Locals: Brujas del Sol seeks the stratosphere at Ace of Cups Saturday

From the March 21, 2013 edition

Brujas del Sol songs are uniformly spacey — fitting for a band whose name means Witches of the Sun and whose debut album is called Moonliner.

“We’re all fans of outer space and everything that is cosmic,” singer-guitarist Adrian Lee Zambrano said.

That said, space is big. There’s a vast expanse beyond the stratosphere, and Brujas carries its music through much of it on Moonliner, to be released by Devouter Records this Saturday with a concert at Ace of Cups. “Noon on the Moon” is dense and monstrous. “Baba Yaga” dabbles in ebullient surf rock. “Castles Upon Golden Gate” is a gloomy minimalist sprawl.

The songs are tied together by common ancestry, born from the shared mind space between Zambrano’s guitar, Derrick White’s bass, Jason Green’s drums and Ryan Stivers’ keyboards. Regardless of how they combine, it sounds trans-universal — massive in scope, but never directionless.

“Epic is a word that gets overused,” White said. “I definitely like music that has a purpose and states something even if that music doesn’t necessarily know what it’s stating.”

Though the songs build patiently, Brujas’ creative engine moves at rocket speed. Moonliner comprises three EPs released last year. Another album’s skeleton exists, and they hope to release a 7-inch this summer.

“I’d like to keep putting out music really quickly,” White said. “We’re the kind of band that we get inspired by something, and we work best if we — it’s not that we’re rushing it out, it’s just that we do it, get that idea out and move on.”

They’ve been just as diligent about forging into the Columbus music universe. Zambrano effusively praised post-rock pros Brainbow and prog-metal behemoth EYE, whose Adam Smith mastered Moonliner and offered priceless advice along the way.

“He’s been the Gandalf to our band,” Zambrano said.

And with summer tour dates firming up, Brujas looks to another Columbus powerhouse for cues.

“I don’t know that we’re going to do the Lo-Pan and go on the road for 60 days, come back for four days and go back on for 90 days,” Zambrano said. “I don’t know if we’re mentally prepared for that much gnarly, but that’s the ultimate goal, I think, is to get where those dudes are.”

Photos by Meghan Ralston