The Battle of Santiago
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The Battle of Santiago

Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Band Alternative World

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Music

The best kept secret in music

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Discography

Still working on that hot first release.

Photos

Feeling a bit camera shy

Bio

The Battle of Santiago: Call it a sound clash with a victorious outcome. This Toronto-based instrumental ensemble comprises seemingly disparate musical elements. Out of potential conflict, however, comes a bracingly refreshing new sound that is quickly turning ears.

Group founder and creative catalyst Michael Owen explains "Within The Battle of Santiago (TBOS) we have a Latino section and a Canadian section. Everyone comes with such a variety of experiences. That can create something of a battle within the group, I think that kind of energy or tension creates a really good environment. You can feel the push and pull.

This instrumental lineup of The Battle of Santiago helps account for its unique sound. The heavy percussion provides a solid yet subtle sonic foundation, upon which the other instruments weave their magic, intersecting with each other in fascinating fashion. The result is music that is simultaneously rhythmic, ambient and atmospheric, a tricky combination that TBOS achieves with graceful ease. "I believe we've developed a sound I haven't heard before and that makes it interesting. That's the whole reason I'm doing this," explains Owen.

Defining the TBOS sound is a slippery task, but Owen's preferred phrase, Afro-Cuban Post- Rock, best encapsulates its essence. "We're not doing Latin rock like Santana, we're not doing orthodox post-rock because we've got these Latin rhythms, and it's not traditional Afro-Cuban either," he says.
Refusing to limit themselves to the parameters of one style does have its dangers, Owen acknowledges. "The world music types say it's not rootsy or folkie enough, the jazz crowd say it's too loud, and the rock guys say it's too world. We get beat up from all sides. Although Owen does look at it positively, our first release hit the World, Jazz and Top 30 college radio charts here in Canada. That really showed us we're doing something different."

The group is now focused on upon recording and producing new material for their third full-length album set for release in 2014.


Band Members