Blending the lines

Mexico City’s Chikita Violenta brings a Toronto sound up from south of the border.

Andrew Penkalski

Who: Chikita Violenta

Where: Varsity Theatre

When: Oct. 7

 

This whole Indie rock business has grown into quite the global exchange. Somewhere there are French kids crooning the âÄúMy my myâÄôsâÄù of Bon IverâÄôs âÄúSkinny Love,âÄù while a gang of lazy California stoners botch every El Guincho hook at the same moment. However, bands now channel the mirrored effect. International collaboration becomes easier as each relative scene becomes unearthed. Mexico City rock quartet Chikita Violenta hopes to be a testament to this dispersion.

Chikita Violenta has been around the block, so to speak. This is a childhood brethren and a group of musicians ten years in the making âÄî an amount of time that would have likely killed many toiling acts.

âÄúIf we werenâÄôt in a band, weâÄôd be getting together at a bar after work,âÄù bassist and keyboardist Armando David Ortigosa said.

Along the way, the group managed to stumble across an aural blend of restrained exoticism and heavy, fuzzed-out guitars. In a great reflection of scenes extending boarders, much of this rose from the American college radio staples.

âÄúNinety percent of the kids in most countries âÄî anywhere from France to Norway âÄî all listen to those collegiate bands that kind of mark the scene youâÄôre living in,âÄù Ortigosa said. âÄúWe discovered all these amazing bands that shaped the way we approached music.âÄù

Some of their influences are even giving love back. Chikita Violenta just completed a short stint of dates opening for Built to Spill, an opportunity that allowed them to step under the North American spotlight.

ItâÄôs not the only transcontinental stride the group is making. The group has developed a five-year-plus relationship with the Broken Social Scene collective, which landed them a spot on Arts & Crafts Records. It is a relationship that all started with the group pursuing BSS member David Newfeld as a future producer.

âÄúWhen [BSS] dropped by the studio, we were there, and they started with, âÄòHey, who are these Mexicans?âÄô âÄù Ortigosa said. âÄúWe started chatting and ended up becoming really good friends.âÄù

It is an association that definitely shows through early promotional tracks of Chikita ViolentaâÄôs upcoming Newfeld-produced record, âÄúTRE3S.âÄù Songs like âÄúTiredâÄù are carried by frontman Andres VelascoâÄôs breathy vocals and siren guitar breakdowns. ItâÄôs reminiscent of BSSâÄôs swan song, âÄúYou Forgot It In PeopleâÄù âÄî a record of admiration for the boys in Chikita Violenta.

We thought that it was kind of the stuff we enjoyed,âÄù Ortigosa said. âÄúIt just had something to it that we really liked.âÄù

For a group of guys just enjoying what they do, theyâÄôve worked their way toward a respectable position âÄî one that has allowed them to view the upper Americas as their oyster.

 âÄúThis is more or less the beginning,âÄù Ortigosa said. âÄúThe whole purpose of this tour is to actually open that door.âÄù

The group will continue its current North American trek with baroque-pop act Ra Ra Riot through the middle of October. Hopefully, these dates will keep an expectation-defying bandâÄôs door open to a larger playground.