Over the last decade, the internet has revolutionized how bands connect to their audience – no longer do you have to wait for a major record label to pick up some of the exciting new talent in Chile’s music scene.
One visit to Yatoka.org is all it takes to see for yourself what this country at the bottom of South America and the foot of the Andes has to offer music lovers around the world.
Twenty-nine artists and bands are featured on this cutting-edge website, from Latino rockers like The Ganjas and Perrosky, young Andean folk singers like Chinoy and Pascuala Ilabaca, groundbreaking hip-hop artists like Colectivo Etéreo, new cumbia legends like Chico Trujillo or the big band, high energy, Latin mash-up of Banda Conmoción.
The website gives the background of the groups in Spanish, but you don’t need be fluent in the romance languages to get the idea of the “pocket” documentaries that accompany each write-up; film clips taken of live performances in everyday spaces.
“Yatoka aims to record moments that capture all Chilean music within and outside of the country, bring them together and spread them,” the website explains. “By brief recordings of musicians interpreting part of their repertoire live, not in a traditional setting but in urban locations (metro stations, festivals, museums, plazas or historic sites) it seeks to offer the public another way of accessing current Chilean music.”
On the website you’ll find the folk-inspired indie rockers Kuervos del Sur jamming with Chilean charangos and Peruvian cajóns in the mountains behind Santiago, or the lead singer of Pascuala Ilabaca playing accordion on top of Cerro Cárcel in Valparaíso, in a clip that captures all the gaudy colors of the port city’s streets.
Then there’s Valdivia’s Fuma & Baila bouncing among the fishmongers of their home city or Natalia Bernal, her band and a pack of sea-lions on the docks of Iquique, dramatic desert peaks in the background.
From the rainy southern reaches of Patagonia to the heart of Santiago’s downtown, take a trip down the length and breadth of Chile and through its unique musical scene. Check out Yatoka.org.