A group of young students of the high school institute Santamarca,
in Madrid, decides to develop its restlessness and ideas in the Liberal
Athenaeum of Mantuano, an old falangist headquarters that they occupy.
They share a common interest for the science fiction, the futurism, the
constructivism, dadaism, the spacialism, the science, etc. They carry out
its own literary fanzines, with visual poems, stories, articles about scientific
popularizing and science fiction, etc. Some of these adolescents are Servando
Carballar, Alberto Florez, Andrés García, Manuel Guío,
Arturo Lanz, Alejandro Sacristán.
Servando and Andrés form the punk group Alex y Los Drugos as
the more appropriate way to diffuse their ideas. Their favorite groups
are The Stranglers and Blondie. They rehearse and they carry out some performance
in the liberal athenaeum, with more enthusiasm than results. The restless
boys discover the music of Ultravox, Kraftwerk, Cabaret Voltaire, The Human
League, The Residents, Throbbing Gristle, Tubeway Army, Devo. Fascinated
by this music, Servando gets hold of an electronic organ and he forms,
with his friend Arturo, the group Holoplástico.
Arturo and Servando put an ad in a magazine requesting people who like
Throbbing Gristle, Cabaret Voltaire, The Residents, etc. Juan Carlos Sastre
(guitar) and Gabriel Riaza (bass) reply to it, and they join the duet.
Later, their friend Andrés Noarbe (drum machine), together with
Manuel Guío and Alberto Florez (voices) join the band. They decide
to change the name of the group and they choose El Aviador Dro y Sus Obreros
Especializados. The first that they compose are 'Nuclear Sí' ('Nuclear
Yes') and 'La Chica de Plexiglás' ('The Girl of Plexiglass'), and
they follow with others as 'Rosemary', 'La Visión' ('The Vision'),
'Obsesión' ('Obsession'), 'Electroshock', 'Hazme Tu Androide' ('Make
me Your Android'), etc. The group members adopt coded names: Sincrotrón,
Biovac N, 32-32, Multiplexor, Hombre Dinamo, Placa Tumbler, Derflex Tipo
In summer of 1979 the emission of a new radio programme with national
covering begins, dedicated entirely to the most diverse types of music:
Radio 3, RNE. From his program, Xabier Moreno tries to give support to
the scarce record releases by Spanish groups, in the Chapa label and some
others. One day he receives the invitation to attend to an Aviador Dro’s
rehearsal and, seeing that the group is ahead of what is being made, he
invites them to carry out a session in the studios of RNE. The session
takes place on October 4th, recording six themes. The demo tape is emitted
in the Xabier Moreno’s program, accompanied by the first interview to the
group. The sound is completely unusual for a Spanish group: electronic
pop with the help of organ, synthesizers, drum machine, guitar and bass,
with some polemic, acid and amusing letters. The ambiguous theme "Nuclear,
Sí" turns on the controversy: "I want to take a bath in radio seas,
with strontium, cobalt and plutonium clouds. I want to have lead covers,
and deformed children mounting in their motos... Nuclear? Yes, of course."
The group carries out diverse performances in which they wear black
overalls and protection glasses for industrial works and throw leaflets
to the audience. People are amazed, they don't know how to react. Their
aesthetics is similar to the Devo group, although they go further on in
its ideological positions, with a good dose of humor and irony. Together
with their own themes, they interpret 'La Modelo', a very special version
of the Kraftwerk’s 'The Model', as a tribute to the Düsseldorf quartet,
with an amusing lyric adapted to Spanish.
Declarations: “We are the first step toward the man-machine"; “it
is necessary to assimilate the systematized sense of the life to be able
to be happy"; "The human being will disappear. Even more, it is necessary
to annihilate it to pass to a mechanical state. In this state, there won't
be individual freedom, the collective freedom will only exist. Neither
there will be problems because each man-machine will be properly programmed
and we will all be happy."
