Meridian Brothers – not brothers, and not straight-down-the-line in the slightest.
Despite the name, Meridian Brothers is the one-man-band project of Colombian singer/songwriter/weirdo Eblis Álvarez. Based in Bogota, he’s released three studio albums in the last eight years on local label La Distritofónica. His output to date is fabulously odd: Colombian folk rhythms and melodies lie at the heart of his work, but his music is full of all sorts of sonic legerdemain – strange atonality, Joe Meek-style sci-fi flourishes, seriously off-kilter rhythms. There are points of comparison – El Guincho, or Animal Collective c. Sung Tongs – but he’s best described as a Colombian Felix Kubin, producing giddily inventive, deeply strange stuff.
Following the lead of British label Soundway (who gave Álvarez’s Deseperanza a European release earlier this year), Markus Detmer’s Staubgold label will put out Álvarez’s first non-Colombian compilation release. Devoción (Works 2005 – 2011) will collect the highlights of Álvarez’s last three albums; as is his way, Álvarez plays all the instruments and handles all the songwriting.
Devoción (Works 2005 – 2011) is due in August. Staubgold’s release of The 49 Americans’ post-punk playpen E Pluribus Unum was previously named as one of our reissues and retrospectives of the month; head here to see June’s list.