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Espiritu Disambiguation: At least two artists with this name. One was a duo (that became a solo artist) signed to Heavenly records in the mid-1990s. The other was an Argentinian progrock band.

1. Espiritu were the sound of a Brazilian street party relocated to West London, a samba magic Notting Hill carnival in the blazing sunshine. The band consisted of one woman, South American born, Parisian bred Vanessa Quinones and a series of collaborators. Vanessa wrote all of the material (and produced virtually all of her recordings), something that most of the British media couldn't get their heads round.

Initially signed to Heavenly via the Sony deal in 1992, Espiritu released several upbeat hip hop inflected singles - "Francisca" (a song about Vanessa's childhood nanny), "Conquistador" (featuring mind-bending Sabres Of Paradise remixes) & "Los Americanos" (big radio record & the closest they came to charting). When the Sony deal ended, Espiritu were caught in the middle - Vanessa had recorded a beautiful cover of "Always Something There To Remind Me", a definite hit, which had been remixed by cheese house duo Tin Tin Out. Shortly before the record was due for release, Vanessa had an about face and pulled the record. She was let go by Sony shortly afterwards & the album she'd been working on for two years was scrapped.

In 1995, Vanessa signed for a second time to Heavenly, after the label had begun a partnership with Deconstruction. Over the previous couple of years, Vanessa had immersed herself entirely in London's ever growing drum 'n' bass scene, regularly to be seen on the floor at LTJ Bukem's 'Speed' nights. Her records were less about hip-hop and slow motion beats and more about the frenetic, skittering rhythms of young, urban London. After a handful of gigs (including, ironically enough, Deconstructions' In The City party at The Hacienda in September 1995, exactly two years after Espiritu had pulled out of the Heavenly In The City event at the same venue), Vanessa began recording an album, mostly in her home studio, initially taking on writing, recording and mixing duties. The first shot was "Baby I Wanna Live", a record that swelled up and up from a whisper to an explosion of clattering Jungle rhythms. To confound expectations further, the next Espiritu record was a spaced-out hyper-space ballad, an electronic beauty called "Man Don't Cry". The records met with confusion and head scratching - neither could be pigeon holed as pop records or underground records. Weirdly, it didn't help that in pictures (and in the flesh), Vanessa was remarkably beautiful - people seemed suspicious, obviously prefering records made by some ugly bloke from Southend...

As a precursor to Espiritu's first album proper, another single was released. "You Don't Get Me" was a reaction to all the critics over the years, all the people who

had knocked Vanessa, be they press or record company. The single failed to chart, thus denting the chances for the album. "Another Life", the debut album, was released in the Autumn of 1997. By this time Deconstruction had all but given up on them, leaving Heavenly in the difficult position of trying to promote an album that the financiers had already left for dead. The record was an ambitious collection of songs - lifting street influences the world over, creating 'pop music' from the unlikeliest of sources. As the Deconstruction deal ended, Espiritu were dropped. Their legacy - a handful of inspirational and inventive singles and an album that aimed high, but was shot down by people who didn't want to give it a chance.

In 1999, Espiritu released a ragga-pop cover of Carly Simon's 80s classic 'Why?' in Europe and in 2001, provided vocals on Mr. Joshua's 'In Praise Of The Sun' house track. She is currently the vocalist in her band, Vanessa & The O's, along side James Idha (Smashing Pumpkins).

2. This top notch Argentinian progrock band was rooted in ’69 when singer Fernando Bergé and guitar player Osvaldo Favrot founded Onda Corta. After many changes in the line-up the band featured Carlos Goler on drums, Claudio Martinez on bass and of course prime movers Fernando and Osvaldo in ‘72. Under their new name ESPIRITU the band gave a serie of gigs in ’73 and released a single entitled “Soy la Noche”. It was received well, ESPIRITU started to rehearse for their debut album and added a keyboard-player, first David Lebon but when he left Gustavo Fedel was willing to replace him. In this line-up ESPIRITU released their first album entitled “Crisalida” in ’75, a fine symphonic rock record with echoes from GENESIS and YES. The band was at their pinnacle: good response from both fans and the press and spectacular live shows. Unfortunately Fedel decided to leave the band, he was replaced by Ciro Fogliatta and these musicians released the second album entitled “Libre y Natural”. Because of lack of support from the record company, musical disputes and a lot of stress ESPIRITU disbanded in ’76.
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