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Gladyson Panther’s intentions are pure, and his aim is true. “Hago música para no llorar, y que la música te lleve a otra parte.” (I make music to keep from crying, and so that the music can take you somewhere else.)
Adding to an extensive discography, and continuing a long tradition of “distributing and destroying” genres, this month he released his umpteenth (literally) album, Pop del Futuro y del Presente (Pop of the Future and of the Present), a lysergic potpourri of 12 tracks ranging across a broad aesthetic spectrum, from trap, to indie pop, all the way to industrial grindcore.
Far from a solo project, Pop del Futuro y del Presente is the product of the young Rosarino musician’s long-distance collaboration with various artists (mentioned below) from Santa Fe and Buenos Aires.
Independent musicians are constantly bombarded with ideas about what we “should” be doing in order to “make it.” It can be difficult to stay on course and hold one’s vision. Pop del Futuro y del Presente is deeply inspiring, and intensely irreverent, in the sense that it flies in the face of such fallacies. While some might find that unpalatable or confusing, or even see it as an insult to the industry, for others, that’s exactly what we needed to hear.
Released on April 16th, the plan is that the album take a couple whirls around the cybernetic algorithm as various audiovisual fractals, that at some point culminate in what will be its completed artistic universe. The first music video comes out this coming Monday.
I met up virtually with Santino, AKA Gladyson Panther, to extract some data on the new album.
How did this album come about?
I think that this particular album is from these last, like, five or so years of listening to a lot of music on the internet, like internet music specifically, like on SoundCloud or Bandcamp, and just searching, like rummaging around in the randomest places on the internet, like, you know, getting all the information anyone could possibly want, which is something that’s become second nature to us, but is actually really insane, and I kind of feel like Pop del Futuro y del Presente has to do with that.
And well, I made the album with Lusio, who is the keyboard player in my band and the other producer of this album, it’s our album. And yeah, well at one point, here in Rosario quarantine restrictions had loosened up, and we could go out and all that, but then suddenly it was like… NO, actually, we’ve got to shut ourselves away again, and it was really weird, and I dunno, that was when I was like, okay, I’ve got to do something, because also we were going through… pretty, like, dark times in our lives [laughs], so we were like alright, let’s make some songs, and see what comes of it. The idea in the beginning was to make like, a single song, and we ended up making like, 20, and then the album ended up having twelve. But honestly we didn’t really think about it too much, we started putting more thought into it once we had like five tracks, that’s when we started putting some thought into it, and it was like… yes, okay. But, honestly it was kind of like a catharsis, and a… distraction. Like, from the times we were living through.
Who are the other characters who appear on this album?
Well, we’ve got Chiljud, who plays the flute on the second track. Chiljud is a recurring featured musician, he’ll participate in shows and, well, is just like, a friend, in general. Then we’ve got Rama Empanada, who is a friend from around here, from Rosario, who… it’s crazy actually, like, I also met him on the internet, I mean, well the crazy part is that, check this out, I didn’t have to actually get together with anyone to make this album, they all recorded at home and sent me the files, that’s how we did it. And Rama, well, he’s a really great musician from here, who makes like really pretty indie music, very recommendable. And I invited him to sing on that song, which is like really… you know [makes indie gesture] [cellphone vibrates]. He just sent me a message! Holy shit… right at this exact moment [laughs].
What’s it say?
It says…”same” [laughs]. Then there’s Filippo and Takadanobaba, who are two totally unrelated friends of mine, who have never even met in real life, but like, I was really feeling them for this, like, I felt like I had to do a song with the two of them. And, yeah. And there’s La Muerte 666, who is a friend from Buenos Aires, well from Compana. We already have a song together, that’s called “Eternos”, so this is like, the second colaboration. Then there’s Amelia, who sings on “Alguna vez pensaste en volar?” Well, that one we actually recorded together at my house, for that one we did get together [laughs]. And then, my friend GFX Parka also participated, he did everything related to the visuals for the album, the front and back covers, the YouTube video, all that stuff. And then it was mastered by this guy named Ciro, who, well, yeah, was there for the mastering part. And then also a couple other musicians who were involved, but it was like, they recorded themselves playing and then we sampled it, it was more sample work than anything else.
What’s your favorite song on the album? Or the one you enjoyed making the most?
I don’t know, I kind of like all of them, but I feel like the ones I like most are the most recent ones we did. That always happens, doesn’t it? It’s like, with the last few songs, you’re like “fuck yeah that this made it onto the album!” I think “Mefisto” might be my favorite, it’s the third track. And also the last one I did, and that wasn’t going to be on the album, but then it was like, come onnn. So we dropped another song and put that one in its place. It was like, OOKAY! [laughs].
How long did it take you to make the album?
From September to last month, or like, maybe till February. I mean, we could have finished it a lot earlier, but like, we lost a lot of time, and yeah. Also at one point in the middle of it I got Covid. So, there were several things that came up, that got in the way, but anyway, there were a couple months in there where we dedicated a lot of time to it. But also, at the same time, I’m still working on the album, I mean, even though it’s already out. I feel like it’s a project that I need to stick with, and keep working on.
In what sense?
