Monday, June 30, 2014

La Lá - "Animales"


Coming along like a moment of nostalgia on Papasquiaro, "Animales" reminds us that with an irresistible hook, the neo-folk genre didn't really die a decade ago, we just got over-saturated by it. Everyone was doing it; just like we'll soon see everyone dabble with dubstep. And while bands start trading pot for chemicals, Peruana, La Lá, is pure of any trend. Her debut LP, Rosa, is a straightforward ode to her country - Andean folk pared back to singer-songwriter lamentations, with licks of jazz. It's a pleasant record, and sure to please fans of the genre, but the real find here is the effervescent, and tight "Animales."

With an off-kilter melody, La Lá creates an easily imagined jungle brimming with beasts of desire. From just an acoustic accompaniment, the song creates drama and tension other songs would use lush instrumentation and lumbering horns for. As the artist describes on her website, the pseudonym 'La Lá' comes from the inexplicable visceral 'emotion' of a song: that... that je ne sais quoi. It's that lovely tremble of excitement as you see your lover's naked body for the first time; it's that terrible pang of dread, realizing you've projected an entire fantasy life onto a date; that thing that makes you heady and fragile and brave - and retreat all at the same time.

Friday, June 27, 2014

Carmen Cosmos - "Luces"


Our compilations aren’t exclusively made out of entries the artists send us (near 300 tracks for our latest one). Much of the magic and fun of curating such a thing is to hunt for virtually unknown music, from virtually unknown indie scenes. “The great revelation from the new compilation is the Dominican Republic, by far,” tweeted Miguel Franco (from the now vanished blog, Noche Pasta). I can’t remember the right combination of clicks I did to get to Carmen Cosmos (one of three Dominican acts on Papasquiaro). Nothing on her soundcloud profile was instantly gratifying, but there was a certain tropical warmthness to her music that reminded me that time I came across Rita Indiana’s “La Sofi.”

Serving an interlude/transitional role for the compilation (like the track by Gepe), “Luces” plays like a fast bullet that equalizes the canvas for whatever it’s ahead. But it's more than an interlude. The imagery of the song is as beautiful as it is brutal. Carmen exclaims over dreamy beats about a Chinese man whose guts turn into water after falling into a pit, and how about she would rather be poked with a fork than with a knife. Seriously, you need that tropical warmthness (without falling into the stereotype) to execute the construction of these images with such a pulsating voice and melodic timing. Recorded very improperly (for headphones), I sent the demo of the track to Bill Yonson, who I thought would do a fine job mastering the track and understanding Carmen Cosmos’ sensibility. In my mind, she is that “Chola” he sings about later in Papasquiaro. They now inform me they’re actually making music together, of course putting a smile on me from ear to ear.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Video: Chancha Vía Circuito ft. Miriam García - "Coplita"


Some clips you just can’t wait to embed into your blog. Almost too beautiful to look at, the clip for Chancha Vía Circuito’s “Coplita” validates our interpretation of Canale’s spaceful music as folk magic. I once criticized the illustration of Río Arriba for being too catered to the Putumayo audience. Time has proven I was very wrong about that. These illustrations and animations by Paula Duró, featuring effects from Mariela Bond present a narration of folk as the source of mythological history and fantastical escapism. From the projection of a rainbow out of a woman’s heart, to the storyboards of families riding jaguars and dragons, this is a true feast for the eyes. This is the first release of Canales outside ZZK Records. Canale has instead, opten to fragment this release by region under the hands of Wonderwheel (US, Canada, Oceania), Crammed Discs (Europe & Asia), and Charco (Latin America).

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Video: Planta Carnívora & Adrianigual - "Maracanaso"


Bling bling mundial. Quirky and unapologetically kitsch, “Maracanaso” raised eyebrows amongst our staff as we tried to figure out if it had an ounce of formality (realness) or if it was just an amateur attempt at connecting with the zeitgeist –yes, the World Cup. Either way, we couldn’t help ourselves and included the track in our recent Favorite Futbol Songs playlist (where we remind you this is a better song than anything on the official Word Cup soundtrack). Newcomer MC Planta Carnívora (kickass name and a revelation) and Adrianigual (nowadays a one-man band by Diego Adrian) show they meant real business by releasing a meta-sequenced, meta-juxtaposed clip that removes the disposable/serviceable purpose out of the track. As they describe it, it’s a song born out of “el dembow, el fútbol, el sexo en exceso y las dos mentes mas exacerbadas de Santiago.” Without undermining its witty, deliciously sarcastic spirit “Maracanaso” (free download here) sure makes for better entertainment and Chilean pride than the very unfortunate and drowned-in-sentimentalism fútbol clip featuring the Chilean miners. Muy buenos pal reggaeton.

