1280 Almas is a rock band from Bogotá, Colombia, formed in 1992 by Fernando del Castillo (vocals), Pablo Kalmanovitz (drums), Juan Carlos Rojas (bass) and Hernando Sierra (guitar). The name (“1280 Souls”) comes from the Spanish translation of the novel Pop. 1280, by U.S. author Jim Thompson. In the group’s early days, the book had been
an artistic reference point for the founding members in their search for a new sound that would be raw, electric, accessible, urban, and would evoke the particular historical moment they came out of. Their first release was Háblame de horror (“Speak to me of Horror”), originally put out as a cassette on the independent label Hormigaloca. It was their first experiment with their particular blend of punk, ska, and Latin rhythms.
The following year, encouraged by the enthusiastic reception Háblame received from the youth of Bogotá, they released Aquí vamos otra vez (“Here We Go Again”), this time on the Mexican “Culebra” imprint of the multinational label BMG. In 1996, under the same label, they released La 22 (“22nd Street”) and then Changomán (“Monkey Man”) in 1998. These two LPs solidified the group’s popularity in Colombia and include many songs that remain fan favorites, but were also their last on a major label. Since 2000, the band has remained independent, starting with the 2003 EP Bombardeando (“Bombing”) and the following year’s album Sangre Rebelde (“Rebel Blood”), on the band’s own La Coneja Ciega label. In early 2011, 1280 Almas released Alegría por encima de la tristeza (“Joy Over Sadness”), a double live album shipping with both a CD and DVD. It was an attempt to capture the experience of their concerts and the visceral connection they have with their audience, as closely as possible. The video was edited and produced by Velouria TV in co-production with La Coneja Ciega. Pueblo Alimaña (roughly, “a people of scoundrels”), released again under their own label, followed in 2012. It is both an intimate and radical work, with several tracks entering heavy rotation on Colombian radio and adored by their fans. The year 2012 was also the band’s 20th anniversary for which they were honored in a moving tribute at one of Latin America’s biggest music festivals: Bogotá’s “Rock al Parque”. In 2014, las Almas began to tour internationally starting in the city of Buenos Aires, Argentina. In 2016 they toured Europe for the first time, with support from the German-based Dirty Immigrant label. While in Berlin, they released Domestiko an album on vinyl that includes six new songs and a six-song selection of their previous work for new listeners. The tour covered a large swath of the continent, with shows in Berlin, Prague, Vienna,Amstetten, Linz, Brussels, Paris, Berne, San Galo, Zurich, Barcelona and Madrid. The tour opened up new opportunities for the band as well. In early 2018, they traveled to the Basque Country to record Marteko Euriak (“Mars Rains“). The album explores new sounds and techniques that had not been available to the band in other sessions, with 14 new songs available in both Colombia and Europe on CD and vinyl. Some singles has already become a number-one hits on Colombia’s top rock radio stations.
– Háblame de Horror (Hormiga Loca, 1993)
– Aquí Vamos Otra Vez (BMG Culebra, 1994)
– La 22 (BMG, 1996)
– Changomán (BMG, 1998)
– Bombardeando – EP (Indep., 2003)
– Sangre Rebelde (La Coneja Ciega, 2004)
– 94/98 (BMG, 2007)
– Alegría por Encima de La Tristeza (La Coneja Ciega / Velouria TV, 2010)
– Pueblo Alimaña (La Coneja Ciega, 2012)
– Domestiko (La Coneja Ciega – Dirty Immigrant, 2016)
– Marteko Euriak (La Coneja Ciega, 2018)