♫♪  Xuxa Santamaria - Chancletas D’oro

I’m not gonna lie – you frame a record against classic literature or historical events and you’ve got me interested from the beginning. I’m not kidding. Any reference to Dracula or the Russian Revolution is going to get my attention. Wrap that in a nifty premise and some dense hooks, and we’re talking about a potential go-to record from here on.

Might Xuxa Santamaria’s Chancletas D’oro (Ratskin Records) be a go-to record from here on?

SUSPENSE

The duo of Sofía Córdova and Matt Gonzalez Kirkland sure makes music that’s easy on the ears, so the entry point is there for the… entering. Mixing a chilled post-punk aesthetic with some propulsive Human League-ery and glistening obsidian R&B will certainly get the ol’ neck muscles all rubbery, all ready for some deep head-nod thrust toward perpetual momentum. But, of course, even if your reading comprehension skills are registering at the low end of the spectrum, you’ll understand that it’s story and song together that recommend Xuxa Santamaria beyond the norm.

Like our buds in German Army, Xuxa Santamaria has an intense and rigid agenda that’s perfectly timed — hence all those allusions to historical figures and classic fictional characters. See, Córdova flips the script on popular and male-focused conceptions, opting instead for a “femme and womxn” perspective that rips figures from the proverbial sidelines to “challenge and obfuscate” male history’s assessment of experiences. Beyond Dracula, she tackles “The Song of Roland” as well as a poem written from the perspective of a white trapper in the Pacific Northwest, enlivening and energizing a peripheral character in the former and “turning the white gaze in on itself” to subvert it in the latter.

South of Russia, Córdova imagines and celebrates the womxn truck drivers of the North Vietnamese army who transported supplies during the “American War of Imperial Aggression” (I don’t think I have to explain that). She finds inspiration in queer silent film star Alla Nazimova and Puerto Rican “syndicalist and feminist pioneer” Luisa Capetillo. She reflects these things in struggles against the confines of gender and tradition, superimposing the historical import of what we can learn from what’s gone before us on modern manifestations of injustice.

All while knocking out banger after banger — the method in the message, and vice versa. Makes the difficult subject matter easier to swallow.

Though, uh, maybe swallowing it isn’t the idea (or the point). We can still engage while the rhythm moves us, right?

Chocolate Grinder

CHOCOLATE GRINDER is our audio/visual section, with an emphasis on the lesser heard and lesser known. We aim to dig deep, but we’ll post any song or video we find interesting, big or small.

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