bbrainz - Internet Lust

bbrainz - Internet Lust
Independiente, Argentina
Rating: 77
by Stella Vásquez

Have you ever been in a fancy hotel elevator eating a strawberry ice-cream, dressed with your most beloved tropical shirt? Well probably the soundtrack to this scene will be made it by Argentine producer bbrainz. Hard not to think of his music as exotic and technologically decadent -traits of a good soundtrack to sext someone at midnight. The density and the convenience of the melodies, in a set of 13 songs, hook this LP into its own chillwave. There is melancholy in some parts that transport you to an empty dance floor with a disco ball spinning in the music space. Other digital bloomings like that of highlight track "Luxury" are perfect to undress your girlfriend.

Internet Lust feels like a slow dance that charms you with foreplay under a soft silk robe and pink lips, specially when listening to something as pristinely textured as "Atlantico." When dissecting the musical evolution of bbrainz (starting with his first release, WAVE), one special album that stands out is the interesting sonic proposal offered in Pizza ContigoFrom the cover featuring George Costanza, to the dysfunctional but very edgy titles that keep you in-rhythm, the album adds up to one very versatile graphic display. Internet Lust carries that wit of his past releases while pushing for a more mature scope like that of "Home Design" (selected on our Papasquiaro compilation) where you can experience an affinity for 80s-inspired chillwave and modern sounds. Where things change is in his artistic choice of keeping the same musical aesthetic while shaping an audiovisual pretentiousness (for good or bad) that somehow makes it more elegant.

The album cover is quite attractive too but a late-comer since it's a bit too Circa 2012. I guess I just find Costanza sexier on a daily basis. bbrainz's bandcamp shortlists the tags of genres the producer is seemingly working on. Something like... [experimental lo-fi] [chillwave] ]synthpop] [synthwave] and [vaporwave]. Sounds like the personality of a bipolar teen medicated with an open credit card. I was listening and reading about vaporwave, specifically about its claims of being postmodern. I almost fainted and start reading Proust right in that moment. It might be that these tags are the equivalent to sarcastic criticism toward a technological post-capitalist culture. Or it might just be that the creator is superficial and banal (which takes a lot of guts), which does not upset me at all. This is an album for intimate post-after-parties, when you meet someone's eyes picking up empty plastic cups, pizza boxes and losing sight in the beer foam left in the bottles. All while listening to the very fittingly devastation of "Late Delight." Just a bit too short on its individual parts to push for greatness, bbrainz sure is promising and utterly aspiring.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

María y José - "Tormenta Tropical"


The trouble with doing something good from the beginning is that nobody appreciates how much it costs. Tony Gallardo is someone who has always believed in his own shit before everyone else. That non-hesitant spirit validates the principle of Gallardo as a DIY artist that’s unafraid to put himself in constant musical challenges. For better or worse, he’s worked so hard to afford that luxury of not needing to prove anything to anyone (not even himself). In a way, Gallardo shares a school of thought of fellow contemporary songwriter Cristóbal Briceño (Ases Falsos), in visualizing their very active contributions to music: “Aquel que nunca ha hecho nada quiere hacerme ver que todo es tan fácil de hacer.”

Making a last minute appearance on Papasquiaro, our latest compilation, Tony recorded “Tormenta Tropical” in just five hours. Knowing his preocupation with polishing and bolding his songs, we’re likely to hear a more finished version of the song on a future release –Gallardo has announced the idea of a split release featuring both of his projects, María y José and Tony Gallardo II. The track speaks for itself, a tropical percussion carried into a single-paced texture that perversely concludes in melodramatic echoes and defeat towards the end. “Tormenta Tropical” is less aggressive on ruidoson agency (if you can call this ruidoson at all) and more inclined towards scratching the surfaces of bedroom pop (a throwback to Espíritu Invisible). While the lyrics guide us through the topics of the song, even when removing the words one can feel an uncontrollable nostalgia and desire to move around.

Monday, June 23, 2014

Cohoba - Chromatism

Chromatism, Cohoba
Stereoptico, Dominican Republic
Rating: 81
by Pierre Lestruhaut

Although the Thirty-Three and a Third book series is close to having published over 100 books, each relating to a single legendary music album, you don't need more than one hand to count the number of electronic music albums that have been written about in the series. This speaks about several things, but mainly, it points to the fact that rock, pop, and hip-hop, are much easier to talk about extensively than electronic music will ever be. Aside from the fact that these genres are much more suitable for the purposes of lyricism, storytelling and outright protest, there’s also how the writing and recording sessions — generally involving clashing personalities and anecdotical confrontations — can be more easily mythologized than the solitary composition exercise of an electronic producer.

