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Country : Argentina Label : Indépendant Genres and styles : Folktronica Year : 2020
Larga Historia Corta

Esgel Kaik

· by Rupert Bottenberg

The history and spirit of his native Patagonia, the temperate, southernmost region of South America, is a productive preoccupation for Argentine indie musician and producer Agustin Lino. Following a few singles, he now offers a five-song EP of soft-focus folk-rock nestled comfortably in a bed of ambient vibes and gentle beats.

Lino is based in the Patagonian town Esquel – or Esgel Kaik, in the Tehuelche tongue. That choice of title is indicative of how an Indigenous perspective informs the record. The honeyed “Encuentro” introduces a sample from an old archival record of Tehuelche and Mapuche songs – but it’s the voices of the living that Lino prioritizes.

The appropriately celestial “Luna Y Sol” samples the words of diva Beatriz Pichi Malen, from her widely viewed We Tripantü (the Mapuche New Year) broadcast a couple of years back. Also, there are not one but two contemporary covers of songs by the late Hugo Giménez Agüero, patron saint of Patagonian folk-pop. “Alma Sureña” is a pretty instrumental, whereas “Kaikon Aurora” is a remix of a performance by Gladis Saieg, a folk singer of Mapuche descent.

Long story short, as the project’s name requests: Lino’s made a lovely thing here, culturally rich and a pleasure to listen to.

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