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Album Review

Outwardly, the debut disc by Aterciopelados co-founder Héctor Buitrago is mysterious: under an electrical current of letters that spell out the word Conector, a menacing-looking insect-bird-man holds a South American percussion instrument. It's creepy-cool artwork — the kind that sometimes signals the music inside is impenetrably weird. Here, though, it's just a gateway to a fearless and freewheeling hybrid of styles; the creature is a cross-breed, and so is the music. Héctor — pay attention to the title — is our connector. Aterciopelados fans probably expected as much. Buitrago's former band, founded with frontwoman Andrea Echeverri, freed Colombian artists to spin unfamiliar rhythms, textures, and traditions into sophisticated collages of sound, dark or light, loud or quiet. Here Buitrago carries on, bolstered by a wolf pack of top-flight collaborators who keep him from indulging his spacier instincts. Foremost among them is Echeverri, whose vocal charm lights up all but one of these tracks. But that's not to discount the contributions of Julieta Venégas, who paves a tranquil trail over the electronica-pocked "Música Somos," or the Spanish popster Alex Ubago, who teams with Echeverri for "Altisimo," a rock-electronica mélange that instantly affirms the unmatched coolness of Latin alternative music. Conector achieves its goal handily, and with a depth and level of interest that should leave Buitrago plenty of time to plan his next hookup. Odd artwork aside, may no listener be left behind.


Genre: Latino

Years Active: '00s

Colombian musician Héctor Buitrago started getting involved in the local rock scene while playing bass in a heavy metal band formed in 1986, called La Pestilencia. In 1990, he met singer/guitarist Andrea Echeverri forming Delia y Los Aminoácidos and touring Bogota's club circuit. In 1992, the band's name was changed to Aterciopelados and they made their debut with the release...
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Conector, Hector Buitrago
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