I say this because Dominican producer Cohoba's latest EP, Chromatism, even though it feels like a great statement from what's starting to seem like one of the most promising Latino producers of the last years, just falls in the category of electronic music that I love but find difficult to tell people just why they should listen to it. Taking the easy route of describing the most obvious sonic elements and references in the mix — there's the sonic palette of "Flames" that sounds inspired by both Night Slugs and Fade to Mind, there's how "Wings" is all Tri Angle eeriness but with rugged trap-like vocal samples, and then there's the Beyoncé sample in "Just 1" that gives the EP its most sugracoated and poppier incarnation — ends up feeling like a disservice to the music. Having good taste isn't a musical talent per se.

As the previous paragraphs show, writing about electronic music really ends up being more of an exercise in contextualizing the work, of finding connections between different scenes no matter how distant. Cohoba is an alumni of the Red Bull Music Academy, so it's no surprise he's been exposed to that kind of critically acclaimed and blog favorite brand of UK electronica. But what ultimately makes Cohoba both pleasurable to listen to and intriguing to think about, is that he's part of the group of artists who refuse to participate in the subgeneric dividing that makes electronic music somewhat impenetrable. Instead he focuses on the tangible spaces between scenes and subgenres, the moments of chemistry that can often be formulated between disparate sounds. In other words, he's striving to find the common ground where trap, grime, and Beyoncé can quirkily coexist.

Cohoba is also the man behind the beats of rap group Whitest Taino Alive, which, if you’ve heard our latest compilation Papasquiaro, just dropped the kind of banger that feels very ancient yet very futuristic, taking a lot from both Latin folk and modern electronic inspired hip-hop. He's the kind of producer that's making music that feels tailor-made for an era such as this one — an era of short attention spans, genre-hopping dilettantism, and free of prejudice admiration for both the mainstream and the underground. It might feel like a little too much to condense into a four-track EP, and although Chromatism doesn't plunge much into retro aesthetics like the new Whitest Taino track or Colombian producer Las Hermanas, Cohoba has showcased himself as a bold producer with an ear on the roughness of London clubs and another one on the smoothness of modern pop stars.

Friday, June 20, 2014

Club Fonograma's favorite futbol songs



The 2014 World Cup has already seen a few teams starting to pack, and although the always not-so-bright artist selection for World Cup song performers is having you listening to Pitbull and J-Lo before every game, we've decided to compile our favorite football songs in order to give you a little variety in football-related music during the big event in Brazil. Ranging from official World Cup songs, player tributes, players singing, and Spaniard indie classics, we managed to put together an assorted collection of Latin songs related to the game.

Los Ramblers - "El Rock del Mundial"
Listed as the first official World Cup song according to Wikipedia, Los Ramblers’ lighthearted slice of New Orleans Jazz-influenced rock‘n roll certainly established the recurring theme in almost every World Cup song: treating the tournament like a huge party and gathering of different cultures. The one trait that went uncontinued is that the song blatantly supports the home team, and hopes Chile will crush its opponents. Aside from that, it’s got a nice parallel between the boogie dancing and the organized teamwork often required to have success in football. - Pierre Lestruhaut

Roberto do Nascimento - "Fútbol México 70"
“Fútbol México 70,” the official song of the (duh) 1970 World Cup, is cheesy as all hell, but what cheese! For starters, it comes out of your speakers sounding like an offensive clash of traditional Mexican music. But all of a sudden it becomes this proto-MOR pop that’s also weirdly appealing. Seriously, after three minutes you can’t help but scream “FÚTBOL MÉXICO SETENTA!” like Gerd Müller’s up in your grill. Then there’s the horn section halfway through that’s accompanied by this delicious touch of syncopation and clapping. This is easily the best official World Cup song undoubtedly created by a committee of fifteen people. - Andrew Casillas

Ricky Martin - "La Copa de la Vida"
What can I say about “La Copa de la Vida” that hasn’t already been said about the Beatles’ “Revolution?” Seriously. This thing sounds like a goddamn truck. It has a chorus built for 70,000 seat stadiums. Even the BRIDGE sounds epic (that salsa piano, y’all). In retrospect, what’s key to the song’s lasting charms is Ricky’s vocal. It’s deft—not overtly macho. Any rockero would have belted the hell out of this and obscured the song’s hopeful nature. And most other pop stars would have cut the balls off this track by singing it like a gospel song. Indeed, Ricky Martin make it sound like the world’s most handsome fan—which he was, in all honesty. Andrew Casillas

