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Aviador Dro

From Unearthing The Music

Aviador Dro at BeCool in Barcelona, 2015. Photo by Wikipedia user Teodoromix

Aviador Dro, short for El Aviador Dro y sus Obreros Especializados (Aviator Dro and His Specialized Workers), is a synthpop and electronic music band from Spain, formed in Madrid in 1979.[1]

Biography

Aviator Dro live, 1980, photo by Miguel Trillo. Sourced from lacontraola.com

The group was founded by schoolmates from the Santamarca high school in Madrid, Arturo Lanz and Servando Carballar in 1979, when they published an ad in a magazine requesting musicians who liked Throbbing Gristle, Cabaret Voltaire and The Residents to join them. The band's name was chosen as tribute to the opera L'aviatore Dro (1915), a tragic poem in three acts by the Italian composer and musicologist Francesco Balilla Pratella (1880-1955).

Describing themselves as "scientific punks", often appearing on stage wearing industrial or space suits, they were part of the Movida Madrileña.

Each of its members used a "technological" pseudonym:

  • Arturo Lanz - Sincrotón
  • Servando Carballar - Biovac N
  • Juan Carlos Sastre - 32-32
  • Gabriel Riaza - Multiplexor
  • Andrés Noarbe - Hombre Dinamo
  • Manuel Guío - Placa Tumbler
  • Alberto Flórez Estrada - Derflex Tipo IARR

The group were also later joined by Marta Cervera (Arcoiris) and Maria Jesús Rodríguez (Metalina 2).

After being "discovered" by Xabier Moreno of the recently created Radio 3 channel, the group recorded six tracks in the summer of 1979. In 1980, they were signed to Movieplay label to produce three singles, only two of which would be initially released.

In 1981, Arturo Lanz, Gabriel Riaza, and Juan Carlos Sastre went on to found the band Esplendor Geométrico. Servando Carballar and Marta Cervera also created a side-project that year, Los Iniciados.

In 1982 they created Discos Radioactivos Organizados (Organized Radioactive Records), better known simply as DRO, after their latest compositions were rejected by record labels. Their first release, the "Nuclear si" EP, sold 5000 copies in a few months and had to be reissued twice that same year. Over the years, notably through the takeover of competing or friendly labels (Tres Cipreses, Gasa, Twins), DRO became the main independent Spanish label with a turnover of several million. In 1988, Servando Carballar left DRO, which he said had become too commercial, and created a new label, La Fábrica Magnética, which was active until the end of the 1990s. DRO was eventually purchased by Warner in 1993.

Aviador Dro is still officially in operation today, occasionally releasing new music, performing live and undertaking new multimedia projects.

Style

Concert at the Rock-Ola in 1983, photo by Alex Puyol, sourced from lacontraola.com

Since their inception, the group developed a clear and minimalist sound influenced by Kraftwerk, the Residents and Devo. The structures of the pieces are deliberately simplistic and stripped down: in a word, mechanical. Synthesizers and vocals, sometimes filtered by a vocoder, are front and center, and rock'n'roll elements were still present in the first stage of the group, like the surf guitar which runs through "Nuclear si" or the garage riff which supports "Gestalt".

Their lyrics, full of polemical and sour humor, were generally fictions told from the point of view of the machine, mutants or humanoids of the future. "Nuclear si" is thus presented as a militant and uninhibited ode in favour of nuclear energy, in a country where it was almost completely non-existent, while "Gestalt" constitutes the robotic ego trip of a metallic structure. Aviador Dro used music to convey their avant-garde and anarcho-cybernetic ideas around dynamic revolution and man-machine fusion, often distributing manifestos and pamphlets during concerts or to slipping them into the sleeves of their records.

Band members

Aviador Dro in 1980. Photo by Pierre A. de Oliveira, sourced from lacontraola.com
  • Biovac N (Servando Carballar): Vocals, synthesizer, programming
  • Arcoíris (Marta Cervera): Keyboards
  • ATAT (Ismael Contreras): Keyboards, guitar
  • CTA 102 (Alejandro Sacristán): Vocals
  • Genocider/Genocyber F15 (Mario Gil): Keyboards

Discography

  • Alas sobre el Mundo (1982)
  • Síntesis (1983)
  • Tesis (1983)
  • Cromosomas Salvajes (1985)
  • Ciudadanos del Imperio (1986)
  • Ingravidez (1988)
  • Héroes de los 80 (1990)
  • Trance (1991)
  • Cyberiada—Live (1997)
  • Materia Oscura (1998)
  • Ópera Científica (1999)
  • Vano Temporal (1999)
  • Mecanisburgo (2001)
  • Ultimátum a la Tierra (2004)
  • Confía en tus Máquinas (2004)
  • Candidato Futurista (2007)
  • Yo, Cyborg (2009)
  • La voz de la Ciencia (2012)

External links

References

  1. Bio of Aviador Dro
  2. http://lacontraola.com/aviado-dro/

Text adapted from Wikipedia