by Vanessa Bell
Photos by Joaquín Neira
An art space somewhere in Villa Crespo and a band whose music I'd briefly heard the day before heralded a blank canvas of expectation, with little more than a street and doorbell number to go on. We arrived at a non descript door and buzzed. It opened onto a long passageway, the inconspicuous entrance to the Bungalow Room, a space promoting exhibitions of creative talent and a meeting point for artists, the spot chosen by the art collective Arte 2 de Corazones for tonights event. A cosy setting with an improvised bar selling refreshments at 'friendly' prices and home cooked goodies which the cute hand written menu had us drooling over.
The crowd was the right side of fashionable self conscious, a diverse mix of people both local and expat, Four Tet's 'Angel Echoes' setting a background tempo as folks mingled. The space comprised of a screen print room, with barely dried acrylics glistening off the multitude of frames stacked in neat rows and the shelving unit packed tight with the tools of the trade. A doorway led into an adjoining room, a delightfully kitsch plastic curtain with a 70s palm tree detail partitioning the window space between.
The far room showcased the designs of fresh talent ropa de Baka, True Blue and Bandoleiro, with a heavy emphasis on screen printed designs and bold, brash colours, not for those of a wall flower disposition. Sol Ganim's kaleidoscopic landscapes peppered the walls of all three. Irregular waves of shifting bands of colour, a psychedelic take on road map contour lines and perhaps a subtle nod to Gondry's cinematographic imagery.
Listening to Springlizard through laptop speakers didn't prepare me for the musical prowess of this argentine-american duo in the flesh. Sprung from the ashes of Alamos, their previous outfit, Jonah Schwartz and Andres Barlesi offer an imported acoustic sound more synonymous with that of Calexico, or slowcore band Rex. Schwartz' presence is potent, his head tipped back, guitar inclined at a steep angle, the captive audience putty in his hands. Yet it was the seamless interplay between the musicians that really impressed, the two guitars playing a threatboard ballet of picking and sliding chords and phrasing with Barlesi's velvet soft voice, at times falsetto, countering Schwartz's more rugged vocals perfectly.
Highlights of the show were 'Dreams of the Wolf' or 'Limberlines', so redolent of Fahey's work, where the lack of percussion was substituted by the assertive stamping of feet of both men keeping time, the build-up enhanced by the hypnotic beat of leather sole on wood.
It felt like an impromptu post dinner music jam in someone's house, with most people sitting crossed legged on the floor knee to elbow, relaxed and carefree. Nobody wanted the mood to end. The announcement of the last encore was greeted with dismay from the audience. A bittersweet finale lamenting lost love, a performance that echoed in my ears providing a lingering soundtrack to my bike ride home.
Arte 2 de Corazones will be hosting another show featuring music by Como Diamantes Telepáticos this Saturday (April 30th) at 7pm, for more information click here.