Shakira - "Waka Waka"
Remember “Waka Waka”? Shakira’s 2010 feel-good World Cup stadium anthem has about as much going for it as it does against it. For starters, its chorus’ winding backstory from Cameroonian military song to World Cup world-pop is absolutely fascinating. The song itself is serviceable and catchy—the coupé-décalé guitar makes the whole track as far as I’m concerned. “Waka Waka” is also global, in that it’s a muddy amalgam of cultural signifiers, not unlike its singer—and also similar to the Africa depicted in Michael Jackson’s “Remember The Time” and “Black Or White” music videos (which youtube conveniently suggested after “Waka Waka”). And that’s its biggest problem: from the Lion King-esque opening shout to the slightly patronizing “this time for Africa” line, “Waka Waka” sonically and visually indulges in too many Africa tropes and platitudes. It’s an Africa that is only exists in the imaginations of U.S. movie and music execs, and is remote from everywhere else—including South Africa, 2010. But, even with all that said, “Waka Waka” is still better than “We Are One (Ole Ola).” - Monika Fabian

Andrés Calamaro - "Maradona"
There have been enough Maradona tributes written throughout the years to fill out half of this playlist. There’s Los Ratones Paranoicos adaptation of their rock en español hit “Para Siempre,” cuarteto music singer Rodrigo’s tribute to the infamous Mano de Dios, and Manu Chao’s more subtle “La Vida Tómbola” that got immortalized in Kusturica’s documentary. Yet we went with Calamaro’s tribute because nothing really beats a rock legend singing about a soccer legend. As you would expect it glorifies the former player awarding him divine status (“es un ángel y se le ven las alas herídas es la biblia junto al calefón”), and is also very apologetic of his doping and off-field issues (No me importa en que lío se meta Maradona es mi amigo y es una gran persona (el diez)”), which just pretty much gives you an idea of the godlike figure he managed to become in his home country. Pierre Lestruhaut

Mano Negra - "Santa Maradona"
Not a exactly a Maradona tribute in the traditional sense, it rather treats the Argentine legend’s name more as a pop signifier in a song that celebrates the intensity of playing the game and being a futbol fan like none other. Polyglot and eclectic music fan Manu Chao sings in french here and drops a series of rhymes that go from team supporting, to match narrating, to violence inciting, singing “allez, allez, allez” a few years before Ricky Martin had the whole world singing it in 1998. As far as capturing the viscerality, intensity and adrenaline of every facet of the game goes, no one’s done it better than Mano Negra. Pierre Lestruhaut

Marcelo D2 - "Sou Ronaldo"
“Sou Ronaldo” is one of those songs you can’t stop listening to simply because it’s by far the weirdest, kitschiest and most amusing player tribute there is. Where do we start? There's the fact Marcelo D2 raps in first person as if it were actually Ronaldo himself who was indulging in braggadocio, there’s the (sorta failed) attempt at the weird hybridization of bringing hip-hop and samba together, and there’s also that sort of collective shout you hear when a star players’ name is called on stadium speakers that gets added to the song as part of the beat. “Sou Ronaldo” is essentially a little bit of everything you expect from great rap music: braggadocio, genre hybridization, and sonic experimentation. Pierre Lestruhaut

Jorge Ben - "Fio Maravilha"
Although player tributes tend to be written for legendary stars that have been instrumental in bringing soccer glory to a whole country or city, Jorge Ben wrote the most humbling one of them all for a player that might be more popular because of this song than for his playing career. A hit single in the 1970s, it recalls a game between Flamengo and Benfica in which, after the crowd demanded that Fio Maravilha entered the game, he was brought in as a substitute and scored a memorable goal in which "he dribbled past the goalkeeper but did not enter the goal with the ball because he had humility." A metaphor for the substitute player entering to save the game as an angel sent from heaven. Pierre Lestruhaut

Kabah - "Oye Como Canto"
Realtalk: everybody knows that Kabah’s best futbol song is really “La Vida Que Va.” It has nothing to do with the World Cup per se, but it was the theme song to “El Juego de la Vida,” that early aughts teen soccer telenovela (starring all of the 30-something “teenagers” in Televisa at the time) which sought, at least in name, to capitalize on residual World Cup ‘98/“Copa de la Vida” fervor. But a few years before that, in anticipation of Rafa Marquez and Luis Hernandez’s tricolor in France ‘98, Kabah released “Oye Como Canto” a mid-tempo brassy number punctuated by Tarzan-ish “oh-eh-oh’s” and futbol stadium sounds. It earnestly extols Mexican soccer and national pride—honorable Mexican pastimes, to be sure, but doesn’t do much else. But hey, sometimes you gotta make your “Oye Como Canto”’s to get your “La Vida Que Va”s. A difficult song to come by, the best quality version of the song we were able to find was this not-so-stellar YouTube streamMonika Fabian

