From a media release:
BATTLE OF SANTIAGO - Fábrica de Ritmo (Rhythm Factory)
• June 25, 2016 in Toronto as part of Luminato
US Tour Dates:
• July 7 @ ArtsRoit, Burlington, VT
• July 8 @ Rockwood Music Hall, NYC, NY (Fabrica de Ritmo – Live Electronic DJ set)
• July 9 @ Joe Pub, NYC, NY
There’s an epic soundclash taking place North of the Border. Toronto-based group the Battle of Santiago combines classic Afro-Cuban rhythms and vocals with a distinctly Canadian post-rock spirit and sensibility. The result is a wholly unique sound that tells a universal 21st Century story, transcending borders while staying rooted in one city’s immigrant experience.
“There are a couple of different Battles of Santiago’s to choose from,” explains the group’s founder Michael Owen. “There were a few in Cuba, mostly during the Spanish-American War, and there was even an infamous World Cup match in Chile that’s been given the name, too. So you can take your pick. We liked that ambiguity. It reflects how our music can change and take on different vibes. The name also implies some kind of soundclash, which works for us since the band has both a Latino and non-Latino section, and that dynamic can create a really exciting creative tension.”
Fábrica de Ritmo ( Rhythm Factory) is the group's newest exploration deconstructing and rebuilding these classic latin rhythms with their own district sound while marring their experience with electronic dance music. The band has a love of rhythm and percussion with a mission to explore the musical boundaries in non traditional directions using their ambience, electronic, noise, jazz, and post-rock influences.
The Battle of Santiago has been marked by this restless, transnational experimentalism since the beginning. The group has evolved from an exploration of experimental rock grounded in drummer-less Latin percussion, to an instrumental groove machine, to a tight Afro-Cuban post-rock outfit, and to this new mash up with their love of electronic dance music.
While Canada is well-known for its thriving indie rock and electronic scenes, with acts as diverse as Grimes and God Speed You Black Emperor, the country is seldom thought of as a Latin music hotbed. But Toronto hosts many thriving immigrant communities — including one of the largest Cuban expat communities in North America — and the Battle of Santiago is strongly rooted in the city’s wealth of Cuban and Latin musical talent.
The Battle of Santiago doesn’t skimp on their live show, either. There multimedia component developed with Chilean-born artist/designer Patricio Davila, integrates digital visual art, live musical performance and audience interaction. The result is a one-of-a-kind organic audio / visual installation not to be missed.
The band will be promoting the upcoming release which dives deep into Afro-Cuban waters, mixing Afro-Cuban Yourba chants with subtle electronica (“Barasu-Ayo”) and rumbas with post-rock experimentalism (“Asi Vengo Yo”). The sound is more than just Radiohead meets Irakere, though: there’s cumbia tinged with dub (“Cimmaron”), anthemic Latin rock (“Pa Bailar”) and even the smooth funk of “Complica”.