Friday, February 28, 2014

MP3/Video: Cohoba - "I Just" / "Know 1"


Although there hasn’t been much music coming out of the Dominican Republic that has caught our ear besides from Rita Indiana, NYC-born but Dominican-showcasing netlabel Stereoptico is starting to change that. Producer Cohoba, an alumnus of London’s Red Bull Music Academy, had already come to our attention as the man behind the beats in Whitest Taino Alive (who released some of the best Latin hip-hop tracks last year), and has actually been a part of the Dominican scene for a while. Also known for his works in other electro hip-hop and space disco projects, Cohoba has just recently released a pair of tracks from his upcoming four-track EP Chromatism. “Know 1” is built around a pounding synth progression that feels as menacing as the orchestral crescendos in Inception’s opening scene, and is later joined by pitched-down and highly processed vocals that sound as alien and terrifying as the ones on any Arca or Salem track. “I Just” on the other hand, is all exhilarating catchiness and club ecstasy, as he flips what’s said to be a Beyoncé sample over a synth drone, in what makes for a surprisingly well executed change of direction from the previous track. Such dexterity and versatility can only make us excited not only for what the rest of the EP will have to offer, but for what the label Stereoptico will continue to showcase.
 


Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Club Fonograma's Top 12 Must-See Acts at Festival Nrmal 2014

12. Hidrogenesse
I’ll be honest: while I respect Hidrogenesse, it hasn’t particularly been a thrilling ensemble to my ears. But I truly love “El artista” and feel very curious to catch either their DF or MTY show. I’m aware I’m up for a disrupting exhibition. – Enrique Coyotzi


11. No Somos Marineros
Last year I rarely visited Nrmal's Escenario Negro. Not really my cup of tea. Taking a look at this edition's selection for the stage, I'd be a dumbass if I missed No Somos Marineros, our beloved emo revivalists. Witnessing “Violencia River” live must blow out anyone's brain, or at least mine. - Enrique Coyotzi



10. CLUBZ
Definitely one of the more hyped national acts (their name even rhymes with buzz...), CLUBZ hasn’t totally convinced all of our contributors to sing praises. But, along with their freshly released Texturas EP, a Nrmal appearance is the perfect moment to prove their worth as one Mexico's leading indie acts. - Giovanni Guillén



09. Mock The Zuma
A 2012 Nrmal alumnus, who can forget how Kevin Santana was grossly mistagged as Tony Gallardo II in a Pitchfork photo set? Outside of the producer scene, Mock the Zuma might still not be on a lot of people’s radar, but things in 2012 were also different. After all, not everyone had caught on to FKA twigs and Arca, so who knows. Exploring his recent productions, like the surreal and tantalizing “Viper Things,” has convinced us this guy is the real deal. Hopefully after a late night set the outsiders will also stop overlooking the boy from Juárez. - Giovanni Guillén



08. Matías Aguayo X Mostro
I've long joked how the only reason "El sucu tucu" didn't take over the world is because there was no official dance to go with it. Failing that, we'll just have to settle with any kind of random dance moves to show off in the festival grounds and hope something sticks. - Giovanni Guillén



07. El Sueño De La Casa Propia
For a while now, ESDLCP’s been one of our dearest electronic alchemists. Last year’s Doble Ola fulfilled any expectation poured since we heard “Pobre Ave.” Here’s hoping ESDLCP will perform said EP in its entirety along with some highlights off his marvelous Historial de caídas. I’m certainly looking forward to getting lost and chilling to his esoteric vibe already. – Enrique Coyotzi



06. Extraperlo
In keeping with the Spanish invasion theme of this year’s Nrmal, Extraperlo make a pleasant addition that would likely go best mid afternoon on the main stage. Right at the peak hour for day drunk singing (“Ardiente Figura”) and losing those early inhibitions by dancing in plain daylight (“Fina Vanidad”). Be sure to wear the coolest thing you own. - Giovanni Guillén



