Diversity is the key to Arty del Rio’s sound. Born in Peru, a young Arty travelled with his family relocating to Melbourne, unsure where his life would lead him in his new country. With him he brought a kaleidoscope of musical memories from his heritage that left an indelible mark on his conscious. During his childhood in Melbourne he rummaged through his parents’ record collection, and combined them with sounds he encountered from other parts of the world.
His musical style, which he has been experimenting with for the past 20 years, is now a pastiche of garage pop and power-pop, coupled with deeper grooves from the 20s and 30s era of jazz and blues, all the while laden with infectious rhythms of melody with definite Latin and world music undertones. Arty del Rio’s musical influences garner as far afield as his musical heroes, Spanish rumba flamenco singer Peret, Argentinean pop singer Piero, right through to UK darlings of 90s indie guitar Teenage Fanclub, and Australia’s very own Jazz great Vince Jones. Arty has managed to take snippets from all of them, creating one hell of a sonic patchwork.
Traversing assorted musical terrain in stints in bands in both Melbourne and Canberra, Arty has played in varied formations over the years, including a duo with his sister Paola called Rio de Melodie, and amongst others, the band Sweetnothing with his friend and keyboardist/guitarist Rob Dawson from Augie March who in 2001 tragically passed away in an accident.
Arty’s work is as constant as it is diverse and splinters into various forms – sometimes as a duo consisting of Angela Louey (long time friend and collaborator) on piano/bass/percussion, and other times as a trio or more, with drummer Simon Ripper, session conga player Eyal Chipkiewicz, and Andy Bone on trombone/trumpet, with each musician lending their own special spice to the configuration. This also ensures that the music output is always blending with unusual and surprising sounds and delving into cross-genres of varied musicology.
Given Melbourne’s rich tapestry of numerous and varied venues, the band is able to perform at a multitude of bars and pubs, and is known to play up to impressive three hour marathon sets at times, performing most weekends.
Sydney legend Nick Dalton of Half A Cow Records and Lemonheads/Sneeze/The Plunderers/Godstar fame, declared himself a fan of Arty’s 2004 debut EP stating ‘It’s top stuff’.
2012 saw Arty release a three track single entitled Muchacho, another testament to his Latin-tinged guitar pop prowess and arrangements leaning towards 60s nostalgia which enjoyed community radio airplay nationally and a music video clip aired numerous times on ABC TV’s Rage.
The newly released catchy, hook-laden indie single All The Same is Arty’s next adventure into what has thus far been a rich musical output, and bound to capture the hearts of fans new and old alike of poptastic well-crafted songs. He has a swag of recordings to follow up with, indicating that the very best is yet to come from Arty del Rio.