Born in Santiago, the 4th of September 2009, Tunacola presented their first set at Onaciú, in the Bellavista barrio. Before that there seemed to only be a collection of demos gathering at, producer, Ricardo Luna’s feet. When the tracks started to form words he though about putting together a group for live performances and he showed the music to DJ Caso who he was sharing studio space with at the time. Later he called La Paz (Birdie Court), an incredible singer who Luna previously worked with and absolutely needed in order to find that special balance between male and female vocals. Tunacola’s personality began to form with time, but it always had that party vibe mixed with what Luna calls the “las deliciosas cursilerías” of pop. Luna’s love of the delicious kitch is exactly on point. Mixed with La Paz’s jazz background and Caso’s hip-hop swag, Luna’s classical musical training rings true to what I’ve always said about classical musica, it used to be the pop music of it’s time people, duh!
Eclectic musings and the springtime jams of bass bouncing elecronics overlay the melodies and catchiness of Tunacola. I think they’re producing some of the best electro-pop in the world, but I’m biased. With disco, funk and hip-hop influences, grinding beats and a general fun-fair production, these guys rock it like nobody’s business. Luna explains, “siempre me ha gustado la pureza y la plasticidad de los sonidos de 8 bit. Es una mezcla bien ecléctica.”
Luna says that Chile has been been pretty faithful to the group, where they get to play often enough, despite the limitations of living in a “país pequeño.” I’m not sure how small Chile really is, geographically speaking, but if you’ve had your ears to the walls the past couple years, you’re probably well aware of the roaring melodies that our Chilean lovelies have been producing. The whole world in fact has seemed to caught wind to the expert level of craftsmenship and artistry garnered by artist such as Javiera Mena and the lesser known (but on the rise) Mamacita who we had the honor of featuring and probably introducing to eagerly awaiting U.S. ears. In keeping with the trend, but always a little weary of their passing nature, Lollapalooza hit Chile and brought some of their magic to Chicago. The exchange seems perfect, and something about Tunacola keeps in line with the fad. This is party music for the people.
Art in all it’s forms, less than musical influences, inspire Luna who also attests to the power of the consumed good that attract him as any other curious individual. Chile’s very active and prominent music scene, and Luna attests, “mucha de esta música debería estar escuchándose en todo el mundo, así que en esas estamos.”
According to Luna, the music scene in Chile is kind of small and formed by many friends and small groups, probably attesting to the class wars that riddle most of Latin America and pretty much every elite art scene the globe over, but that’s just my opinion and perhaps an amassing observation. Irregardless, Luna eagerly plugs La Paz work with Jazzimodo and RH Trio, close friends such as Picnic kibún, Chico Claudio, Loki da Trixta (a New York rapper whom Luna is currently collaborating with this year), and collaborators Gepe y Tea Time, Daniella Bozza, the visuals of Tadeo Castelvero and many other friends who help and make up the energy behind Tunacola. Luna says more than artist he’d like to work with are the elements he’s interested in, Colombian percussions, Chilean chichineros, brass from JB’s, the same old Nintendo cuts and a hot air balloons to launch it all in the air.
There’s definitely an airy, lighthearted nature to Tunacola’s musical stylings, the improvisational tone yet guided, and methodic rhythms are absolutely composed from the mind of a classically trained artist. Luna the brains behind the show, confides some pretty strange musical crushes growing up, from Tracy Chapman, to Lars Ulrich of Metallica, but his first love was La Sonia when he was a wee tot. And among his favorite foods he confides, “reineta frita con ensalada mixta y arroz,” which sounds almost more delectable than Tunacola’s music. The strangest moment in their rising success, Luna confides: “la primera vez que la gente empezó a corear las canciones, y no se veían muchos amigos en el público.” Tunacola hopes to pop out a second album this year, keep traveling, and hopefully hit up Chicago sometime soon.