05. Siete Catorce/Den5hion
I believe that the showcases Nrmal implemented in 2013 were a great initiative; however I really, REALLY hated the ones that took place at Gomez. My first approach to the Siete Catorce live experience was at this bar where people were barely paying attention. Time to redeem that since Marco Gutiérrez is now well known for throwing legendary presentations. Under his two most important aliases he will be performing at stellar times (that Siete Catorce + DJ Rashad & DJ Spinn combo sounds already unforgettable) and presenting a pair of different sets that most likely will make bodies boil. - Enrique Coyotzi



04. Los Blenders
After a well-received appearance in Tijuana at the All My Friends festival last year, Los Blenders will likely be the band of choice to gather round and fuck shit up. “Meta y Dinero” and “Surf de Amor” are already Fonograma classics, and the chance to sing along and bro it out will certainly be unmissable. It’s only a shame that the Fonograma male contingent (*from last year) won’t be reunited to share that moment with again. - Giovanni Guillén



03. Dënver
Sure we can joke about it now, but how scary was news of Dënver’s breakup last year? Too real for us- even if it was only a couple of days. False alarms aside, we’d be never miss a chance to see Dënver (Americans, if you can’t make it to Monterrey then at least a road trip to Austin is in order). Expectations are high, but no doubt months of touring have kept Milton and Mariana well prepped and ready to deliver a sublime show with all the gold selections from Fuera de campo. That, and it’ll be one of the few places to catch blonde Milton Mahan IRL. <3 - Giovanni Guillén
 

02. Füete Billēte
Undoubtedly Puerto Rico's most buzzworthy and juiciest revelation since Calle 13, Füete Billēte will own the Red Bull Music Academy stage exactly when night is starting. One week after, Don Severo and Pepper Kilo will offer their second show in Mexican territories at a glamorous NAAFI event, which I'm sure is gonna be fucking awesome. The NAAFI parties have turned out to be extremely unique and, lately, hard to be matched. I'm confident their big Nrmal debut will be a warm up for that show. If you've been following closely the MCs' Twitter account, then you must be familiarized with their retweets and the fans' positive opinions towards their live act. We've been salivating to be drugged-out while floating with stoner hymns like “Fumaera Namás” and 2K13's best song “La Trilla.- Enrique Coyotzi



01. BFlecha
If only the same amount of Fonogramers that attended last year to Festival Nrmal were around for this year’s edition, I’m completely convinced the one moment we’d all share together—and certainly value the most—would be BFlecha’s long awaited presentation. Since we found out our deserving artist for Best Album of the Year of 2013 was included in the second round of confirmed acts, we’ve been creaming our pants. The mere thought of listening in direct to larger-than-life hits like “B33” or “A Marte” simply blurs my vision and accelerates my heartbeat. It’ll be interesting to see how she translates on stage contemplative numbers like “βeta” or “Finisterrae.” Few live videos of BFlecha are to be found on YouTube, which makes the excitement to discover what she has in store even greater. The expectations are huge, and just like she sings in the enormous chorus of “Mundo Bizarro”, I'm pretty sure that “todo va a estar bien.” Even better, I bet. – Enrique Coyotzi

Turning Torso - Plasma EP


Since the release of last year's fine Camaleón EP, Turning Torso (the one man project of Querétaro's experienced producer David Sánchez) has become an example of appealing consistency and captivating originality. The homogeneous coherency of his latest artworks adequately matches the sophisticated textures to be encountered in his spellbinding sound offerings. His previous single, Siempre, suggested full embrace of The Field's icy techno soundscapes. Nevertheless, the four-track Plasma EP rewards us with Turning Torso's greatest gestures— blood-pumping beats, jazz fusion à-la Squarepusher, stellar progressions worthy of Mount Kimbie's catalogue, plus many more qualities —through fitting segmentation that spiffs up the whole thing. Plasma (his second release on PIR▲.MD Records) is as deliciously tasteful as Teen Flirt's hot Promises & Float EP. It truly functions as an entry point to Sánchez's entire oeuvre, absorbingly exposing his architectural craftsmanship and overpowering virtuosity at his best.

