With their recent breakthrough album out now on NACIONAL RECORDS (Manu Chao, Tom Tom Club, Aterciopelados), Chile's Astro have scored momentous attention internationally. Often compared to a mix of Animal Collective, MGMT, and Prince they name David Bowie, Genesis, Yeasayer, Deerhunter and Ariel Pink as influences. Regardless, the music of this sprightly young quartet, a winsome melange of indie rock, South American percussion and lyrics en español, is thoroughly refreshing. "Listening to Astro is like a vacation. The synth pop-heavy music and back-to-nature imagery on this album have earned Astro the nickname "Chile's MGMT." - NPR Music´s 50 Favorite Albums of the year. "Lovely, melodic, reverbed falsetto, epic/dreamlike synth effects and real rock 'n' roll drumming." - MTV. Astro performs in San Francisco on Wednesday, July 31 at Rickshaw Stop amongst a handful of US shows this Summer including the Latin Alternative Music Festival in NY and Lollapalooza Chicago.
Astro (Octavio Cavieres, Nicolás Arancibia, Daniel Varas and Andrés Nusser) is a renowned Chilean band that stands out not only for its fresh sound and artistic sensibilities, but also for its bold, energetic and highly interpretative live show.
In a very short time, Astro has achieved wide recognition on the Chilean independent circuit and, more recently, in the international arena. The group formed in September 2008 and, by mid-2009, was already a force to be reckoned with throughout the local independent scene in Chile – they were performing to packed crowds at Santiago’s most significant events.
In April 2009, they released their first EP, “Le Disc de Astrou”, in digital format under the Danish label “Wash Dishes”. The EP’s innovative and cutting-edge musical landscape resulted in the band’s first international touring opportunity to Argentina and Uruguay. Then, in early 2010, they were invited to participate in the prestigious Mexican festival “Vive Latino” (Latin America’s answer to Coachella), where they shared the stage with international greats such as Rodrigo y Gabriela, Empire of the Sun, or even Calexico.
Their performance at “Vive Latino” guaranteed they did not leave Mexico without making their mark. They impacted the independent Mexican circuit thanks to the song “Maestro Distorción”, which became an undeniable radio hit on the Mexican airwaves. This led them to sign with the “Entertainmex” agency and the “Terrícolas Imbéciles” record label, agreeing on the production of the first hard copy of “Le Disc de Astrou” in a special edition marketed to the Aztec community in September 2010. In less than a year, the album sold over 2,000 copies.
Their first record exceeded all expectations and was very well received both publicly and critically. Chilean and foreign press gave it excellent reviews. Some of these even featured “Le Disc de Astrou” in their top 10 Best Albums of 2010.
In November 2010, the band went back to Argentina, produced by DJ Cecilia Amenábar, where they performed in Buenos Aires’ “Hot Festival”.
In early 2011, “Le Disc de Astrou” was released in Chile and the band performed several live shows in support of this release. In April they were invited to participate in the first version of Lollapalooza Chile, where their comfort and maturity on stage as well as their tasteful use of eclectic instruments and tones were evident. Building on this, Astro was then invited to participate in the consolidated Colombian festival “Rock al Parque”, the largest free festival in Latin America, where they performed for an eager and excited crowd of over 120,000 people.
While their number of international live appearances continued to grow in 2011, the second half of that year was marked by their invitations to share the Chilean stage with US-based international greats Metronomy and The Sea and Cake, performing for packed crowds of 2,000 and 1,000 people respectively. They were also one of the most anticipated bands at the Primavera Fauna Festival, where they performed alongside leading international artists such as: !!! (Chk Chk Chk), The Raveonettes, Flight Facilities and Jacques Renault, to name but a few.
Astro´s first LP (“Astro”) was officially released on December 2nd, 2011 in Chile, a date that set the stage for a spectacular event at Matucana 100. The event was a complete success – the main theater was filled to capacity and the band once again exceeded all expectations by surprising the public with an impressive high budget, well rehearsed, and mature performance that stands out in the Chilean independent music scene to this day. Furthermore, thousands of people all over Chile and around the world were able to experience the show in real time via the Internet as several Chilean, Mexican, US and Spanish networks participated in its international broadcast.
The album confirmed the band’s growing buzz while solidifying the unstoppable ascension of Astro’s infectious sound and musicianship. On the international scene, Astro´s new album has caused ripples throughout diverse markets. It is therefore no surprise that several media sites have not only hailed “Ciervos” as one of the best tracks and music videos of 2011, but have also placed “Astro” LP in the elite category of top albums released in 2011.
In 2012, Astro continued to perform internationally, with a view to exposing their music to a greater consensus of crossover crowds and, in so doing, confirming their stronghold in crossover markets. In March 2012, they toured the United States and Mexico, performing at the Festival Normal (Monterrey, Mexico), SXSW (Austin, TX) and Vive Latino (D.F., Mexico), to name a few. The tour was a complete success, culminating in the signature of a deal with U.S-based label Nacional Records for the US release of “Astro” and with Terrícolas Imbéciles for its release in Mexico. Therefore, owing to its desire to aim high and take advantage of the outstanding opportunities they were offered thus far in their young career, the members of Astro managed to consolidate their band’s presence in the Aztec market and open the doors to the U.S. market. Resolute in their eagerness to build on their international achievements, Astro returned to Argentina, and traveled to Spain to participate in the prestigious Catalan festival known as Primavera Sound. This visit to Spain was an overwhelming success, as they were able to secure local representation and booking, including an agreement for the release of their acclaimed “Astro” LP in Spain.
It must also be noted that the track “Panda”, another catchy song on their debut LP, was selected to appear on the official video game soundtrack for FIFA 13 (EASports).
In early 2013 the band has tour through Mexico, Panama, Dominican Republic and USA, to perform in several events as: Carnaval de Bahidora, Festival Verde de Cultura Musical and Redbull Panamerika Escenario LA. Meanwhile, they are working in a new album.
Astro has it all. With a defining sound, solid musicianship, and outstanding artistic sensibilities revered throughout the world, their proven crossover potential will undoubtedly continue to define itself as they focus their future efforts on conquering the worldwide music scene.