La Habitación Roja - "Nunca ganaremos el mundial"
Although many people claim that the song is no longer valid ever since Andrés Iniesta scored the winning goal for Spain in Johannesburg, La Habitación Roja’s “Nunca ganaremos el mundial” remains Spaniard indie rock’s finest futbol related track. Written just a few years before “La Roja” finally ditched their eternal underachievers label and started their ongoing world football domination, it’s a depiction of football fandom as unconditional passionate romance. A love song of epic proportions, it draws parallels between the loyalty a fanbase shows for its own team and that of a person for its lover (“Aunque las calles se derritan, aunque las flores se marchiten, aunque pasemos de los treinta y las derrotas sean eternas.”). Spain may have finally won the World Cup, but “Nunca ganaremos el mundial” still holds up as one of the the greatest poetical depiction of sports fandom. Pierre Lestruhaut

Los Planetas - "La Copa de Europa"
Although lyrically it has no relation to football aside from its title, members of legendary indie rock band Los Planetas have claimed the song was intended as a late tribute to their city’s club FC Barcelona and their 1992 European Cup triumph. Although it’s more renowned for being the closing track in what’s considered by many as the seminal record in Spaniard indie rock, its baroque pop grandeur and epic build-up make it the perfect song for soundtracking old footage of memorable futbol games on YouTube. Fuck it, this should actually be the song that’s played at the end of every soccer trophy ceremony, instead of Queen’s dried up “We are the Champions.” Pierre Lestruhaut

Planta Carnívora y Adrianigual - "Maracanaso"
The song was uploaded on Diego Adrián's Soundcloud page a few days before Chile's major upset over Spain, and eventually served as a premonition for what was going to happen at the Maracana stadium between those two teams. The song is quite surprising, since we weren't really expecting that 2010's Chilean pop first attempt at World Cup-related songwriting would end up being a reggaetón song. I would have expected that having Adrianigual trying themselves at reggaetón would end up being campy, but "Maracanso" is actually both infectious and hilarious. Planta Carnívora (whoever that is) is awesome at rhyming some of the Chilean players' names (I mean: "El negro Isla dejando todo en la pista," "Pinilla, bueno para mirar a las chiquillas"), and Diego Adrián, as usual, is excellent at singing sexually charged hooks ("Llegamos al Maraca, mami muéstrame tu arco"). If anything, "Maracanso" is way better than any song you'll hear on the World Cup soundtrack, and already feels like the greatest underground World Cup song ever. Also probably the only one we've ever heard. Pierre Lestruhaut

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Primavera Sound 2014: Univers, La Entrevista

Photo: Giorgia Riguetti
by Pierre Lestruhaut

The first half of 2014 is almost over, and the debut album from Catalan sensation Univers, L’Estat Natural, still stands as our highest rated album of the year so far. Carlos Reyes declared that "the breaking and sheltering of up-tempo guitars rarely sounds this gorgeous" in his gleeful praising of the Barcelonan group debut. Univers were given the chance to do a small supporting tour for the album, with stops in SXSW and Mexico earlier this year, and more recently with a slot at the Pitchfork Stage at Primavera Sound in their hometown of Barcelona. I had the chance to catch their performance at Parc del Fòrum alongside fonograma colleague Glòria Guirao-Soro, which she wrote about in her recap of the festival. Although we didn’t manage to have a talk with them during the fest (mostly due to my own lack of internet access that coupled with disrupted sleeping patterns following an transatlantic flight), I finally sat down with singer/guitarist Yago Alcover and drummer Aitor Bigas at a café in downtown Barcelona a few days after the festival, where we discussed their debut LP, what playing these big festivals means, the perks of singing in Catalan, and the future of the Barcelonan underground music scene.

Listening to you guys play live for the first time at Primavera Sound, I was gladly surprised at how similar to the record you guys sound live. Did the recording process focus on trying to capture that roughness that’s typical of live shows?