Monday, February 24, 2014

MP3: Kali Mutsa - "Canción de Amor Colla"


Celine Raymond, the popular Chilean telenovela actress now performing under the moniker of 90-year-old controversial figure Kali Mutsa, has recently dropped the first single of what is planned to be her debut full-length Souvenance. Following the path she traced on her Ambrolina EP, “Canción de Amor Colla” picks up on the promise of making great pop music with a timeless and placeless palette. Like everything the Chilean singer has made, it’s highly aestheticized and hyper-referential: the andean folk adornments, the gypsy references, the moombahton/dembow beat, and even something that could be considered sort of rapping. But beyond its glittering snazzy ornaments “Canción de Amor Colla” is an impressively charming shape-shifting beast, in which Kali Mutsa once again forms an exhilarating aural fabric that feels welcoming, regardless of its complexity. As the closest thing to a chorus/hook in the song is actually the outro, the only logical thing to do once it’s over, is just to hit the play button again. Currently available for download via Soundcloud.

Friday, February 21, 2014

Video: Esperit! - "Funk Daga"



"Funk Daga" is a psychedelic trip around Mau Boada’s musical connoisseurship, and a further journey on his very personal filter of influences of every possible musical genre. A featured song in his last album, La lluminosa (Bankrobber, 2014), "Funk Daga's" video was directed by Lluís Huedo. Esperit! is the solo project of Mau Boada, a versatile musician that plays almost every instrument and produces almost every sound in this record -a record that can be described as an excursus into musical history in his very own way. The video mixes footage from Agnes Varda’s Black Panthers film with new recorded images of the multi-instrumentalist playing.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

MP3: Capullo - “No Pases Más Por Mí”


Some things change, some things stay the same. Lucky for us, Capullo’s comeback single indicates their preference for the latter. “No Pases Más Por Mí” is an almost by-the-numbers Capullo track: 4/4 beat, glitchy sound effects, pop signifiers (e.g. hand claps), and disinterested vocals. Not that this means the band doesn’t have the spark—if anything, it’s a logical next step from the underrated Testigos del Fin del Mundo. To think that Capullo can still make something that sounds so effervescent and yet effortless bodes well for their next album. But please: turn up the noise with the next single, guys. Download the MP3 of the track via Soundcloud.




Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Video: Daniela Spalla - "Folk Japonés"


Argentine artist, Daniela Spalla, has released a second single before the upcoming release of her anticipated second album, Ahora vienen por nosotros; the rollicking brush off of "Folk Japonés." Here, the protagonist doesn't just give a pop-tastic middle finger to an ex, but tie him up and try to commit several creative forms of homicide. The video, directed by Salomon Simhon, is a mash up of the girls of St Trinians, The Hunger Games, and witchy-anime - while Daniela Spalla continues to impress with her song-crafting: the phrasing similar to Bebe without the acento Extremeño, and song structure reminiscent of Chile's Francisca Valenzuela. We're excited to hear what other sounds Spalla experiments with on the album after this, and the grind of first single "Arruinármelo." 

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Video: Las Amigas de Nadie - "Should not let it go"


Human Dress is the title of Las Amigas de Nadie’s follow up to their very impressive breakthrough record, Sincronia. Having resolved an identity as a rock band, and distilling all the kitsch of their past, the Peruvian band is holding on to momentum. The band has unveiled “Should not let it go” as a sampling of what’s to come. Their sound had never been this vulnerable, and although the hooks don’t amount to much, they’ve chosen to strengthen other elements of their discourse. More than aesthetically pleasing, the clip for this track amends the mundane melodies Las Amigas de Nadie have chosen to present us. Directed by Andrea Martorellet, “Should not let it go” plays with composition and space through the embedding of a pink-spandex character that enjoys contemplating a plate of raw meat next to a glass of milk, and whose mere consciousness provokes alienating terror.

