Reconoceronte, Los Mil Jinetes
By Carlos Reyes
Describing Latin America’s latest input on indie-folk as secondary garment is not an insult but a fitting quality on music’s extraordinary ways to manifest its force. Chile’s Los Mil Jinetes belong to this group, an impressive and nostalgic embroidery comprised by the Itinerant and almost nomadic musicians Andres Zaneta and Fother Muckers’ lead vocalist Cristobal Briceño. Los Mil Jinetes made quite an impression with their wonderfully titled debut Andate Cabrita, a standout among Chile’s blooming indie scene. Reconoceronte is a huge step forward, not only is it full of wonderful song but its production is also impeccable.
My anxiety to relate their sound to Devendra Banhart or Fleet Foxes took me by surprise, quickly finding out they have passed over the sepia-tone to actually tremble to the sounds of Brian Eno and The Beach Boys. Los Mil Jinetes employ trippy vocal harmonies and splendorous vivid instrumentation, all adding up to cacophonous depth and occasionally, layers of pure hippy magic. While these layers might not always concrete into a milestone whole or the most intricate of sounds, Reconceronte is hunting and deeply expressive. Although perhaps not aware of it, Los Mil Jinetes are working with timeless melody range, that whimsicality that's so awake and responsive to its provision that makes this album nearly flawless.
The opening track “Pastor de Elefantes” first plays around the edges, increasing pulse and regularity as it goes, once the beautiful lyrics sync in, it reveals a tremendously catchy tune that ironically deals with the fearful notion of growing up. Although Reconoceronte relies on its old-stock to showoff its friendliness, the jarring limbs that make up this album are tied up to music’s own diversified perception. This kind of sonic attachment is best exemplified in “Tarde Muy Tarde”, where the band goes from naïve terms to colossal manifestation, and the music is equally defying. “Luna de Dia” is as nostalgic as the works of Mexico’s Enjambre, especially as they expand personal relationships into fantastical dilemmas, “luna de dia porque te has tardado en salir, verte hace que deje de pensar en mi.”
Most of the songs are bright enough to light our day, but they all keep a distance from acquiring absolute contentment. “Un Lugar Desconocido” is for example, a song about realizing our own death, when the body seems unresponsive and the surrounding seems exceptionally white. As the song exclaims “a todos nos va a llegar”, the song gets even more celestial, as if trying to calm the fearful moment. “Terminal” is probably the album’s most complicated moment; it surveys its clauses before executing its melodies, it feels like it might be over-branched and ‘out there’, but their tricks left me speechless. Reconoceronte is a major accomplishment, brave, catchy and simply beautiful.