They carry out diverse performances and they distribute leaflets at
the bars in Madrid. Hombre Dinamo abandons the group to continue with his
studies and Derflex Tipo Iarr substitutes him in the drum machine. In the
performances, people are not indifferent: they either love them or they
react violently, arriving to the physical aggression, like in Avilés
where the band must abandon their performance under a rain of glass bottles
while they are playing "Nuclear Sí".
They take part in a music competition in Madrid and they win the third
prize. They sign a contract with Movieplay for which they record three
singles, with Jesus Gómez as producer. During the recording sessions,
some members show their disagreement with the sound of the group. Finally,
Arturo, Gabriel and Juan Carlos abandon the group to form Esplendor Geométrico,
one of the most reputed industrial cult bands. Movieplay publishes the
first Aviador Dro single, "La Chica de Plexiglás", which is followed
by the second one, "La Visión”.
They incorporate to the group Alejandro Sacristán (CTA 102) and
Mª Jesus Rodríguez (Metalina-2) to the “aesthetic aggression”
(performance dramatization), Andrés García (Fox Cycloide)
to the voice, and José Antonio Gómez (X) to the guitar.
Declarations: There is an entire series of sciences and techniques
that we know that they can facilitate the evolution from the human being
to inconceivable spheres. There are not limits: from arriving to the space
until ending up being connected with computers, multiple channels of information,
millions... It would be like a third industrial revolution. It's something
that will be realized in a term between 15 and 50 years."
With the new line-up, they record a demo tape of what should be their
first LP. The LP is rejected by Movieplay. Servando forms a parallel project
of music and theater, Los Iniciados, with variable formation of unknown
identities. In summer, the Obreros Especializados cancel their contract
with Movieplay and they look for a new company. In view of the lack of
interest on the part of record companies, they decide to self-finance the
recording of a LP in the Doublewtronics studios that is payed among all
in monthly terms. The rejection of the record companies leads them to publish
a record by themselves.
way, they mount the DRO label and they publish the single "Nuclear Sí",
with photocopied and hand-coloured cover. Copies are sold out very quickly
and that encourages them to publish the records of other groups in similar
situation. The initiative of the self-edition spread and multitude of independent
labels start to appear in Spain.
The Obreros Especializados form a work team to publish disks in their
label DRO at the same time that they adjust their daily works and Aviador
Dro. Marta Cervera (Arcoiris), member of Los Iniciados, joins Aviador Dro
to substitute CTA 102, who is on a trip in Mexico. Their following disk
is a maxisingle with the main song 'Programa en Espiral' ('Program in Spiral'),
a delicious theme of electronic pop. They expose their ideological positions
of the "Dynamic Revolution" in the pamphlets included in their disks and
distributed in their performances; there they declare their fight against
the authoritarianism, the fascism, the church and the superstitions: "¡Acción
contra tradición! ¡Muerte al pasado!" ("Action against Tradition!
Death to the Past! ").
Finally, their first LP is published: "Alas sobre el Mundo" ("Wings
Over The World"). In spite of the few resources, the disk sounds different
to the rest of pioneer LP's of electronic pop music in Spain. Their themes
reflect their anti-system ideas and their passion for the science fiction
and the mythology ('Brigada de Demolición' ('Demolition Brigade'),
'Kraken', 'Cita en el asteroide Edén' ('Meeting in the Asteroid
At the end of 1982 they get in touch with Julián Ruiz, a successful
producer of records like the one by Azul y Negro, with whom they re-record
their first LP theme 'Selector de Frecuencias' ('Selector of Frequencies'),
in a dance version and with all the technical facilities of a modern recording
studio. With this disk they demonstrate that they can compete with the
best international tecnopop, reaching a relative success and a bigger diffusion
of their musical proposals.
Jesus Ordovás, with his program Diario Pop in Radio 3 is one
of the few that promotes the new national groups and the independent labels
that publish their records. El Aviador Dro records a syntony for Diario
Pop that is still used nowadays.
