Personnel: Manuel Guio (vocoder).
Spanish synth pop group El Aviador Dro y Sus Obreros Especializados (commonly abbreviated to Aviador Dro) formed in 1979, using the term "tecno-pop" to describe their heavily Kraftwerk- and Devo-influenced sound. Members of the group's earliest lineup went on to form fellow Spanish electronic pioneers Esplendor Geométrico, and while that group took more of an industrial/rhythmic noise direction, Aviador Dro primarily stuck with pop songs. Numerous compilations of the group's work have been issued throughout the years, but this one focuses strictly on their earlier years, prior to the release of their second album, and is loaded with rarities and alternate versions. It's a fascinating collection of ultra-futuristic pop nuggets, with bright, expressive synthesizer melodies played over rudimentary drum machine beats, post-punk guitar and bass, and robotic Spanish-language vocals intoning technology-themed lyrics. Speedy minimal-wave anthems such as "Programa en Espiral" and "La TV Es Nutritiva" are effortlessly fun and catchy, and slower numbers like "Telepatía" and "Nuclear Sí" are more chilling and paranoid. The group pays tribute to two of its major influences with brilliant Spanish-language covers of Kraftwerk ("La Modelo") and the Sex Pistols ("Anarquía en el Planeta"). A few tracks, especially the vocoder-heavy "Sintonía del Diario Pop," have a rough sound quality, but it just adds to the vintage charm. Otros Mundos, Otras Estrellas is a magnificent collection, and highlights one of Spain's most forward-thinking bands at its creative peak. ~ Paul Simpson