Yago Alcover: Not really, in fact it’s very good you’re telling us this, because this really was a concert that felt like a litmus test to us. We actually didn’t even have a sound tech for Primavera, and these kinds of stages with so much power are always a bit scary. In fact, back when we were starting we always had issues in our live shows, since we always required so much echo effect and so much reverb, it made the sound bounce a lot. We had a sound that wasn’t very concrete and somewhat disperse, and in the end what you heard was percussion and a sort of noise bubble.

Aitor Bigas: It took us some time to discover our sound, especially live, where people were telling us that it still wasn’t all fitting in very well.

YA: When we recorded with Sergio [Pérez from SVPER] we were always facing sound as a challenge. We wanted for instance the guitars to sound somewhat sharp and that it hit you in your face, but of course with the echo it ended up being counter-productive. The album had a lot of work done mostly from the guitars’ point of view, when we finally started to seek a more concrete sound and dedicated a lot of time to finding it. It’s been a long process, so yeah, we’re really glad you’re telling us our live show sounded so faithful to the record, because it’s been really hard for us. It’s always difficult to get a proper handle on the effects, and we’re always struggling to find that balance between the music’s raw power and its more ethereal qualities.

What was it that made you want to record with Sergio Pérez?

AB: We first worked with him on La Pedregada, which was recorded in a single day, really fast, with just us on the studio. We really enjoyed working with him, and although we did consider other producers for the debut LP, we went with Sergio because we already knew him and we liked how he worked. We’ve been really happy with the sound he’s managed to take out of us, and how he’s managed to interpret our ideas as a band. I remember especially the issues with the guitars, which was really crazy but at the same time really fun. We found ourselves experimenting with a thousand different pedals and effects, so it was a really enjoyable process.

YA: Before recording our first EP we were thinking of who could manage to find us a peculiar sound. Of course Sergio had the [FKA] Pegasvs project, and their debut album was pretty much recorded at home. When I heard that record, I remember thinking “Wow! What a sound,” especially after hearing those amazing drums, we always thought that this was the guy who had to record us. He’s a guy who puts together the sound very well and who always surprises you. He’s not the kind of producer who always does things the same way. But it was really listening to Pegasvs that made us decide.

AB: In Pegasvs he recorded all the drums himself, and then played them through a pad with his fingers. He’s a genius. I remember a phrase Yves [Roussel], the guy who mastered the record, told us. That every album Sergio records is a different world of its own. He has a truly unique way of working. Yago, who’s worked with other producers, probably knows best.

YA: Yeah, Sergio has those strikes of genius that you just can’t understand or explain to someone else. And it’s always a plus if he can be an actual active musician.

I remember reading that the LP was written and recorded over a relative short period of time. Do you think that helped to give it that homogenous sound and feeling it has? 

AB: Yeah, I think it was right around this time of year last year when we started recording, and focusing entirely on getting this record done, trying to figure out which songs should be included and which should be dumped. But in the end the unifying idea for the album, was that all the songs had to be liked by everyone in the band, and they all had to have a really powerful sound. So perhaps that’s why it feels somewhat homogenous.

YA: I remember that ever since we started playing I told them I was interested in the idea of writing an album in a short time, mostly because of my own previous experiences in other bands. I’ve done albums with songs that were written with a lot of time between them, and they ended up being too heterogeneous. So I wanted our first album to be very compact, one where all the songs came from a precise moment. It’s obviously not a concept album or anything like that, but I really did want our debut to be a sort of cover letter, and that it would stay within certain stylistic boundaries. And there’s of course the mastering and everything, where I think they managed to give all the songs a very similar finishing, so I think that really helped too.



"Paral-lel" was the first song you guys wrote. Why did you decide to have this song in particular included in L’Estat Natural

AB: "Paral-lel" was the first song Edu [Bujalance] and I did together back when we were sharing a place. The project was only starting, and it was only MIDI drums, guitar lines, it was all very homemade. But despite being the first song, everyone seemed to really like it, even when it was only a demo. We really liked it as well, and felt that it fit in the new LP in both ideas and style. And of course there was the fact that it had been poorly recorded and we wanted to do it justice. It could have ended up not being in the record, and in fact we have a discard from L’Estat Natural that’s probably going to come out as a split 7” soon. There was some arguing around it as well, I used to say “I want this song in the album,” then Yago would say he didn’t want it, but we would always reach an agreement. In the end this is a family.

YA: The song deserved a proper version, and besides it was a very significant song for the band. It was the first song we ever played together.

AB: And it was originally in English.

Speaking of language, how do you guys come to decide what language to sing in? Not only in the case of Univers where you sing in Catalan, but of your other projects where there’s English and Spanish singing as well (Mujeres, Aliment, Piñata).