The maxisingle "Selector de Frecuencias" provides them a great number
of performances all over Spain, diffusing their manifestos and tecnopop
proposals. After their tour, they record again a maxisingle for dancing
with the theme 'Amor Industrial' ('Industrial Love') (a reference to Kraftwerk's
'Computer Love'?), again produced by Julián Ruiz. In the B-side
they include songs of their more experimental side, produced by Jesús
Gómez. The song 'Amor Industrial' becomes one of the favourites
for the fans.
DRO becomes the most important independent label in Spain because of
the success of some of its groups. Some of the records of their catalog
reach big sales, envied by the 'established' labels. Meanwhile, Aviador
Dro publishes in December of 1983 their more ambitious work: a deluxe box
including two LP's, a 7" and a book, all under the title "Síntesis:
La Producción al Poder" ("Synthesis: Power to the Production.").
The first LP is "Tesis" ("Thesis"), with tecnopop songs about science fiction
and futurist situations ('Vortex', 'Baila la Guerra' ('Dance the War'),
'Néstor el Cyborg' ('Néstor the Cyborg')). The second LP
is "Antítesis" ("Antithesis"), with industrial electronic sound,
in which they express their more revolutionary ideas ('Destino contra Dios'
('Destiny against God'), 'Arenga de los Sindicatos Futuristas' ('Harangue
of the Futurist Unions'), 'Camarada Bakunin' ('Comrade Bakunin')). The
theme 'Síntesis' is included in the two LP's: "Tesis" contains a
pop version, while "Antítesis" contains the hardest and industrial
version. The two versions are thought for separate auditioning as well
as to be auditioned mixed, forming the perfectly balanced "synthesis".
An already mixed version is published in single format. The book gathers
their previous manifestos and some new ones, and it exposes their future
projects in diverse forms of alternative arts.
Declarations: "In a very near future, the data acquisition capacity
for any person, through a common and public databank, the cable television,
etc, will be such that it will be more difficult to manipulate a person
because the person will have access to millions of people of the whole
globe". "What we do is picking up a multitude of things of our near history,
from the industrial revolution to be exact, and applying them as factors
that presently can produce an evolution and improvement. We make the same
thing with the anarchism, an utopian movement of the beginning of the 20th
century, because then there was not an appropriate social and economic
situation to take it to the practice. However, in the next 10 or 15 years
the new syndicalism can have an important peak". "We are not musicians.
We imitate what people likes. We work with the instruments the same way
as workers do it with the nuts in a factory. We have the same merit. We
feel specialized workers in making music and we work as a team."
During 1984, their effort concentrates on carrying out numerous performances
and in their DRO label, in continuous growth. DRO begins the distribution
of other international independent labels and, at the same time, tries
to expand the distribution of its catalog internationally, publishing some
records of its label in South America.
In the "post Orwell era", DRO publishes the 100th disk of the label:
"Cromosomas Salvajes" ("Wild Chromosomes"). The technical means have improved
a lot at this point, as a consequence of the success of their label. The
production and the sound are better than ever. The new album is recorded
in about twenty days and produced by Simon Boswell, Jesús N. Gómez
and Julián Ruiz, and it contains diverse types of songs: from the
pop and dancing 'El Color de tus Ojos al Bailar' ('The Color of Your Eyes
When Dancing') to the strongest 'Cromosomas Salvajes' and 'Himno Aéreo'
('Aerial Hymn'), with metallic percussions. It is a heterogeneous disk.
An extended version of 'El Color' and produced by Julián Ruiz is
published in 12", in their new sublabel Neon-dance, a label specially dedicated
to the edition of dance music records. The obtained result is not comparable
to their previous 'Selector de Frecuencias' and 'Amor Industrial'. Aviador
Dro carry out some performances to promote the new album.
