Aterciopelados is more than just a Latin alternative band. Rather, these contemporary musical legends provide a loud, clear voice on social issues and hope to spur the kind of deep thinking that inspires change. And ours is a world badly in need of change, says Héctor Buitrago, half of the group's core, along with firebrand vocalist Andrea Echeverri.

Change is something the group has fervently worked toward throughout its career, including, of course, its approach to music. Always sonically innovating, Aterciopelados has consistently evolved while never letting go of its essence: alternative rock with the undeniable imprint of its native Colombia. And despite the success of their previous album, Oye, which garnered two Latin Grammy nominations, they still continue to seek new frontiers on their latest release, Rio.

"I think Oye was a transitional album following [our] solo work," Buitrago says, "and it was where we reunited all those influences from our previous albums. Now on Rio, we take that a step further."



With Curumin. Friday, April 17. North Beach Bandshell, 7275 Collins Ave., Miami Beach. Show begins at 7 p.m. Tickets cost $20 in advance. 305-672-5202;

The new record also features the personal touch of producer Héctor Castillo, known for his work with Brazilian Girls, David Bowie, and Gustavo Cerati. "We wanted a less pop, more raw sound, and Héctor was able to provide that," Buitrago says. Still, the socially aware, clever lyricism remains, as does the undeniable Colombian influence. This can be witnessed in some of the collaborations on the album, which feature, among others, Andean group Kapary Walka, Colombian rapper Goyo, and a master of Colombian bagpipe, Sixto Salgado. Even Andrea Echeverri's daughter Milagros makes an appearance on "Ataque de Risas" ("Laugh Attack").


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