YA: I think it was all really simple. We were starting to play and just saying “Well we’re going with English right? Right.” And then we thought well what if we try something else? Spanish obviously not, because [the other members] are from the interior of Catalonia, and they’re never going to be in a band that sings in Spanish. But staying away from the territorial issues… we actually thought it could be fun singing in Catalan, but not because we wanted to do things differently. If you think of it, it’s hard to distinguish anything we’re saying regardless of the language we’re singing in anyway. But it’s really beautiful to be able to write in your own language, even more with it being a really small language.

AB: And I don’t think it was that we wanted to innovate or anything. But if you look at it now, a noise pop band doing this type of music in Catalan, that’s not something we’d seen before. And it gave the project some sort of originality even if we weren’t really looking for it initially. Perhaps from an outside perspective it’s a bit harder to understand, but seen from here, singing in Catalan is a really weird thing to do when you consider the kind of music that’s been made in that language. Though sometimes maybe singing in Catalan has closed us some doors.

YA: I don’t think so. In fact I’ve read articles from outside where they say that the whole shtick of the band is that they’re singing in an uncommon language.

I think for some people, it’s given the songs a sort of cryptic value to them. While facing non-Catalan crowds, for instance in SXSW and Mexico, what kind of feedback would you say you got?

YA: Honestly very good. I think people just speak the international language of music, and in the end what people go see is a musical proposal. With Aitor the other day we were listening to a band that sings in Japanese, and I have no idea what they’re saying but they’ve got a sound that I find compelling. Even though it does feel really satisfying to have a proposal that feels really ours because it’s in our language.

AB: And we really haven’t mentioned that the vocals, well, they’re just really another element in the mix, another instrument. They don’t have that much prominence and we use so much reverb that the words just end up being sort of drowned out. It might be different if we were doing more classic pop where you could hear the words a little more.

YA: Yeah, and well the name of the band is in Catalan, the name of the album is in Catalan, so the concept is pretty evident. But I never thought it could end up being seen as something cryptic like you said.




Now that you’ve played at both SXSW and Primavera Sound, do you feel playing these big festivals is a milestone in a band’s career?

YA: Yes of course. Also a challenge, as a band, since you’re facing a situation that’s very different from the ones you were facing back when you were starting -- the small concert rooms, the small local tours. Even though we did play pretty early in the afternoon at Primavera this year, there was still a big crowd for us there. And it’s always very challenging -- you've got a big crowd there, you’ve got the clock against you. I think Primavera has always been a stepping stone festival for many bands.

AB: Being from Barcelona, we’ve been attending the festival for many years, even playing sometimes here and there. Yago had played with Mujeres already. But the fact we played the Pitchfork stage, on a Saturday, in front of that big of a crowd, we really weren’t expecting it. We’re really happy that it happened, as we were to have played at SXSW. We’re very excited for what can come next.

Critics and journalists always like to show off their musical knowledge while describing bands, and I’ve always felt you guys as the midpoint between the distorted beauty of shoegaze and the more simplistic flair of C86. How would you guys describe Univers?

AB: Honestly we all listen to very different music. It’s evident that for this project we were focusing on bands from the C86 style, and some shoegaze bands mostly from Creation Records.

YA: Yeah and I think we’re going towards C86 every time more. That brand of naked pop, with very visible arrangements, melodies that are clearer. At the beginning it seemed like a noisier thing, but I’m getting the feeling the band is going that way right now. Perhaps even a more delicate approach than the one C86 bands had, capturing its more carefree side. I don’t see us becoming a lo-fi band, but something more finite. Maybe also with a tinge of New Wave, the record feels sort of 80's-style, kind of dark actually. We’re a very nostalgic and melancholic band.

AB: But I think the bands from C86 already had that dark side to them. I’ve been listening to Sarah Records a lot recently, and it’s like all the songs are about heartbreak. I can totally see that C86 was a starting point for us, but I think we still sort of managed to bring into our own field and darkened it all a bit more.

The visual aspect of the band (cover arts, videos) is quite remarkable as well; we can see you take care of this very seriously.

YA: Yes. We’ve been very lucky that the people in our entourage, and even ourselves, all come from a background of studying visual-related things. Aitor’s roommate is a photographer, and for instance we’ve got it clear that it’s them we want taking care of our photo shootings.

AB: Actually there’s a funny story about this. I think the first time we were featured in Club Fonograma it was because Giovanni [Guillén] was a fan of our friend Alba Yruela’s photos, and she’s the girl that appears in the cover of "Cavall Daurat". So I think he discovered the band through there, it’s a nice story. And I think in a way for us having a band isn’t really about only making music, it’s something bigger than that. Cover arts, pictures, videos, it ends up being a whole that converges into a music band.



