Sandhy & Mandhy

Sandhy & Mandhy

Buenos Aires, 1967, and Argentina was a year into its rule by a military dictatorship. For two young friends, though, music offered a distraction to the politics and enforced repression. Alberto Infusino (Sandhy) and Alberto Vanasco (Mandhy) were playing in a beat band, The New Free Men. (I do wonder if the band was named with a touch of irony?)

Like many such bands in the southern hemisphere at that time, they sang in English played mainly covers of songs by likes of The Rolling Stones; The Doors; The Yardbirds and The Animals.

1968 saw the band change names twice in quick succession. Firstly they dropped the word ‘New’ only tio change again some months later to La Maquina de Musica … translated from Music Machine, an American band, virtually unknown in Argentina. (Mandhy had heard the band’s first album while living in New York during late ’65 / early ’66. He loved their sound and wished he could actually play with them. So when the time came, he kind of hijacked their name for his own band!)

So, it was now 1968, and La Maquina de Musica continued to play the Buenos Aires clubs and parties. They still sang in English and built up a good following. However, at this time Infusino and Vanasco started a new, but parallel project, writing their own compositions and singing in their native Spanish. They fused some more traditional sounds into their music and the result of melding their ‘beat’ background with some more ‘folky’ nuances was a light, psychedelic sound.

In 1969, the two friends approached local label guru, Billy Bond (reputedly a Simon Cowell type hit-maker) to see if he’d be interested in recording and releasing an album by La Maquina de Musica.

However, he was not interested in recording a band at that stage, least of all one that sang in English. He did however, say he was looking for a duo that sang in Spanish and asked if they could prepare a demo to submit.

With songs ready and waiting from their little side-project, Infusino and Vanasco called some friends together and called the new project Sandhy & Mandhy.

(I can see a potential problem arising here, can you? Anyway, let’s carry on …)

The recording was completed within three hours, using only two channels with everyone just playing together through the songs. One take, that’s all.

Since they were in the studio and had little money to spare, they decided that rather than produce a formal ‘demo’ they would cut an LP. Their finances stretched to ordering one hundred copies (one hundred and ten were actually produced.)

There was no money left to produce a jacket / album sleeve!

One copy of the LP was given to Billy Bond – who, a week or so later said the record did not sound like a duo, but more like a band!

(There was no fooling this dude! He didn’t get to be label boss without being able to spot the difference between a ‘duo’ and a ‘band!) 😀

Following their rejection, the lads quickly realised the writing was on the wall for Sandhy & Mandhy, and reverting to their Infusino and Vanasco identities, they focused once again on La Maquina de Musica. They recorded a single on the Ten Records label that actually featured two songs from the ‘accidental’ Sandhy & Mandhy LP, and continued playing live shows at which they sold / gave away the 100 failed albums.

Even this was not to last, unfortunately, for in 1970 both parties had to complete their compulsory year in the army and they lost contact for a full year. La Maquina de Musica split during their absence and although Infusino and Vanasco managed to get them back together again and record a few demos. they never saw the light of day.

Vanasco moved to Brazil, and Infusino formed the Argentinian power rock trio, Barro Mental. They developed a ‘cult’ status within rock circles in their home country, despite not actullay rel;easing any material on record!

It seems it was never to be for these guys!

In 2008, though, Lion Productions re-released Sandhy & Mandhy‘s ‘Para Castukis‘ LP in a beautifully packaged gatefold sleeve format, with extensive liner notes and song lyrics in both Spanish and English.

Now the world can see why some of the original 110 pressings were most sought after in Argentina, copies known to have exchanged hands for over £1000!


Sandhy (Alberto Infusino) -Vocals /Acoustic Guitar / Rhythm Guitar
Mandhy (Alberto Vanasco) – Vocals / Bass
Roberto (from the band ‘Escalation’) – Drums
Nicolas (from ‘La Maquina de Musica’) – Guitar
Jorge Conrad (from ‘La Maquina de Musica’) – Farfisa Organ / Acoustic Piano
Ricardo Martinez Vallegra (from ‘La Maquina de Musica’) – Bongos / Tambourine

Para CastukisLP1969Phonalex StudiesOnly 110 pressed – has sold for in excess of £1000

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