Los Mundos - Retroterapia

Retroterapia, Los Mundos
Sour Pop Records/Casete, Mexico
Rating: 80
by Enrique Coyotzi

Los Mundos set in motion a flourishing career with their convincing self-titled album, a collection of 11 cacophonous pieces that hinted at grandiosity, yet never fully bloomed into real transcendence. The band’s been quite active ever since. In the past two years, they've presented a couple of tight EPs that showed them adapting new versions of their early songs (Mi Propia Banda Quiero Ver) and covering bands that have undeniably defined their sound (Regalando Todo). However, the real task was a sophomore album that didn't feel as unvarying as their debut. Don’t get me wrong, I love the first record, but Retroterapia truly represents the ample canvas eagerly expected from Alejandro “Chivo” Elizondo and Luis Ángel Martínez. Improving their long-distance songwriting formula, Retroterapia finds the duo displaying a gorgeous throwback of delightful compositional dexterity and impossibly amusing lyrics, culminating in the glorious pairing of two of Mexico’s most offbeat minds into full creative synergy.

The first half of Retroterapia stands out as a robust smasher, a vigorous portrayal of splendid songwriting skills dressed by filthy abrasiveness, whimsical self-reflection, and plenty of cranky wit. Opening tracks “Todo te Cobran” and “El Peor” establish a bombastic start, showing the ensemble back in full form. “Mirar Sucio” and “Mini Shorts” are both sexy as fuck. The former is dominated by a powerful guitar riff, which, reinvigorated by Martínez’s I’m-definitely-gonna-fuck-you inviting words, marks the horniest declaration of the band so far. The latter, through its Blur-esque development and giggly, not-as-explicit remarks, flirts with sexually-infused, provocative fashion showoff curiosity. Initial promotional cuts, “Lentes Mágicos,” where Chivo undergoes a spaced-out magic visual trip relying on some pedal shit, and “666,” where Martínez understands how to make a song inspired by the number of the beast a hilarious success (few lines like “Escupiendo flema de color” and “Levitando en tu habitación” commit such comical stretch while remaining so disturbingly dark), are damn rewarding as well.

The second half might appear slightly limp, but not less substantial. Our heroes test the widest ranges of their dreamy textures in tracks like “El Mundo se Viene” and “Retroterapia.” Here, Los Mundos not only conjure majestic walls of sound and a variety of must-get-out-of-your-chest emotions, they also challenge the listener with serious climatic territories that launch the being into some kind of zen state. This characteristic particularly gleams in closer “Eco en la Luz,” an instrumental as exceptional and full of possibilities as El Columpio Asesino’s “MDMA.” On an unconvincing side, it’s notable how the less accomplished takes are the ones regarding pets. “Gato Buena Onda” and “Abraza un Perro,” while nicely executed, stand on the verge of irrelevance and forgettable. Nevertheless, these stumbles aren't much of a blow to Retroterapia. Especially when you have such an outstanding hit like “Morir es Aburrido,” spelling “The Passenger” all over its charming chords.

It seems like Los Mundos’ discourse is finally acquiring some necessary roundness. Retroterapia may carry its flaws, but they ultimately end up overshadowed by the LP's own distinctive energy and alluring delivery, nurtured via the exploration of broader subgenres. Truth is, with this reference—an irrefutable testament that exposes their noteworthy stateliness—they have reaffirmed themselves as an essential force that’s translating many great ideas into magnificent pop tunes, paving a privileged, not-to-be-missed trail in the process.

