What is this strange creature that we see? Odas mixtas para criaturas mínimas promises “mixed odes for minimal creatures”, the creature in question being the Mirlitorrinco, which is not only a “creature of strange morphology and dramatic grunts… a unique monotreme mammal” but “crepuscular, hermaphrodite, polygamous, oblivious, and a deft swimmer” to boot. Mirlitorrinco is also the name of the band, a four piece of multi-instrumentalists from Bogota who clearly know how to have fun.
Listening to the album is an imaginative journey in which the complex characteristics of the Mirlitorrinco reveal themselves. In the opening track ‘Mercurio’ it crashes through the trees towards us and as we watch it approach, we find ourselves questioning whether we’re safe. In the second track, ‘El cordero es una especie de pollo‘ (“lamb is a kind of chicken”), the creature reveals its playful side, frolicking around charmingly. As the third track builds to its frantic climax, we realize that we don’t really understand what we’re witnessing and, when it starts slide whistling, we start to question our own sanity. During the fourth track, we’re lucky enough to witness the hatching of a young Mirlitorrinco: it’s a strange and slightly gruesome sight. Fifth track ‘Ay! Las Mujeres’ reveals the feminine side of this hermaphroditic creature: there’s definitely a threatening undertone but can this reviewer be the only one to also find it strangely sexy? It’s certainly a complex beast: if Google Translate is working correctly then the title of the sixth track tells us it has six dead pets (‘Seis mascotas muertas’) but it also clearly knows how to rock out, evidenced in ‘Timbre’.
This is a wild, fun, imaginative ride and fans of Edward Lear or Lewis Carroll will feel right at home. (Garreth Brooke)