Caballos y Entusiasmo
(2010, Self Released)
RIYL = Juana Molina, Kemialliset Ystavat, Devendra Banhart
Hidropony is charm, pure and simple. Argentinean charm at that (which, apparently, is a much purer form of charm than I am used to). It’s the work of bedroom songwriter, Salvador Cresta, and his girlfriend Pupa - who are, together, Caballos y Entusiasmo (Horses and Enthusiasm for those who are not up on their Spanish). The album arrived to me by mail in a wonderfully world-worn package dressed in a myriad of stamps and still fresh with the sweet scent of Argentina. The disc itself came housed in a clear plastic slip, backed with some torn cardboard and fronted with a collaged Caballos y Entusiasmo postcard. This along with a ragtag collection of various other goodies (including Cresta’s 2009 solo album, Membrana de Tortuga Gitana, two DVD’s wonderfully collaging Cresta’s home videos, and a gorgeously illustrated, handwritten letter along with other odds and ends). And all of it maintaining a gloriously decorated DIY aesthetic. Cresta certainly has put time into the artifact of his work. What’s perhaps more wonderful is that this meticulous, inspiring, infinite-seeming creativity exuded in Cresta’s detail-heavy visual aesthetic carries over seamlessly into the music on Hidropony. Caballos y Entusiasmo music is that of love. And when I say love, I don’t want to limit it to romantic sentiment. Hidropony is love in creativity, it’s a love of life in all its tiny corners, its laughable moments, its different weathers; Hidropony radiates a sense of love that reassures us of the evasive purpose of the human condition; Hidropony is hope. So what exactly does hope sound like? Pretty lo-fi I guess. Ragged, bluesy acoustic guitars, chirps, bells, Casiotones, toys, “dog barks” and Cresta and Pupa on vocals both, often multi-tracked. It sounds as if Juana Molina and The Skygreen Leopards got together to create an outsider folk version of Bee Thousand. If that can be imagined. In the end, it’s a spirited bit of wonderful is all; a quaint slice of happiness. This is the real thing – you can’t fake something as brilliant as this.
Mr. Cresta, understandably, is a bit wary of the lifeless practice of sharing music through the internet. He prefers, as do I, work that bares the touch of human hands. This being the case, your opportunity to have your own personal copy of Hidropony can be accomplished via email request here (in a pay what you want model which includes, but is not limited to currency in the form of tea, music, drawings, ect.): firstname.lastname@example.org. Fortunately, he hasn't left us without something to sample. Below you will find an exclusive downloadable package with some songs and pictures from Hidropony. Enjoy!
Caballos & Entusiasmo Lttle Virtual Package