Diseñar y destruir (Design and destroy) is the second album by the band Varsovia, a project formed in early 2012 by Dante Gonzales (composer and former member of other well-known electronic acts such as Ensamble, Estación Perdida, El Hangar de los Mecánicos and Pestaña) and Fernando Pinzás. The album reflects the second period of the band, which starts with the incorporation of Carla Vallenas as lead singer in the summer of 2015, replacing frontwoman Sheri Corleone.
In contrast to their debut album, Recursos Inhumanos (Inhumane Resources) (2014), this production includes darker sounds on the one hand, while, on the other, it becomes closer to industrial music and EBM, keeping their direct and aggressive attitude. Lyrics follow a concept, inspired by the political violence in Peru during the 80s. So, these songs refer to situations such as the blackouts, terrorist car bombs or the uncertainty of living between two fires. Even though these songs are inspired by events that occurred decades ago, they become relevant today, due to the terrible conjuncture caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.
These tracks were recorded between 2015 and 2017, a time when the band gave many concerts within the underground scene. They shared the stage with important acts such as She Past Away, Sixth June, Ash Code, Mueran Humanos, and 60s legends Silver Apples.
In 2018, Varsovia went on hiatus due to the temporary departure of Dante Gonzales, who started other projects. Fernando Pinzás joined the darkwave band Specto Caligo as a bass player, among other musical projects. Diseñar y destruir remains as a legacy, a closure for this period in which Varsovia offered an interesting proposal, mixing the power and protest of punk with the experimentation provided by synthesizers.
Varsovia is an electronic music band formed in 2012 in Lima. It combines synthesizers with punk’s anger and noise experimentation. Its style could be described as ‘synth punk’ or ‘minimal synth’ with nods to darkwave, techno and industrial music. Since mid-2012, the band has played a lot of gigs within the local underground scene, standing out for its intense performances, mainly characterized by synth improvisation over heavy rhythms.
By the end of 2011, Fernando Pinzás was playing keyboards with a more synth-punk-oriented band called Televisión SS, and was looking to work on more electronic-oriented arrangements. Then he met experienced electronic musician Dante Gonzales (former member of bands such as Pestaña, Ensamble and Estación Perdida); a friendship was born between them and they started to make music together. After composing and recording several tracks, singer and guitar player Sheri Corleone joined them in this project (now she is in Amsterdam with her solo project Bang Bang Band Girl).
Thanks to the reputation gained in the aforementioned gigs, in September 2013, Varsovia played for the first time in a massive concert, Lima Vive Rock, at Parque de la Exposición, a free festival where they shared stage with various local artists and with Peruvian garage rock legend Los Saicos.
Varsovia’s sound stood out in the local scene because of its originality, taking sounds from electronic and industrial music of the early 80s with a critical discourse with regard to the establishment. This sound was consolidated as their trademark with the release of their long-awaited first album called ‘Recursos Inhumanos’ (Inhumane Resources) through Peruvian label Buh Records, managed by Luis Alvarado. For the recording, they used synthesizers, drum machines and guitars with effects. The album had a great response by the public and critics, and it was considered one of the best releases of 2014 by El Comercio’s blog ‘Tercer Parlante’, ‘Cosas’ magazine, ‘El Peruano’ newspaper and ‘Tesoros Mundanos’ magazine. Furthermore, ‘Caretas’ magazine considered Varsovia the best new band of that year. Re-edition of ‘Recursos Inhumanos’ also obtained favorable reviews by international mediums such as Maximumrocknroll.
Upon this release, Sheri Corleone went to Europe to continue with her solo music projects, and was replaced by performer and friend of the band, Carla Gwen, in early 2015. With this new line-up, Varsovia continued to play more gigs, sharing stage with darkwave bands such as She Past Away, Ash Code, Sixth June and Mueran Humanos. During this second period, they also played at ‘Festival Integraciones 2015’ with legendary cult band Silver Apples.
By the end of 2017, the band went on hiatus. Dante continued with his career as an electronic composer and released ‘Fantasías Mentales’ (Mental Fantasies, Buh Records, 2018) on cassette. He also continued making music with electronic band El Hangar de los Mecánicos and with the duo Kozmik Café. On his part, Fernando joined darkwave band Specto Caligo as a bassist, releasing ‘Distorsiones Óseas’ (Bone Distortions, Buh Records, 2018) on cassette.
Meanwhile, Varsovia focused on finishing the details for ‘Diseñar y destruir’ (Design and destroy), an album that closed this period with Carla Gwen. They released a video for the eponymous song in 2019. That year, HBO choose their song ‘Ellos quieren sangre’ as the main theme of ‘Los Espookys’, Spanish language production created by Fred Armisen, Ana Fabrega and Julio Torres, which first aired on June.
In 2020, within the coronavirus worldwide crisis, Buh Records re-issued ‘Recursos Inhumanos’ on vinyl and finally released ‘Diseñar y destruir.’ Previously, Carla Gwen had announced she would definitively leave the band. In October that year, Dante and Fernando were called to work on a soundtrack for ‘The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari’, in commemoration of the 100 years of the film. This version was virtually exhibited at ‘Al Este de Lima’ film festival.