Some of the Aviador Dro members go in for other parallel projects of
production and they integrate in diverse projects of pop music that have
nothing to do with its peculiar style. Its growing dedication to the label
leaves them less time for Aviador Dro. At the end of 1985, the members
of their "club of mutants" receive the cassette "Intonarumore" (a reference
to the Italian futurist Luiggi Russolo) and a booklet with a new manifesto
and diverse artistic proposals.
12" is published under the title of "¡Abrrr!", as a curious experiment
of "collective composition" in which Aviador Dro and Mar Otra Vez register
two base tracks separately that they exchange by surprise to be finished
by the other group.
It is not until the end of the year that the
new Aviador Dro LP is released: "Ciudadanos del Imperio" ("Citizens of
the Empire") contains sounds of conventional pop-rock that break up with
their style of electronic pop. Some changes have taken place in the line-up.
Aviador Dro's voice, Fox Cycloide, has abandoned the group before composing
the songs for the new album. If until this moment Servando Carballar has
been in charge of the composition of Aviador Dro's songs in 95%, in this
album that is more distributed among all the specialized workers. The production
is no longer by Jesús N. Gómez, for the first time from 1980
(except for the occasional collaborations of Julián Ruiz and Simon
Boswell). This is in charge of Fernando Arbex. Just concluding the album
recording sessions, Derflex Tipo Iarr abandons the group, entering Juan
Antonio Nieto (REP), ex-Alphaville and Los Iniciados, in the electronic
percussion. The album is a dissapointment. After some performances, including
the support of David Bowie and The Stranglers, the silence. Placa Tumbler
and CTA 102 abandon the group as well. The DRO label grows more and more
and it absorbs the activity of the specialized workers.
Declarations: It is not easy to imagine the
future of the recorded media... The future could well be this: with the
terminal of a personal computer you would have access to a central or private
music bank (a super jukebox) where there would be all the classified titles
of the last decades and a special access, with special rate, to the last
In May of 1988 the Aviator reappears with a pop
album titled "Ingravidez" ("Weightlessness"), with only a couple of prominent
themes. Mario Gil (Genociber F15), ex-La Mode, has incorporated to the
keyboards. The compositions of the record are distributed among Servando
Carballar and José A. Gómez. The album is selfproduced by
Aviador Dro. They carry out some performances.
The DRO label has become a machine of the record
industry with millionaire billing. Different points of view arise among
the work team of the DRO label, causing the split up from the company of
the specialized workers Biovac N and Arcoiris, and some other ex-specialized
workers. X abandons Aviador Dro, being conformed the current formation.
Biovac N and Arcoiris create the new record label La Fábrica Magnética
to recapture the DRO's initial spirit.
When everything seemed finished for ever, a new
album "Trance" appears under the altered name Aviador Dro 4000. The specialized
workers have completely upgraded their sound. Genociber F15 is a specialized
worker that contributes a lot to the composition level and work in the
studio. Aviador Dro's songs are better than ever and they continue with
its habitual criticism to the system ('Vivir Para Morir' ('Living for Dying'),
'Tierra Plana' ('Flat Earth')) and its more amusing side ('Mi Joven Profesora'
('My Young Female Teacher')). "Intelligent" Tecno: for dancing and thinking.
The album is recorded in the studio property of Biovac N and Arcoiris.
The first two albums from the 80's of Aviador Dro are re-released in CD
format, in the La Fábrica Magnética label.
The 12" "Alter Ego" is released with a new song
and a couple of remixes of the disk "Trance", in concordance with the fashion
of making dance mixes, although Aviador Dro has been into it since 1982.
'Alter Ego' is a boast of creativity using the studio.
The year of the 15th anniversary of Aviador Dro,
an one-off performance is announced in Madrid for May. In the concert,
they interpret completely up-to-date versions of old songs, using their
new sound, and they record the whole show with the intention of publishing
a live album. They carry out some additional performances in Madrid.
