Δευτέρα, 24 Δεκεμβρίου 2018

Scene of Colombia – Special Report

First of all, I want to greet the worldwide scene and to everyone who read this report. Really, I don’t know how well informed are people about Colombian scene. I have known that in overseas, people only know the bad image of Colombia, that is, the bad things that have happened here (narcotraffic, troubles with the guerrilla, paramilitaries and other outlaw armed groups, kidnapping, violence against human rights, corruption, etc). I want to say this: Our country has 44 millions of inhabitants approximately and it has been a conflictive nation. In spite of that, our country has many things to give to the world concerning to culture, music and libertary activities (D.I.Y.).
Right now, let’s talk about music. In Colombia, the underground HC punk scene appeared in Medellin, and from here it has spread to other cities as the years passed by. I’m talking about the age of years 1982-83, when the scene was just rising up. In that age, the first band was Complot. They played “covers” of bands such as Sex Pistols, Damned, Generation X and many others. Some years after, they disappeared.

Besides of punk movement in Medellin, which was known as PUNK MEDALLO, there were other bands that played metal music, influenced by the metal bands from Europe and USA (Kreator, Venom, Slayer, etc). This movement was known as METAL MEDALLO. This movement arose in 1983 with bands such as: PARABELLUM, GLOSTER GLADIATTOR, MIERDA, ASTAROTH (all
they are disappeared nowadays), REENCARNACION, DANGER, MASACRE (these last 3 bands are still playing).

In the age 1984-87, other bands appeared and they stayed playing for some few years…and later, they disappeared. From those bands, some few are still playing nowadays. The bands of that years were: NN, NO, Anarquia, Los Mutantes, P-Ne, Rasix, Denuncia Pública, Desadaptados, Hartos De Ti, ANTI TODO, IRA, Fertil Miseria, GP, Danger, Peste Mutantex. This time was very hard to all of us and to all people in general all around the country, because there were a lot of social conflicts generated because of the narcotraffic, and the illegal armed groups (FARC, ELN, paramilitary groups). So, the civil population was very affected. More or less, 3000 young people (including rockers) died in our city Medellin because of the violence of narcotraffic. That occurred in the age 1988 – 1991.

In Bogotá city (capital of Colombia) appeared the first HC Punk bands in the age 1986-1989. Those bands were: Morgue, Demencia and La Pestilencia.
In the age 1988-1991 other bands appeared in Medellín. Most of them played for some years but they are disappeared nowadays. Those bands were: Crimen Impune, Diskordia, Antiokia Podrida, Humano X, Averxión, Agresión Social and many others…

Other activities: in the Colombian scene, besides of the concerts, other activities have been performed, such as: marches against bullfights, forums, anarchist congresses, conversatories, libertary festivals. Some entities who have performed those activities are: Colectivo Arte y Resistencia, Rompiendo Cabuyas, Colectivo Anarquista de Solidaridad Obrera, Red Juvenil…among others.
Concerts with bands from overseas: In our scene of HC Punk, we have had the visit of foreigner bands. Most of them have come from countries of South America, with exception of some foreigner bands who have been played here in Medellin (TOTAL CHAOS, VICE SQUAD, REINCIDENTES, MISFITS, THE ADICTS). Here, there is a rock festival named ALTAVOZ, which is organized by the Medellin’s city

administration (Alcaldia de Medellin), with the sponsorship of some private enterprises. Those
bands mentioned here have played in that rock festival.
Really, it has been impossible to bring bands of that status, due to various factors; the lack of
money to pay them the expenses (housing, meals, live presentation), the lack of the appropriate
spaces and good sound. Besides, other factor is the highly expensive taxes and administration
permissions asked by the Government for the concerts. For example: if you are going to organize a
concert with VICE SQUAD or with COCK SPARRER, you have to look for a lot of permissions in the municipality administration and all that shits.

Some other foreigner bands who have played in Colombia are: Argies, 2 Minutos (Argentina),
Coprofilia, Emergencia (México), Notoken, Retaque (Ecuador), Generación Perdida (Perú),
Reciclaje, Apatia No, Los Dolares and Dona Maldad (from Venezuela), Ostia Puta, Envidia Kotxina,
Arpaviejas (Spain), Molotov Cocktail (USA), Os Maltrapilhos (Brasil). They have come in the age
1995-2012. These bands have played in events organized by the same scene (without support from
Government or any private enterprise).

It is worthy to note that some Colombian bands have toured overseas. Those bands are: ANTI
TODO and BSN (who have toured in Ecuador), Kontra Orden and Desarme (who toured in
Venezuela), La Pestilencia (who have toured in Ecuador, Venezuela, Costa Rica, Mexico and
USA), Polikarpa y sus Viciosas (who toured in Ecuador and in Europe), Demencia (who toured in
Germany). Recently, the band IRA toured in USA in march 2014, and there is a band named
FERTIL MISERIA, who have played in countries such as Ecuador, Costa Rica, Germany, France,
Poland, Switzerland and Spain.

Most of the concerts here are performed by the same bands, in association with some guys who
offer their help. We don’t have the help of sponsors, bourgeoise managers or all that shits.
Besides, one important event in Colombia is ROCK AL PARQUE, which is performed every year in
Bogotá (capital city). The bands which play there are bands of “well-to-do people”, that is, bands
who play very commercial music styles (they aren’t DIY). In the year 2003, ROCK AL PARQUE wassponsored by bourgeoise enterprises such as Coke (Coca-Cola), MTV channel, Mc Donald’s and
the National Police.

