From their extensive catalog we selected video clips to represent each of the nine official Babasónicos albums. A sort of then and now.
Currently you can catch the band headlining Heineken’s Inspire summer concert series in Chicago and LA, which boasts a diverse lineup of DJs as well (Mexican Institute of Sound, Nacotheque, and D’Marquesina). They’ve definitely come a long way since their early days of obscurity. See the group’s trajectory from 1992 to present day and maybe share some of your own favorite Babas videos.
ALBUM: Pasto (Sony, 1992)
Breaking for good with the aesthetics of the ‘80s rock en español, Babasónicos debuts in 1992 with their first video, a visual anticipation of all the elements that would become clichés of the alternative ‘90s. Many of these elements would also become constant factors in Babasónicos videos to come. For example, they frequently include some sort of sport being practiced. In this case: skateboarding and surf.
However, the big aesthetic breakthrough was to include references to hip-hop culture (DJ scratching and graffiti writing) in a rock video, something never before seen in Latin America, where the two music genres were still considered incompatible. Nowadays the combination of colorful baggy clothes and grimy long hair might look absurd, but for the Buenos Aires gen-x kids consuming British acts like EMF and Jesus Jones, “D-Generación” was a generation-defining video.
ALBUM: Trance Zomba (Sony, 1994)
By the mid ’90s, Babasónicos becomes the biggest local cult underground band. “Malón,” the first of four from their second album, went straight to high rotation on Latin MTV and exposed them for the first time to the rest of the continent.
Starts with pretty much the same style as “D-Generación” (extreme sports, hair dye, DJ scratching), albeit with a noticeably larger budget. By the second half, they go crazy with 60’s alien b-movie shiny outfits that make them look quite funkadelic. They could’ve done without the bermuda-shorts-over-long-pants and the Beastie Boys’ style group pose at the end.
ALBUM: Dopádromo (Sony, 1996)
The first great “serious” video by Babasónicos is the second of four they produced for their third album. For the first time they break away with all the 90’s gen-x clichés and try to tell a story around a female character, a fair-skinned pretty girl (the same type we’ll see years to come in almost all Babas’ videos). With a Jesus beard and dressed in black, Adrián looks like a satanic cult leader straight out of ‘70s exploitation films, a style they were digging a lot during those days (case in point: their tribute to Russ Meyer’s diva Tura Satana in their previous video?).
ALBUM: Babasónica (Sony, 1997)
The dark and baroque aesthetics of the previous “Perfume Casino” get amplified to the max on their fourth album’s first video. Hip-hop shout outs, neon clothing, and XXX sports are long gone, replaced with Black Sabbath-like metal guitars and leather jackets. On a brighter note, Adrián’s Jesus beard gives way to a John Waters thin ‘stache. Fans didn’t appreciate the change and dismissed this album, which remains the less explored and probably most misunderstood of their career. Later they’d record an electronic remixed version of Babasónica, kicking of a series of self-released bootlegs that would become sought-after collector’s items in the years to come.
ALBUM: Miami (Sony, 1999)
If you thought the dorky dance choreography of “Microdancing” was funny as hell, wait until you see this! Probably the funniest/most ridiculous video of their entire career. Unfortunately, “El Playboy” got minimum support from Sony and didn’t get much TV play. Soon after the release of Miami, DJ Peggyn would leave the band and they’d break their contract with Sony Music. A new era for Babasónicos was about to start with the new millennium.
After virtually disappearing from the radar for a while, Babasónicos returns with their best and most successful album ever, Jessico, which gets major exposure. The widely misunderstood ‘90s weirdos are suddenly considered fit to be played on TV and top-40 radios. Somehow, they become the Soda Stereo of the decade. That is, the best Argentine rock export to the rest of the continent.
In this new stage’s video collection there’s also a huge aesthetic change: they stop self directing and hire professional people… and they also hire a lot of sexy models. Of all their quasi-pornographic videos, “Rubi” is the most explicit, for obvious reasons (see below). They simultaneously released two versions of it: one with a girl, one with a boy.
The same guys who used to shred on boards and trip on their over-sized Wranglers, now show themselves as rich snobs in polo fields. They opt for less extreme sports, like Olympic swimming in “Putita,” the second video of this impeccable seventh album. After learning the age-old “sex sells” mantra with Jessico, they packed this video with anorexic models in scanty clothes and threw in some quick-fire topless shots.
The result: they repeated the success of their previous opus.
Anoche starts with these two tracks connected to each other as one long song. One would expect the same of the videos. However, “Carismático” and “Yegua” had nothing in common. “Carismático” has a cryptic concept, with all those creepy face-less kids and animated drawers. But it’s beautifully shot and is probably one of the less explicitly sexual videos they released during the second half of their career.
The would-be sequel “Yegua” seems like it was directed by a totally different team who was oblivious as to what the “Carismático” production crew was doing. Here we see Babasónicos for the first time in a video as an on-stage rock band, with scattered glimpses of voluptuous girls riding motorcycles in the ball of death of a traveling circus.
The second video of their latest album has some peculiarities. For starters, the surprising cameo of cult Argentine actress Silvia Peyru in the opening scene. She was the sex symbol of countless ’80s sexploitation movies, in some of them she shared the screen with actor Rolo Puente, who happens to be Babasónicos’ guitarist Mariano Roger’s father (!). With a catchy chorus and a ridiculously absurd dance choreography, this video has also the particularity of including only two of the band’s members, singer Adrián Dárgelos and his baby brother, second guitarist Diego Rodríguez.
You can catch the band headlining Heineken’s Inspire summer concert series in Chicago (June 25th) and LA (August 27th), with Heineken’s MezclaSonic DJs (Camilo Lara’s Mexican Institute of Sound, New York’s Nacotheque, and Boricua duo D’Marquesina). Click here to reserve your tickets, which covers entrance, music, food, beer, Heineken taste testing, gaming area, t-shirt silk screenings, and más!