URKU LLANTHU is a solo musical project originating from the city of Quito, Ecuador, which was born in 2018 and which in turn formally comes to light with audio and video material for the year 2020. The musical trajectory of the only one member (Pablo Mesías) dates back to 1998. This year together with more members he was a part of the band ACRACIA from the capital city. He was the vocalist a period that included until 2004.
The full album in a physical format is available from November of 2020. Album contains 8 unreleased tracks (Intro + 7 songs) and bears the homonymous name of the musical project URKU LLANTHU accompanied by the official video-clip on it. Project focuses on Dungeon Synth, Dark Ambient, Folk Metal in an instrumental environment that marks the feelings and thoughts of the originator of this musical framework. Production carried out under the label owned by the same composer and author TAKIRI PRODUCCIONES INDEPENDIENTE.
Hi! Tell us about the origins of the project. At what point did you realize that you need to arrange your material within the framework of this project, where did the name come from?
– A pleasure to have this communication, greetings from Quito, Ecuador to the readers of HOMOFABER METALZINE. URKU LLANTHU was born in 2018, it is a solo musical project framed in the musical genre Dungeon Synth / Dark-Folk Metal, which officially comes to light in 2020 with its first self-titled debut musical album in a special edition limited to 30 units in physical format (DigiPack). The name of the band is based on the Quechua dialect that is typical of the original and ancestral peoples of the Andean region. URKU LLANTHU in its translation into English means MOUNTAIN SHADOW and in the same way the artistic pseudonym Atuk Urku Llanthu in its conversion has the meaning of Mountain Shadow Wolf.
How is the preparation/the birth of new material happened? Is it a matter of inspiration or increased practice, hard work? Where does the inspiration for a song begin?
– Project rescues ancestral places, rites, ancient customs. Wide and diverse musical influences; beginning with a musical career at the beginning of 1998, becoming part of several underground bands in Ecuador, taking over time a concept and clear musical idea that comes from a very young age having enjoyed works such as Mortiis, Burzum, Bathory that they have been direct influences, from then on, musical works such as King Diamond, Tiamat, Moonspell, among others, could be mentioned in a very complementary manner.
In principle, the main base in the URKU LLANTHU is developed is the Dungeon Synth genre, maintaining an archaic aesthetic, which will try to describe various ancient places with sound and environmental effects. Fused with Dark Ambient & Folk Metal, thus providing this form and musical framework URKU LLANTHU while adding string instruments, percussion such as the leather drum and traditional wind instruments from the Andes such as the Quena and Zampoña in conjunction with the main base that is the Piano.
What musical projects have served as a guideline, a source of inspiration for you?
– Mortiis, Burzum, Bathory have been direct influences, in my teenage years, in conjunction with musical works such as King Diamond, Tiamat, Moonspell. In addition to the strong Andean instrumental musical current, with characteristic and ambiguous instruments of the region, something that also highlights the influence of an iconic band on this side of the planet. “Kranium” (Peru) of which I also keep friendship with its members.
You played a lot with other projects. Tell us; what are the main differences, pros and cons of playing in a band and as part of a solo project for you?
– Going back to 1998 when I was able to be part of the band Acracia (Heavy-Thrash Metal), a period that lasted until 2004, after which I joined the band Nekropsia (Thrash-Death Metal) between the years 2005 to 2010. After a few years between 2013 and 2016 I was part of the band Blasfemo (Heavy-Thrash Metal) and finally in the group Alkitran (Heavy-Thrash Metal) from 2016 to 2018. All the groups mentioned above from the underground scene in the capital Quito, participating in them as the main vocalization. I firmly believe that it was a positive period of assimilation and search both on a musical and personal level, which was a great support to also give URKU LLANTHU firmness and integrity.
An idea that was firm a long time ago was born and which came to light in 2020 in a totally independent way with the name of URKU LLANTHU adding string instruments, percussion, mainly harmonics such as the piano, Andean wind instruments etc … and thus getting to musically capture the ideas and compositions of its only member Pablo Mesías (Atuk Urku Llanthu – pseudonym) the same as in his atmosphere for maintaining the attachment to the Andean worldview and the rescue of the ancestral dialect “Quechua” typical of many indigenous peoples, merges with the gender.
What kind of movies do you like? And is there anything being filmed in your country that is worth paying attention to fans of heavy music or dark cinema?
– Personally, the inclination based on audiovisual art is focused with considerable interest towards the documentary side, obviously covering the information space on specific topics of history, ancestral cultures, etc. Individually, I would recommend a cut that is entitled “LLANGANATI” in its essence, it deals with the cultural space, myths, legends of the ancient ancient cultures of this Andean region; which largely includes the dense landscapes full of mysticism in the mountainous area of Ecuador; incidentally, a strong resemblance to the musical proposal of the project that I represent.
Tell us more about how the music scene is developing in your country. How has the musician’s life changed in general due to the Pandemic?
– The stage in Ecuador, especially speaking of the underground side, musically comes from the late 80’s, for many years that constant and essence was maintained. With the passage of time, the change has been scarce in terms of proposal and scene in form and form, although as in many countries in our region, as you know, it also goes hand in hand with many stigmas.
Could you recommend some interesting bands from your country?
– As a recommendation to a firm and constant work, I would recommend the musical proposal of the bands Ente & Total Death.
And according to tradition, in the final question, tell us about the project plans for the future.
– Thank you for the dissemination and acceptance of the musical proposal from Ecuador. URKU LLANTHU at the present time in this interview is with the musical production of the new album, with the first two official tracks already on the air, which in turn will integrate the second album at the beginning of next year 2022.
A new musical work that will follow under the same musical genre mentioned above, with the particularity that I have added indigenous instruments, thus filling the form and atmosphere that gives rise to this next album, based basically on indigenous ancestral funeral rituals and the cosmovision towards the essential step of being, which it is death. And how these rites, practices and legends are still preserved in several countries in the region. Very cordially invited to be part of the mysticism of URKU LLANTHU.