I've seldom heard such a convincing melding of ambient guitar washes and swollen drone/noise. I'll be investigating this band further. I just want to turn it up loud and drift off (and away). - Todd Zachritz (Rating: 5)
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