AUSTIN, TX- The “Indie En Espanol” group Maneja Beto needs to be included in the international discourse of good music, so rather than bore you with hype and why you should finally pay attention to this band- the band guys are going to “speak” collectively about who Maneja Beto is and what this new record Escante Calling (out on Lengua Marron/Cosmica Records NOW) is all about:
“El chiste es hacer ruido”, we would say when we first came together over eight years ago – meaning, let’s just make noise together, create, throw caution to the wind… In part, this has been a guiding axiom for us. We never searched for a sound, it, instead, found us – though in some senses it was undeniably linked by geography, our heritage, our politics, and the soundtracks of our past and present lives. It can be said, with a fair amount of certainty, that up through the present, our music has been a reflection of who we are – rockers and soneros, Mexican and American, anchored in traditions bigger than us- yet always innovative. There is truly a deep well of influences that is folded into what we do – border cumbia to the smiths; huapango to synth-pop. And this is certainly the case on this latest record, Escante Calling.
The material for this album is reflective of two solid years of writing and speaks to where we've come in sharing and working together. The songs themselves are some of the most unique, textured, and beautiful we've ever produced – it is quite an alchemy. We, in may ways, crafted a distinct and shared language of songwriting and arranging for this record – giant drumming met with whispered, quivering refrains; banda-like clarinets preceded by reverb choral chants; postmodern huapango lament coupled with hard-hitting disco sex. It is a sonic tapestry that is woven with stories of loss, unrequited love, death, obsession, lust, and war and its discontents.
This record is an honest document of who we are at this moment in time and space. Simple as that. It need not symbolize anything greater than that, though we do hope it resonates with people across cultures and languages. As the title suggests, it is an Escante (rare or limited) Calling – for “us/you/we” to convene, share, and listen.
Maneja Beto shifts, breath, hibernates and at the moment is en espera (in waiting), anticipating the next step, moment, experience… We trust people feel the same when they listen to the record… that the spaces in between songs are marked by apprehensive breaths in anticipation of what is next, for there are many roads ahead.
Maneja Beto’s members are a close-knit group of friends and artists who are Austin Politicos, Teachers, Mecanics, Technicians and in the latest development- Alex Chavez or should we say DR. ALEX CHAVEZ just earned his Ph.D. in Anthropology from the University of Texas at Austin with a concentration in folklore and public culture and holds doctoral portfolios in Mexican American Studies and Cultural Studies. Presently, he is a visiting fellow of the Institute for Latino Studies (ILS) at the University of Notre Dame where he is focused on both publishing article-length manuscripts and teaching courses cross-listed with anthropology, American Studies, and music.
We know that this isn’t your usual bio, but this isn’t your usual band, and this isn’t your usual Latin Alternative music. Take the time to listen up because this is a “Calling”….