Latino USA

Cineplexx: Music Exclusive / by Maria Hinojosa | March 28, 2014

Cineplexx: Music Exclusive

If you haven’t heard Cineplexx, aka Sebastian Litmanovich, you are in luck: today, you can! The visual artist cum producer cum musician is releasing a new album next week, and we have it here first.

Born in Argentina and living in London, Cineplexx is worldly without being too serious. In 1998, Sebastian and his brother and frequent collaborator, Martin, bought a four-track and Cineplexx was born.

We asked him five questions to help you know him better. Enjoy!

1) WHAT MADE YOU DECIDE TO MAKE MUSIC? WAS THERE A SPECIFIC EVENT THAT PUT YOU IN THAT PATH?

I suppose that I was influenced by seeing the passion with which my father listened to music with his giant headphones in the 70s. Or maybe it was because my grandfather was a big ABBA, Rafael Carra and disco music fan. As a kid I loved playing “drums” with pots and pans, like tons of kids do, and when I was 6 or 7, I started to play a Casio mini keyboard (which I still keep, by the way). And my first teacher was Brazilian: she would teach me bossa nova, which was not too common in Buenos Aires. I think those are all my influences.

2) WHICH THREE MUSICIANS HAVE INFLUENCED YOU THE MOST AND WHY?

They all have at different times, and I have really varied taste, but maybe it’s these: when I was little, I was crazy for ABBA. I loved dancing to those catchy tunes. When I was a teenager, undoubtedly, Prince (and Michael Jackson!). I was such a fan! I would buy all the records, I would study them a thousand times, and in that moment, music became my food and my shelter. And then came The Velvet Underground and I had to get rid of the Prince posters in my room. I totally identified with their primitively profound sound, and I felt like I could play my own stuff and that I did not need great technical guitar skills, and I started to focus on recording and production as well. Something similar to that happened when I discovered Daniel Melero’s music, and Gustavo Cerati (his record Amor Amarillo) and Spinetta–they are my favorite Argentine musicians.

3) WHO ARE YOUR FAVORITE AUTHORS AND HOW THEY AFFECTED OR INFLUENCED YOUR WORK?

Lately I have been really into reading autobiographies and essays about music, history, science–but if I had to pick authors that have influenced me, I’d have to say Hunter S Thompson because of his lucidity and seriousness, Raymond Carver for his brevity and importance, and Castaneda for opening a window into a mysticism that I was unfamiliar with. In the musical world, I think maybe Bowie because of his abstract and oblique lyrics (which have roots in the Beatnik movement that I had until then not really explored profoundly).

4) WHICH THREE MOVIES HAVE INFLUENCED YOUR TASTE THE MOST?

Oh man, how hard! I love cinema and I have a hard time making up my mind! I think that more than movies, I would say I like the parallel universe that some directors create, and putting off to the side classics like Polanski, Antonioni, Kubrik, Scorsese or the less hermetic Godard, I would say that from the new generation, I like the Cohen brothers, Wes Anderson and Spike Jonze. I want to give a special mention to Martín Rejtman because I love all of his movies and I think he is the best current Argentine director. I am also a big comedy fan and I think the movie I have seen the most is The Big Lebowski. If I go back to my childhood I can tell you that I recorded movie dialogues with my first Sony Walkman and I would then listen to it and memorize them all. I still remember Flash Gordon set to the music of Queen.

5) IF YOU COULD COLLABORATE WITH ANY OTHER ARTIST, WHO WOULD IT BE AND WHY?

Rita Lee! I think that would be so much fun! I love her music, her as a person and Brazil, and if she’s too busy, I would be down with Chico Buarque, Pharrell Williams, James Murphy–so many! It’s hard to decide. Although maybe it would be better with someone like David Lynch who has a spiritual and creative vision that syncs with me a lot.

AND A BONUS QUESTION:

Which Latino artist do you think has not received as much attention as they deserve? In other words, which Latino artist deserves more credit?

Daniel Melero and Luis Alberto Spinetta should be atop the podium of creation and destruction. But how can one measure credit, really? I have no idea. If credit is making roads amongst mountains, they already have that in spades.

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Thank you.

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