Friday, February 14, 2014

Video: Confidare - "Savages"



21-year-old, Daniel Guerra – nom de keys, Confidare – hails from Monterrey, but has now set up camp in Austin, Texas, and with the Abstrakt label (house of Fonograma favorites, White Ninja). With his debut EP, Savages, he explores the sparse electronic soundtrack genre – music that is ready-made to be paired with imagery. Loops progress and morph, so that you start with an Arca-like cylindrical bounce and finish with a tropicana refrain. First single, title-track 'Savages', has a brilliant, sly video, directed by Akkia Neko, that etches out the metallic clinks, and anvil hits of the beats, with footage of a Medieval Fair: sword fights play out among portraitures of the fantasy-geek community. Midway through we meet a cheeky anti-knight, who steals the show – and kisses – from his opponents. In him, the music's serious and irreverent interplay is represented: the pansy beats the brute – but it's important he does. Download the Savages EP for free here

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

MP3: Novedades Carminha - "Juventud Infinita"


In the last six years of being a group, Marichalar's favorite garage punkers Novedades Carminha, have gone through most of the archetypal "garage rock band in the early 21st century" motions. Their reputation to date comes from their rock and roll nuggets and solid live shows. The spanish three-piece opt out of messing with fuzz pedals and proudly display their grime on their sleeves. But they do seem to care deeply about one thing, and that's their songwriting. "Juventud Infinita"off Novedades Carminha's upcoming album sets a strong statement from its first line “O follamos todos o me tito al río / o follamos todos o me tiro al río,” which unveils a charm behind their to-hell-with-everything swagger. Jarri, Carlangas and Xavi jams awfully hard. It's pervy at times, but man does it ever jam. Download the track on the Bandcamp player below.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

AJ Dávila - Terror/Amor

Terror Amor, AJ Dávila
Nacional Records, Puerto Rico
Rating: 86
by Carlos Reyes

Being a band that had been featured across the cream-of-the-crop of music publications, I always approached Dávila 666 with some distance. When I needed a permission to feature one of their tracks on a compilation, I would ask their label. And when they toured through Arizona promoting Tan Bajo, I just couldn’t bring myself to introduce Club Fonograma to them. It seems they had been following all along. At least AJ Dávila did. Diverging from Dávila 666, the Puerto Rican maverick has stormed the blogosphere with an album that feels anything but distant to the common labor of the contemporary independent musician throughout Iberoamerica. Terror/Amor is a collaborative, important record that not only lives up to the hype, but also matches its ambitions.

Subscribing to an integrationist ideal, AJ Dávila recruited an impressive line of collaborators that take part of the Terror/Amor discourse. They didn’t come together to make a statement. Their presence is born out of true mutual admiration. Having people like Alex Anwandter, Juan Cirerol, and Black Lips’ Cole Alexander is still attractive as hell. Add Sergio Rotman from Los Fabulosos Cadillacs and we can talk about a generational reconciliation that's alluring and romantic. So much in fact that we witness Nacional Records (still the most consolidated label around) endorsing its commercial light from the get-go (as opposed to other terrific indie releases like that of Astro and Rebeldes, which have been late-blooming acquisitions by the label). It’s inevitable not to think of Terror/Amor as eventful. But when the novelty of the collaborations wears off, we find a truly bold and round record that’s more compassionate and tender than the blood-spatter in the album cover is capable of outlining.

Invariably and narratively romantic, AJ Dávila is outspoken about Hip Hop influencing his composition more than rock & roll ever did. Such a claim is easy to sustain when album opener “Animal” bursts into the soundscape with an unsentimental assaultiveness hard to be justified by rock and roll or pop structures. It’s with this wide scope of cultural awareness and affection that AJ confronts improbable canvases. Because really, did anyone really anticipated the unlikely collaboration with Anwandter to sound so amorous and anthemic? We certainly didn’t. The fluidness of the collaborations is accomplished not only because every guest adheres to his or her assignment, but also because AJ understands that without acknowledging idiosyncratic, things could’ve appeared disaffected and disconnected. Not to say harmony was ever goal, but it's delicious to see vocal hooks, themes, and frenzied agency unfold with this amount of sensibility before our eyes.

