A performance-oriented Latin dance band from Venezuela heavily indebted to funk and disco (with a dash of acid jazz), los Amigos Invisibles made a big splash in their homeland in 1995 with their debut album, A Typical and Autoctonal Venezuelan Dance Band, which featured odd Japanese animé-style artwork.
Bandmembers Julio Briceño (vocals), José Luis Pardo
(guitar, songwriting), Armando Figueredo (keyboards), Mauricio Arcas (raps), José Rafael Torres (bass), and Juan Manuel Roura (drums) supported their growing reputation with a series of underground dance parties at the mostly deserted clubs of Caracas. However, financial difficulties led the group to move to New York in 1997. They signed with David Byrne
's Luaka Bop imprint and released their American debut, The New Sound of the Venezuelan Gozadera, in 1998. Arepa 3000: A Venezuelan Journey Into Space followed in 2000, The Venezuelan Zinga Son, Vol. 1 in 2004, and Superpop Venezuela in 2006. In 2008, the digital-only En Una Noche Tan Linda Como Esta appeared on Mercury before the band signed to the emerging Latin music label Nacional. They began their tenure there with 2009's funky Commercial, followed by Live in Soho. This was followed by the wildly experimental Not So Commercial (though it proved to be a hit) in 2011. After a period of seemignly endless touring and global festival appeareances, Los Amigos Invisibles headed back into the studio in 2012; they emerged with Repeat After Me in the spring of 2013.~ Steve Huey