Well like, I tend to release a lot of albums, like, all the time. Like you [laughs]. And well, with this album, I want to get a lot out of it like, over time. Like, not release another song or another album two months down the road. I’m going to really develop the concept, the idea, the aesthetic, and now that the album is out, I’m going to start working on making all the videos I want to make, for each song. So yeah, I’m still working on it, but you know, sooooorta [laughs].
And how does that feel? Making that decision to do things differently than what tends to be like, your way.
I mean, I really like working on a bunch of different things, and well, because I like this album so much, I feel like, I want to do a lot with it, and expand it, like, I want it to be an experience that maybe within like two years, people can experience it as a complete work, and discover it that way. And also continue expanding, like, the universe that encompasses the songs, shall we say.
What sort of ideas do you have for music videos?
I typically make the music videos myself, and seeing as I don’t have too many resources, I tend to like, resort to the, let’s say, trippiest option. Which is what I have the most fun with anyway. Fracturing the images and distorting them and all that. I’m thinking about doing a little of that, but I don’t want to… I mean, I’m not going to make the videos myself. Some of them yes, but others no. But like take that kind of glitch, fractured aesthetic… and maybe merge it was something more mainstream. Well, I don’t know if mainstream, but something that people can consume, like, something with my face in it, like, cause people like to see your faces, you know? Like… bebotear a little bit.
And that like, gives people something to identify with, because if you upload like a whole music video that’s all glitch, I don’t think it really gets through to people like, in the same way that a video of… you playing the song does. So my idea was kind of like merge those two ideas and also kind of, go between one and the other. For example, on Monday I’m going to release a video, the first music video for the album, that I made by myself. It’s for the song “Arte,” the first song on the album. And it’s like, literally like a totally far out acid trip type deal. But I want to be able to make that coexist in the same universe as maybe like, a music video that’s really straight-forward and easy to make. Like, just me singing.
When you think of the type of person who’s going to really get into this album, what is that person like?
I think it’s a person between age… thirteen, and… the album’s kind of edgy, you know? Like, I feel like if I had listened to this album at thirteen I would have fucking loved it. But it’s like, I don’t know… I was really angry when I was making it, so I feel like… when you’re… younger, like, you really perceive that, and you really like it, that anger. And I feel like the person who is going to listen to this album is between thirteen and [thinks for a long time]… 30 years old?
Whatever age it is that people stop being angry [laughs]. Thirty, really?
Nah, I don’t know [laughs]. I hope not. And they listen to like, that vibe of music, it’s like a very SoundCloud album. I feel like it’s an album that’s like, you know [makes a weird internet gesture]. It has a lot of stuff that like, it never gets like fully mainstream at any time, but maybe, if it were a bit cleaner sounding it could be like, a song that’s more, you know [makes a more mainstream gesture]. I feel like it’s for people who like music, and people who care most about, like, the message, I think. Well maybe not the message, per se, but like, people who don’t think so much about like “oh, I’m listening to trap,” or “I’m listening to rock,” like, I’m over that shit, I feel like what’s important on this album are the feelings, the atmospheres, all that stuff, and I feel like, well, the person who listens to it has to be someone who perceives art in a way that’s really… pure [laughs].
Right, like there’s gonna be those people who listen to the first song, and then when the flash changes and all of a sudden they’re listening to like, grindcore, they get all offended like “but I THOUGHT I WAS LISTENING TO A TRAP ALBUM” and then there’s gonna be other people who are like “oh shit, that took a sharp turn, I DIG.”
Yeah, and actually, I put that song first totally on purpose, I mean, my idea was like, okay, I’m going to put this song, which is honestly kind of cringey even, because of the fact that I can’t rap [laughs], first. And like… I’m over it, I don’t care, I feel like, okay, the people who don’t want to listen to this album, or who… this album just isn’t for them, they’re going to pick up on that from the very first song, and good riddance. Like, everything was very thought-out, in terms of the order of the tracks.
There’s always that element of cringe that we have to overcome when we release albums.
Yeah, totally, and that song actually was originally going to be called “cringe,” in fact. Like… [in a cringey voice] cringe [laughs].
Tell me a little about where the title of the album came from.
So like, I kind of wanted to… create a sense of confusion… no, not confusion per se, but like create… a universe in which the whole idea of… the future, the present, the past… is quite confusing, like, I wanted it to have things that were really futuristic… meh, not futuristic necessarily but like, sounds that are kind of distorted, that sound more like something you might hear a couple years from now, than something from now, and also add elements like, very much from the here and now, like the more trap-like sounds, and stuff like that.
And yeah, add that aspect to it, and also kind of, show that pop is something that… kind of, well, like, pop is everywhere you go, and… I mean already the structure of the song is pop, and you can make anything pop, or rather, anything you make can be pop. Because it’s like… average music [laughs]. Well I don’t know, but what I’m getting at is like, if a song has a chorus, it’s already super pop, enough said. And even if later on you put a bunch of… of… of whatever-the-fuck-you-want on it, the whole… oh dang, this is gonna be really hard to transcribe [laughs]… all the [makes wild gestures] all the makeup of the music.
The filler [laughs].
Yeah, like the whole thing of saying “ooh, I’m this thing” or “I do that thing,” it’s like… well, I don’t know. It doesn’t fucking matter. Like, pop is whatever you want it to be, in my opinion.