Aviador Dro (full name El Aviador Dro y Sus Obreros Especializados) are a pioneering synth pop group from Madrid, Spain.
Inspired by electronic groups such as Kraftwerk, Devo, and the Residents, as well as science fiction, Dadaism, and technology, the group creates futuristic, highly melodic electronic pop music. Members have included dozens of musicians throughout the band's history, including several members of Esplendor Geométrico and Los Iniciados, but the only constant has been founder Servando Carballar Heymann, nicknamed Biovac N. The bandmembers described their music as "tecno-pop" in 1979, and early releases such as 1982's Alas Sobre el Mundo contained highly inventive, abstract pop tunes made with primitive drum machines and offbeat effects. Their sound became more accessible on subsequent releases like 1986's Ciudadanos del Imperio, while their '90s incarnation, Aviador Dro 4000, explored EBM and electro on albums like 1991's Trance. The band remained active during the 21st century, releasing albums such as the politically themed Candidato Futurista in 2007 and the trance-influenced La Voz de la Ciencia in 2012.
The group's roots lie in Alex y los Drugos, a punk rock band formed in 1977 by a group of friends from Madrid's Santamarca Institute. This evolved into a techno pop project known as Holoplástico, which changed its name to Aviador Dro in 1979. The Spanish label Movieplay issued the group's first two singles, "La Chica de Plexiglás" (1980) and "La Visión" (1981). The band founded its own label, Discos Radiactivos Organizados (DRO), in 1982, and released debut full-length Alas Sobre el Mundo, single "Selector de Frecuencias," and EPs Nuclear, Sí and Programa en Espiral during the same year. After issuing 1983's Tesis LP (expanded into double-album Síntesis), Aviador Dro started touring around Spain, soon having the opportunity to open for the Stranglers and David Bowie. Several Aviador Dro full-lengths and singles appeared on DRO throughout the remainder of the '80s, including the albums Cromosomas Salvajes (1985), Ciudadanos del Imperio (1986), and Ingravidez (1988). The label released Heroes de Los 80, the group's first compilation, in 1990.
Aviador Dro departed DRO in 1988, and members Servando Carballar and Marta Cervera founded a new label, La Fabrica Magnetica. The group's first album of the new decade, 1991's Trance (credited to Aviador Dro 4000), saw the group moving into more of an EBM/industrial dance direction. The 1992 compilation Primer Aliento, also on La Fabrica Magnetica, brought much of the group's early material to CD for the first time. The live album Cyberiada followed in 1997 on the Lollipop label, which also released the 1998 compilation Materia Oscura. The career-spanning double-CD Opera Cientifica 1979-1999 appeared on Rompeolas Compañía Discográfica in 1999. Vano Temporal, an enhanced CD of early material, appeared the same year on Lollipop. In 2000, Cosmos Records released a tribute called Aviador Dro Re: Programado Robots Para los Atomos, featuring Aviador Dro's originals performed by Ford Proco, Spunky, Calígula 2000, and Panóptica, among others. The same label released Mecanisburgo, an Aviador Dro full-length CD packaged with an interactive game CD-ROM, in 2001. Another two-CD compilation, Todos Sus Singles y EPs 1982-1998, was released that same year on Ventura Music.
The group signed with the Spanish independent label Subterfuge Records in 2004, releasing the Ultimatum a la Tierra EP and full-length Confia en Tus Maquinas that year. The label also released the group's 2007 full-length, Candidato Futurista. Omega Point Records brought Aviador Dro's music to American audiences with the release of the 2006 compilation ¡Eléctrico! The Best of El Aviador Dro 1978-2006. The 2010 full-length Yo, Cyborg arrived on PIAS Spain, followed by the CD/book La Voz de la Ciencia on Altafone Music in 2012. The Spanish indie pop label Elefant Records released Otros Mundos, Otras Estrellas (1979-1982), a double album compiling early tracks, alternate versions, and covers, in 2015. ~ Drago Bonacich & Paul Simpson, Rovi