In all of its many guises, Terror/Amor serves more than a cultural, collective purpose. The artistic choices made here have been designed by a mastermind, executing each idea with vigor and sharpness. Powerpop numbers “Dura Como Piedra” (feat. Selma Oxor) and “2333” (feat. Mercedes Oller of Las Robertas) show little concern for packaging boy-meets-girl vignettes, instead, favoring naked forms of tempo shifting and free-falling grace. Unbelievably catchy tracks like “Es Verano Ya” and “Ya Se” play off as emotional-pulling cards that in some way or another validate AJ Dávila as a pop music songwriter. There’s far more love than terror in Terror/Amor. The warmth of its construction pays off in a big way as we witness what could’ve been a sidekick/novelty record turn into an essential record to understanding the new wave of Iberoamerican rockers. Furthermore, it’s an album filled with catchy gems that embraces its terrorized visceral beauty and never rolls back into silence.

Monday, February 10, 2014

MP3: Planes - "Cosas Importantes"


Over the weekend, Camilo Lara (Mexican Institute of Sound) urged me to listen to what he claimed to be the best new wave music he’s heard in a while. To my surprise, he pointed to a band from Colombia. And I say it’s a surprise because that country’s recent indie success stories (Bomba Estereo, Systema Solar) shared an easier-to-export tropical infusion. Planes (Estudios Universales), in the other hand, will have to percolate in different ways. But let’s not underestimate the power of nostalgia (look at the rising success of bands like El Último Vecino and Univers). “Cosas Importantes,” off Planes' forthcoming debut album, Las Américas, is heart-trenching material for anyone who’s ever needed music adjacent to skylines. Those open vocal tracts in the song's bridge justify the seamless absence of a definite vocal chorus, whose space is instead, occupied by a grandeur instrumentation that raptures through melodic escapism. Grab the MP3 via Soundcloud.



La Ola Que Quería Ser Chau - "Más Copado"


La Ola Que Quería Ser Chau's debut full-legth, La Fuerza del Cariño, was a difficult album to assimilate for more than a few reasons. Many were turned off by the glossier studio treatment of their sound, some argued the album was too lengthy for their teen-angst themes, and others just craved for new, unpublished tracks. Time will most likely favor the band’s efforts to outgrow the ticket of newcomers. For craving La Ola in a smaller dose, the band has released their new single, “Más Copado.” Insufficient funds have prevented the single to be published on a 7’’ as originally planned, and so the band has opted to release it digitally. Compared to last year’s “Plastic Ono,” the new track seems offenseless. Lyrically though, the track’s near-religious chorus makes things interesting. And yet, the senor they’re referring to isn’t the lord himself, but the presence of a heart-swelling love overtaking body organs.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Video: Miedo - Buen Pastor



Barcelona-based supergroup Miedo, formed by members of ¡Pelea!, Corte Moderno, Kana Kapila and the recently reunited Los Claveles among others, have released a video for their song “Buen Pastor.” Buen Pastor is the name of a neighborhood in Barcelona, and of a Metro station as well, but the video was shot somewhere else, near Montjuïc. Directed by Joana Mallol with help of Maria Pratts, it shows the members of the band playing in a park or simply standing in a sunny afternoon, which seems the perfect situation to listen to this instrumental song with a smooth and groovy bassline and lively guitar and keyboard melodies.

MP3: Los Angreverbs - "Monterrey"


“No somos y nunca seremos wavves ni de chiste” disclose Mexican newcomers Los Angreverbs. There’s little information about these guys, which makes the blogging duty a little difficult. “Monterrey,” the band’s first track is only one minute long, yet it strikes many chords in its rushed, hook-packed urgency. The track is a big tease. It recognizes Monterrey as Mexico’s top land in the hipster hierarchy as they sing about their desire to play in music festivals and one day be featured on Vice. “Tengo sed de fama, quiero dormir en tu cama,” they sing in the chorus (lyrically, it's hard not to think about Piyama Party as an influence). Judging from the recent success of fellow lo-fi noise bands like Los Blenders and O Tortuga, it wouldn’t be surprising to see Los Angreverbs checking every item off their list. Download the track via Soundcloud.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

MP3: Matilda Manzana - "En Otras Dimensiones"