SOCIAL AND ECONOMICAL SITUATION. 
Actually, Colombia is living a grand state of crisis in the
levels of education, economy, employment and security. In the last years there have been a lot of
conflicts among the State forces (police, army) and the illegal armed groups (FARC, ELN,
paramilitary groups, delinquent bands in service of narcotraffic); the most affected is the civil
population. Besides, Government wants to put education and health in the hands of bourgeoise
(private) enterprises and this has caused the strikes of teachers and workers in the field of health
(physicians, nurses, etc). There are a lot of unemployed people in this country. Besides, one of the
issues that affect this country is the crisis in the health sector.

A LITTLE OF HISTORY.
Here in Medellin, the punk scene began approximately in the year 1982 – 1983. There were some
few young people who had got some records (LPs) of the bands that were sounding in USA and
Europe: Vice Squad, The Exploited, Dead Kennedys, Ramones, Sex Pistols. Some of these young
men got these records via airmail. They began to share these discs to their friends. In that time, as
these records were very hard to get, you had to become friend of the man (or the men) who had the
original records LPs of these bands, in order to record the music in cassettes. Some of these young
people recorded the music of these bands in cassettes … so their friends shared the cassettes to
their friends … and so on. In some few years, the punk music was spread from some specific
districts in our city (Manrique, Castilla, El Poblado) to the young people in the rest of the city. The
first bands raised in this time formed the movements known as PUNK MEDALLO and METAL
MEDALLO.

In the early 1980’s, there was the first record store, named JIV. It was the unique record store where you could find and buy the LPs of the classic rock bands and of the punk bands listened to in that years.

Besides, the punk scene in Medellin was raised in critical conditions. At first, there weren’t any good recording studios, adequate to make up recordings for bands of rock. There were only recording studios which belonged to the traditional record factories (Sonolux, Codiscos, Discos Fuentes, Discos Victoria and Disquera Antioquena). For the punk and metal bands, these studios were very expensive ($$$). Besides, these studios were experienced only in recording traditional music (salsa, guasca, vallenato, etc).

There was a studio named RAIMOND RECORDS, where groups of traditional music recorded their discs. As this studio was the cheapest in that time, many bands of metal and punk recorded their demos, LPs, cassettes and EPs. For example, some of the METAL MEDALLO bands (Parabellum, Reencarnacion, Blasfemia, etc) and some of the PUNK MEDALLO bands (IRA, BSN, IMAGEN) recorded their discs in that little studio.

In the early 80’s, there weren’t good instruments. The first bands had to make their own instruments by themselves, with materials (wood, iron, steel, guitar strings, etc) because the original instruments (guitars, basses, drums) were very expensive and nobody had money to buy them. Many bands had to build their drums with trash cans and pieces of radiography.

In the early 80’s there was a radio station named RADIO DISCO ZH, which had a program where they sounded music classic rock, heavy metal and some punk bands (Dead Kennedys, GBH, The Exploited, Sex Pistols, Ramones, etc). Besides, young people gathered on the weekends, in houses, and made reunions named “notas”, where they listened to the LPs and cassettes of the bands they could get, and where they shared their cassettes, EPs and LPs with their friends.
About concerts: some people made the shows known as “parches”, that is, they made private shows in houses, terraces, garages. Later on, the bands organized their shows in soccer camps in some neighborhoods of the city and in some few bars in the city. There was a little friendship between the bands, because the lack of instruments and resources united us at all. Those bands who had few instruments shared them with those bands who hadn’t anything to play.
Among other things, as the scene of Medellin began in the early 80’s, there were young people who began to share music with people in the other Colombian cities (Bogota, Cali, Barranquilla, Cucuta, Pereira, Manizales) and the scene grew up and extended to the other cities, but it happened later in the early 90’s (1990 – 1991).

Nowadays, things have changed a lot. Here in Medellin, there are a lot of bands of metal, punk and many styles. There are concerts of punk bands, regularly, one or two shows a month. By means of the technology and the globalization (Internet, social networks), bands had shown their music to other people in the rest of the country and overseas. Besides, bands and people can communicate among them more easily and get informed about music, books, movies, and what happens in the scenes in the rest of the country and overseas. All the things are made by the same bands and people (Do – It – Yourself). There are many rehearsals rooms, recording studios. Besides, you have the possibility to make your own recording studio at home, with the help of computers and some special software programs.

In spite of all those difficulties, the scene keeps on growing up every day and we are doing the effort to go ahead and to let know our goals and ideas.

ADDRESSES OF INTEREST (DIY)
Web: http://geminismusicdistro.bandcamp.com
Web: http://geminisreloaded.blogspot.com
- PESTE MUTANTEX.
Web: https://www.facebook.com/PesteMutantex
 
DISTRIBUTION LABELS (DIY)

+GEMINIS MUSIC DISTRO.
Heliodoro Arango Caro.
Email: geminismusicdistro@gmail.com
Web: http://geminismusicdistro.blogspot.com
+Chaos Today Distro. C/o Milton Marulanda. 
FANZINES (DIY)

+Protesta Atómika’ zine. C/o Milton Marulanda. Web: https://www.facebook.com/clownhc
+INFRASONIDO ZINE. Editor: Heliodoro.
Email: infrasonidomedia@gmail.com
Web: http://infrasonidomediainternational.blogspot.com/
 
WEBSITES.
PUNK EN LAS VENAS RADIO.
https://www.punkenlasvenas.com
 
THIS ARTICLE WAS PUBLISHED IN THE MAGAZINE: MAXIMUM ROCKNROLL. Issue no. 374. July 2014.

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