Los Amigos Invisibles
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|Los Amigos Invisibles|
José Luis Pardo
José Rafael Torres
Juan Manuel Roura
Los Amigos Invisibles is a Venezuelan band that plays a blend of disco, acid jazz and funk mixed with Latin rhythms. In addition to releasing six critically acclaimed albums, the band is lauded internationally for their explosive, live shows, spanning nearly 60 countries.
Los Amigos Invisibles formed in Caracas, Venezuela in the early 1990s as an answer to the lack of variety offered by the "rocker" and dark acts that flooded their city's theaters and radio waves. Instantly becoming Venezuela's only "dance band," they began a crusade to convince the owners of forgotten discothèques that dance is not only salsa and merengue and that electric guitar does not have to be "Punk." Offering their friends a more enjoyable outlet for partying, Los Amigos Invisibles quickly reinvented the club scene in Caracas. With its original line-up still intact, the band comprises Julio Briceño (a.k.a. "Chulius", vocals, percussion), José Luis Pardo (a.k.a. "Cheo" or "DJ Afro", guitar, songwriting), Armando Figueredo (a.k.a. "Odnam", keyboards), Mauricio Arcas (a.k.a. "Maurimix", congas, percussion), José Rafael Torres (a.k.a. "Catire", bass), and Juan Manuel Roura (a.k.a. "Mamel", drums, percussion).
In 1995, EMI released their debut album, A Typical and Autoctonal Venezuelan Dance Band, which was a huge success in their home country, enabling them to sell out clubs around Caracas for the next couple of years. In 1996, David Byrne's Luaka Bop record label signed the group after discovering a CD they had planted in a New York City record store. Shortly thereafter, they went into the studio to work on their sophomore record, The New Sound of the Venezuelan Gozadera, which was released in 1998 and received accolades from press and musicians alike. Two years later and under the direction of famed producer Philip Steir, they released Arepa 3000: A Venezuelan Journey into Space, which received a Grammy nomination in the category of "Best Latin Alternative Album" and a Latin Grammy in the category of "Best Rock Album." Following the success of this release, the band relocated to New York City and began work on their masterpiece, The Venezuelan Zinga Son, Vol. 1, produced by "Little" Louie Vega of Masters at Work. Initially, the album was released in the UK and Japan through Long Lost Brothers Records, though a year later, Luaka Bop released the album in the US, resulting in another Latin Grammy nomination in the category of "Best Alternative Latin Album."
After ending their recording contract with Luaka Bop, Los Amigos Invisibles started their own label, Gozadera Records. The first release, Chill Out Venezuela, was a multiple-genre collection of Venezuelan artists, produced by Los Amigos Invisibles. For Gozadera's next release and the band's fifth studio album, they enlisted Dimitri from Paris to produce a collection of Venezuelan cover songs entitled, Super Pop Venezuela, which was initially offered in their native country only. In 2006, the album was released in the US, landing the band yet another Grammy nomination in the category of "Best Urban Latin Alternative Album."
After three years of anticipation, Los Amigos Invisibles released their album, Commercial, in a joint effort between Gozadera Records and Nacional Records. For this recording, the band took a different approach to writing. resulting in a more globally appealing album. In an interview with America's National Public Radio, the band explained that the change in style was not by accident, nor was decision to name the latest project Commercial. Rather, it is a tongue-in-cheek reference to band's former musical self. The release was a hit in Venezuela, debuting at #1 on the music charts. During the week of July 7, 2009, their song, "Vivire Para Ti" featuring Natalia Lafourcade, was offered as Single of the Week in the iTunes music store and in November 2009, Commercial won the Latin Grammy in the category of Best Alternative Music Album.
Following their Grammy win, 2010 saw international success that led to major festival appearances and sold out shows throughout the United States, Latin America, Europe, Australia and New Zealand.
In 2011, the band released Not So Commercial, an EP of outtakes from the Commercial album. This album was a nominee for the Grammy Award for Best Latin Pop, Rock or Urban Album in 2012.
In April 2013, Repeat After Me was released.
- Julio Briceño (a.k.a. "Chulius", vocals, percussion, songwriting)
- José Luis Pardo (a.k.a. "Cheo" or "DJ Afro", guitar, songwriting, production and editing)
- Armando Figueredo (a.k.a. "Odnam", keyboards, songwriting)
- Mauricio Arcas (a.k.a. "Maurimix", congas, percussion, songwriting)
- José Rafael Torres (a.k.a. "Catire", bass, songwriting)
- Juan Manuel Roura (a.k.a. "Mamel", or "Mamulo," drums, percussion, songwriting)
- A Typical and Autoctonal Venezuelan Dance Band (1995)
- The New Sound of the Venezuelan Gozadera (1998)
- Arepa 3000: A Venezuelan Journey into Space (2000)
- The Venezuelan Zinga Son, Vol. 1 (2003)
- Super Pop Venezuela (2005)
- Super Pop Venezuela, Remixes (2008)
- En una noche tan linda como ésta (2008)
- Commercial (2009)
- Not So Commercial (2011)
- Repeat After Me (2013)
- Jurek, Thom (2013-04-02). "Repeat After Me - Los Amigos Invisibles : Songs, Reviews, Credits, Awards". AllMusic. Retrieved 2013-05-12.