La Oveja Electrika

I been hanging out with some old friends, one specifically with which I used to play in a pop/rock band name T.E.M. when I was a teenager.

His name is Luis Toledo and known by various aliases such as Bambach, and Viti.

Anyway, I left for Canada –where I worked, finally graduating from university– our bass player Fernando Burgos entered the social work force (he also got married had a family), Roco our singer had to repeat the school year (his marks suffered due to being in a couple of bands), but at some point Viti regrouped with others and formed La Oveja Electrika (or La Oveja Eléktrica) with Wii Cazanova on guitars and vocals, Luis Toledo on bass and background synths and electronic drums, sometimes including Mauricio Contreras (El Chupete) in on drums. Don’t ask what Wii and El Chupete are short for as few probably recall (I know that a “chupete” is a pacifier in typical Chilean Spanish, probably from the verb “chupar” which means “to suck”. I guess if one were to follow this line of thought, El Chupete, means “Sucker” or “The Sucker”.).

You can get a few of their songs at, <http://www.purevolume.com/laovejaelectrika>

and a mix at, <http://www.bandasdechile.cl/banda_detalle.php?banda_id=5500>

I recently spoke with Toledo on May 15, 2007 and he confided the following.

“You might agree that the best song is ‘Lucky’, which incidentally was recorded without El Chupete. All the others have his hand in the “mix”, although I tried to clean out his meddling. El Chupete was the percussionist that wanted to mix, produce, arrange songs and even sing. His influence wasn’t the best considering that when we were invited to play at a progressive “rock” festival, El Chupete wanted to format everything into a 2 minute pop song format [probably influenced by his favourite bubble gum rock band, ‘The Ramones’]. In the end, we broke up because of these artistic differences, and because some wanted to be more than what they were hired to do.”

I wonder if many band member’s struggles to remain sober, and the resulting devastating family impact contributed to the the break-up.

Looking back, T.E.M. was nothing like La Oveja Electrika. T.E.M. was a rock-pop band (playing an odd selection of Pink Floyd, The Police, and even The Doors covers) while La Oveja Electrika sounds so electronic with a bit of Syd Barrrett, mixed with drum and bass. Viti assures me that a real drum kit was used for live gigs, leaving aside the electronic influence. Apparently the electronic drums were used during the recording sessions out of pragmatic reasons rather than a love for electronic aesthetics.

Enjoy!

Maurice Cepeda

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