In 1997 German multi-genre electronic musician Uwe Schmidt (aka Atom Heart), finding the founding of his Rather Interesting label and his multifarious collaborations insufficient for getting the creative juices really flowing, moved to Santiago, Chile for a complete change of pace. And identity. As Senior Coconut he began acting on Costa Rican inspiration from five years prior, fusing the techno of his past experience with the traditional music of his latin location.

His first album in this persona, "El Gran Baile" (The Great Dance), was interesting enough, but what really got people doing double-takes was his summer 2000 release "El Baile Aleman" (The German Dance) - an album of Kraftwerk covers done flawlessly in traditional (primarily cha-cha-cha and merengue) latin musical styles.

His band (the Y Su Conjunto) on El Baile Aleman includes work from vocalists Argenis Brito, Jorge Gonzalez and Lisa Carbon, the enigmatic MPC3000 & S6000 machines with "Additional Midi Shaker" by Ricardito Tambo.

Keep your ears on Senior Coconut - he's been tearing up campus radio charts across the world and is virtually guaranteed to twist a smirk onto the embittered lips of any cynical hipster you may know, if only briefly.

Some additional Senor Coconut information - the picture of 'Senor Coconut' shown on the album cover and generally included with all the artist bios is _not_ actually Uwe Schmidt/Atom Heart, just a suitably tropical-looking friend. The little scamp.

Also, Atom Heart created the entire Senor Coconut album himself, electronically - there is, as far as i know, no live playing on it at all, and certainly not an entire band. This makes the album even more amazing, in some ways - using Kraftwerk-style programming techniques to do naturalistic, tropical-sounding covers of Kraftwerk? Youch.

Senor Coconut recently played live at the Ars Electronica Festival in Austria, myself being present, and I was heartened to discover that, on touring, a real 8-piece band has been recruited, including two marimba players, trumpet, trombone, percussion, and an excellent singer. Senor Coconut (Atom Heart) himself was manipulating dual samplers, and occasionally busted out an electronic sample-solo to complement the live experience.

At the Ars Electronica show, the band encored with their mambo version of the most recent released Kraftwerk song, "Expo 2000", which is not on the 2nd Senor Coconut album, and is only available on a separate single.

Incidentally, Lisa Carbon, often credited on Atom Heart records and mentioned in the above write-up, _is_ Atom Heart. He's truly a man of many and confusing pseudonyms.

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