By Nate "Igor" Smith
By Abel Folgar
By Kat Bein
By Jacob Katel
By Karli Evans
By Jose D. Duran
By Pablo Chacon Alvarez
The local boys of Social Klash make sweet electro- and Britpop-inspired melodies, effortlessly swapping English and Spanish lyrics as well as crafting a cool, unique sound the band members describe as electro en español. Their confessed passion for Eighties bands such as The Cure and Depeche Mode is instantly palpable, yet this South American-born trio didn't have straightforward access to their icons while growing up.
"Back then the radio stations didn't play European music, so we had to find out about our favorite bands through underground clubs and word of mouth," says 29-year-old singer, Venezuelan-born Mars Polem. "Nowadays things have changed, and groups like Ladytron and Placebo tour [Latin American] cities like Bogota.... Thanks to the Internet, there's now a global audience for our kind of music."
Formed in 2003, Social Klash is made up of Polem; his 25-year-old brother, percussionist Abraham Saras; and 28-year-old Colombian-born keyboardist Andres Mara. Last year the group released its debut, Plastic Love, an independently produced record containing 11 tracks. The bandmates are set to tour Colombia and Venezuela this summer in support of their first single, "Come." Then they plan on performing special showcases in Los Angeles, New York, and Atlanta before returning home.
"We moved to Miami to specifically launch our music career," says Mara. "The city is the perfect base for us; even the blend of different languages influences our music.... But we don't make typical Latin music; our sound belongs to the city's underground scene." A listen to Social Klash's repertoire quickly reveals a style far removed from other contemporary Latin acts. Songs such as the surreal "Super Niño" use fast, simmering synthesizers along with dreamlike lyrics to create an immediately danceable electronic-backed ditty. And just like its British musical ancestors, Social Klash employs obscure lyrical themes.
"We don't aim to have a definitive message," says Polem. "Our sound is purposely ambiguous.... We use metaphors and leave it up to the listeners to decipher their own meaning." As for its prospective audience, the trio aims to capture the archetypal indie music fan. "We know that the people who like Ladytron and Goldfrapp will dig what we do. We consider those acts our contemporaries. The only difference is that we use our language and that we are based in Miami."