In September of 1994 a new 12" is released in
dance sub-label of Fonomusic, including three new and remixed versions
of a song from their first LP: 'La TV es Nutritiva' ('TV is Nutritious').
Their interest for the disco versions continue. This time, however, the
sound is shamelessly 'bakalao': the Aviador Dro humour? The certain thing
is that 500 copies are distributed and immediately afterwards withdrawn
apparently due to a defect in the pressing process. The live Aviador Dro
album stays in hibernation due to the crash of the label La Fábrica
Aviador Dro's last activities are followed by
years of silence, while the specialized workers try to recover from the
failure of their label. Finally, in 1997 the live album "Cyberiada" is
released in the Lollipop label, containing part of the performance in Madrid
in May of 1994. It includes 'La Modelo', a cover of a Kraftwerk song, released
for the first time in an Aviador Dro record although it has been part of
their repertoire since 1979.
In 1998, Aviador Dro makes a live re-appearance
in Madrid on February 28th to present the CD "Materia Oscura" ("Dark Matter")
that compiles songs released in single between 1982 and 1994. The performance
is a success. Part of it and an amusing interview is broadcasted in a TV
program of Canal Satélite. The specialized workers attend the live
Kraftwerk performance at the SONAR festival. That encourages them to continue
with Aviador Dro. Servando is devoted to a parallel project of electronic
pop: Krypton. The new group records a demo tape and a CD-single, self-published.
Aviador Dro celebrates its 20th anniversary with
the album "Opera Científica" ("Scientific Opera"), released in the
new label Rompeolas. It contains a CD compiling their best songs from 1980-1994,
and a CD with new songs and reconstructions of some of their classics,
with the collaboration of remixers from the spanish club scene, such as
Cio, HD Substance, Pez and Shakermoon. The new songs are a mixture of pure
electronics, criticisms to the system, irony and amusement. Before the
imminent tour to promote the album, Genociber F15 leaves the group due
to his impossibility of dedication, being substituted by Ismael Contreras
(ATAT). The album is presented in diverse cities of Spain, including a
performance in the SONAR festival, with diverse critiques. The label Lollipop,
dedicated to recover the Aviador Dro's catalog, releases the CD "Vano Temporal"
("Temporal Gap"), recovering 20 years old unreleased recordings. REP abandons
the group as well for personal reasons and Jerónimo Ugalde (Nexus)
joins the band to substitute him.
"Internet will change the sense
of the civilization. Since the printing press there has not been another
invention with such a revolutionary power".
Encouraged by the positive reception to their
return, the group prepares their new album: "Mecanisburgo". It is a conceptual
record consisting of a CD of songs and a CD-ROM with a futurist role game.
Some of the new songs are presented in some sporadic performance. The new
productions will be released by Cosmos, a label specialized in electronic
and dance music.
More than one year late, the tribute CD "Aviador
Dro Reprogramado: Robots para los Atomos" ("Aviador Dro Reprogrammed: Robots
for the Atoms") is published, with the most varied covers performed by
bands from Mexico, Argentina, Peru and Spain.
The album "Mecanisburgo" is released. The record
is based around the concept of a futuristic town in which a lot of the
classic science-fiction predictions have become truth, and is accompanied
of an interactive CD-ROM with a map of the town, its characters, 3D animations
and graphics. People is encouraged to send descriptions of characters for
a future role-playing game. The album is followed by a live tour.
Aviador Dro is behind the project called ¡Qué Mutada!
(what a mutation!), with two young bands from Madrid with whom they share
ideas: L-Kan and La Monja Enana. The result is an album with new songs
from the three bands, trading cards and a comic. Later in this year, a
comic starred by Aviador Dro and Fangoria (another electronic-pop band
from Madrid) is released.
Currently, the band is working in a new album and a role-playing game
to be released in 2004, their 25th anniversary. In a tour in Germany is
schelduled for September.
© Agustín Collado, José