In the late nineties, Carlos García was part of a group of musicians and bands that blew up an underground scene in Lima, Peru, that until then had been both monotonous and immobile. It was an explosion that seemed to come from within, that wasn’t borrowed or cribbed from anywhere else. Like a handful of others in that group, García approached music with a spirit of discovery that led him outside the musical parameters of his generation, using the guitar as a way to develop new ideas and sounds without slipping into the paths already cut by any existing local canon.
Now based in Sweden, García has just released Vacuum Phases, his second album under the pseudonym Monsters de Comida. He comes to this record after many collaborations, tracks on compilations and a couple of albums under the moniker Zetangas, a project that you should not miss if you are the kind of person who is always ready to chuck on a backpack and go exploring.
What we find in this record is a laboratory of ideas, where the guitar is used to build tracks that unfold with a versatility and beauty which never lapses, and builds and builds until, by the middle of the record, its labyrinth of timbres and textures rise up around us like a tide, pulling us out into the strange sea of Garcia’s unusual imagination.
García's sound design - especially on the tracks in which he overlays harmonies made on his own self-built analog synthesizers - is precise and fluid; a feeling which he breaks back into with unexpected rhythmic patterns, keeping the album thoroughly grounded in its instrumental character. There are moments in the songs that spark whips of excitement and flashes of musical accomplishment, but the self-propelling, playful curiosity that guides the sound dismisses any possibility of academic mannerism.
Vacuum Phases is a warm echo chamber that promises to accompany us through many afternoons, revealing new edges with each sunset.