Matilda Manzana’s rising popularity (in both, media and the music festival circuit) is hard to understand. Something in that androgynous voice and textured soundscapes have triggered an audience that just a couple years ago seemed unlikely. Todas las Ciudades Inundadas and Conjuntos Cartograficos have confirmed the sustainability of MM as a relevant artist, and the future is only looking brighter. The amazing people at Tacón de Oro (we are huge fans) have premiered “En Otras Dimensiones,” the second track unveiled from MM’s forthcoming album, Se Fueron Los Cohetes. As Joan Escutia aptly points out, the new single encounters both Animal Collective and Porter, pushing for its own melodic escapade. That last half-minute of the song is particularly beautiful. Cacophonously risky in how it exposes its skeleton, raptures, and pushes for the light. #gore-geous artwork by Ouchal. Download the track via Soundcloud.

Video: Pedropiedra - "Para Ti"


Pedropiedra has made the weirdest choices picking the promotional singles from his third record, Emanuel. “Para Ti” is perhaps the least hipster-friendly track the Chilean artist has ever made. Despite the obtrusiveness of those gipsy chords and choruses, “Para Ti” is still witty enough to work as an attraction. While the single (anti-single?) will hardly earn Pedro new fans, it's a song that's hard to overlook. Bernardo Quesney (who took the top honor on our Best Music Videos of 2013) has helmed a beautiful meta-clip about that has made the track much less alienating (hence the universal attraction of fútbol). The amount of subjects, stories, and film techniques Quesney has effortlessly transfixed here is truly remarkable. The singer fondness to the competitive human spirit and the director’s fixation with the struggle/physicality of sports add up to one very pleasing visual piece.

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Juventud Juché - Quemadero

Quemadero, Juventud Juché
Gramaciones Grabofónicas / Sonido Muchacho, Spain
Rating: 79
by Glòria Guirao Soro

One of the late 2013 releases we were most excited about is Juventud Juché’s Quemadero, the first LP from the Madrid based trio. Although their first self-titled EP was released more than a year before, they have been playing live a lot and they have also recorded two songs for Discos Walden’s “Club del single,” a series of splits in which they paired with Juanita y Los Feos. Quemadero presents ten brand new energetic and short (only five of them go on for more than 2 minutes) pop punk songs ("Dispara," already featured in the EP and "Lacras" in the "Cenizas y Diamantes" Discos Walden compilation) that show a bit of nostalgia for Spanish eighties punk but remain original and fresh.

Starting with a drum roll accompanied by a repetitive bass line, diverse guitar riffs, and distortion, Juventud Juché tell us that there is no possible defense because we are all inside. What a statement to scream in our face right off the bat. That’s what this album is about: anger, complaint, crudity and uprising. “Quemadero” is raw and noisy, and all I want to do when listening to it is to run, scream, and maybe to shoot at someone. (Yes, it slightly violence-exalting). This album is immediate, not only because of the short songs, but because of its tone. Every song could be an anthem and could make anyone angry, but not in a bad way because there is some playfulness to it.

Javi, Luis, and Arturo claim a fresh start, a comeback from the ashes of what we have to burn first (with the match on the cover of the album?). "¡Levanta!", "Dispara," and "Zona Muerta" have a slight touch of marching music, some martial spirit that contrasts with the use of a cowbell that makes the songs a lot more danceable and reminds us of bands like Gang of Four and Wire. Even if we can trace their influences without trouble, Juventud Juché have a style of their own that relies a lot on the lead singer’s voice and the bass line, but also on rapidity and on this youthful and raging spirit.

Juventud Juché recalls Eskorbuto and other similar eighties punk Spanish bands, this album shows some revival of the No Wave that isn’t uncommon in this sector of the Spanish underground scene, which is, unlike it may seem from the outside, not very homogeneous. This kind of post-punk sound with very powerful bass lines, broken voice, and scratchy guitars is more characteristic of Madrid’s musical scene than from any other place in Spain, although there are bands like Pony Bravo, Betunizer, or Cuello that aren’t based in the capital city and that share a similar spirit.