The duo known as Languis -- Marcos Chloca and Alejandro Cohen -- has been making music together since 1991, when they were both classmates in Buenos Aires, Argentina. In 1996, they sold their guitars and amps and moved to Los Angeles, where they occasionally perform with other artists who are associated with that city's somewhat experimental, underground lo-fi electronic movement, much of it centered around the Internet-based "dublab" collective dublab.com. Musically, Languis' recordings may remind some listeners of Stereolab's less motorik/more downbeat recordings, or Teutonic post-ambient groups like To Rococo Rot and Tarwater. However, Languis doesn't really seem to align itself with any particular style or genre, falling somewhere in the "chill-out" side of the post-rock electronic genre, just this side of laptop techno-noir. Languis utilizes both analog and digital synthesizers, as well as various organs, samplers, sequencer, signal processors, abstract electronic percussion, and guitars (mostly acoustic) -- even vocals, some heavily processed and vocoder-y, and others barely whispered into a telephone handset -- in a uniquely refreshing and organically futurist fashion.
The first proper Languis release, Simball Sounds, was recorded on a borrowed four-track recorder at the duo's home studio and released by L.A.-based Simball Sounds Recordings (hence the title) in August 1998. Their follow-up album, Last Frequency Presets, was released in the spring of 1999. A limited-edition 7" single, "Soft Music," issued in February 2000, contained three instrumentals that were closely related to sound collage material; full of atmospherics, loops, acoustic guitar, and static rhythms. In November 2000, Languis issued Unithematic, which explored a more melodic song-based side, utilizing more vocals, acoustic guitars, and pianos than previous releases. Languis' next release, the boldly experimental "Parallel to the Atmospheric Sound of Silence," a split 10" with Safety Scissors, was issued by the Plug Research label. This recording added various elements -- hiss, noise, peaks, distortion, static, clicks, and pops -- that sound somewhat audibly influenced by Stefan Betke's recordings as Pole, using a sound-processing device called the Waldorf 4 Pole-Filter. Blevin Blectum (of Blectum From Blechdom) also contributed vocals to this recording. In 2002, the hectic and lush Untied was released. In addition to their releases on the Simball imprint, Languis has also collaborated on projects and compilations with various other electronic labels, including Phthalo Records, Tigerbeat6, Ubiquity Records, and Zealrecords. ~ Bryan Thomas