I was reading an interview for Binaural where you were saying that "the crisis was opening a whole new panorama for the underground." What exactly did you mean by that?

YA: When we first touched on that subject, it was in relation to the fact that for some years this city lived a time of tremendous welfare. And I think that somehow affected the underground, because for many people, even from the minute you first showed up, it was pretty easy for you to get started. What that it did was just make us all more comfortable, and a lot of people stopped doing cool things because they had full-time jobs and stuff. But then all of this suddenly came to a halt, we had venues that started closing, bands that weren’t getting paid, people who stopped working, or couldn’t work anymore. So right now, you can really start feeling that people are tremendously pissed off in this city, and that they have a huge hunger for things to happen. I think this is going to be incredibly rewarding for our city for many years, because we had kind of lost that hunger precisely because of the state of well-being that we had.

It’s as is if the crisis environment is being a lot more conducive for people to be creative.

YA: That reflection originally came because we were asked if we felt there were a lot of similar bands coming up, making “noise music,” and I ended up referring to “noise” more in respect to that panorama where I could see a lot of people being pissed off and wanting to do things. I mean today with all the technology there is, you can record from your own bedroom; if you want to do a music project all you need is time or having the need to say something. So right now, I’m seeing a lot more discourse, a lot more ideas, people who are really polishing their craft. It’s become really hard to find a label that can release your stuff, and people have to find ways to self-release it. When you think of the word “underground” that’s exactly what you want. You don’t want people creating an anti-system just because; it requires a complete failure of the system, a system that doesn’t help you or supports you. That’s when people go on to create their own system.

Monday, June 16, 2014

All My Friends 2014: Festival Report


by Carlos Reyes
Pictures by Carlos & Ricardo Reyes

Through the six years of helming Club Fonograma I’ve personally concentrated on articulating on proper releases, abstaining myself from covering music festivals or serve the journalist role on interviews. Perhaps because I write and publish from a personal space (my room, and not from headquarter offices), the idea of commenting on something as grand and collective as a music festival (where the weather and the sound engineer are as equally important to the experience) seemed disproportionate and not very romantic. A loving, still-emerging festival like All My Friends is a good opportunity to try and push through this writer block. Albeit a small write up, this is a recap of one very memorable weekend.

This being the first time I’ve attended All My Friends, I didn’t have a lived reference of what the past editions of the festival had been like. Yet, every single person I talked to seemed to commend the idea of moving the fest from a cultural center in Tijuana, to Rosarito beach. Perhaps because our party (joined by fellow Phoenicians, Ricardo and Abraham) traveled from 110 degrees in Phoenix (our home), the beach was just a little too cold to fully enjoy it. It was a wonderful scenery at the hosting hotel, Castillos del Mar though, where we were greeted by a concierge who could’ve easily been a character out of The Grand Budapest Hotel. As we sat at the bar early on Saturday to watch World Cup matches, we witnessed Rosarito beach be invaded by hipster tribes and subcultures from the nearby bordertowns (Tecate, Mexicali, and of course Tijuana), as well as a good number of kids from “the other side.” This bicultural target being one of the big attractions from the festival’s new infrastructure, as this is the first year it’s held under the acquisition of NRMAL.

Stamped fruit-salad shirts and well-fitted shorts predominated amongst the crowd, though it was surprising how many kept their industrial and abbey road boots on. Despite the attraction of the beach, people were prepared to rock it out –or so they thought. Early on and with the bliss of the sun at its finest, Monterrey’s CLUBZ proved to be as infectious by the beach as they were back at Foro Sol at Vive Latino this year. Listening to the beautifully aching “Golpes Bajos” by the sun and on the sand was a great way to start the day. CLUBZ invited Costa Rican band, Las Robertas, to join them on stage for their closing number –people couldn’t contain themselves flirting with the extremely good-looking Monserrat, Mercedes, and Fabrizio. When it was time for their own set, Las Robertas showed a great skill of controlling shoegaze timing while maintaining assertiveness to their sometimes-difficult-to-grasp melodies (like that of “Ojos con dientes.”) A group of anglo baby boomers watched from the backyard of their mansion, dancing all along.

The main stage (at the beach) then welcomed its American cards, who had various degrees of success: Bleached looked and sounded like they were truly happy to be there, Lumerians alienated about half of those at the audience (we walked out), while the highly-awaited Gonjasufi was embarrassingly cacophonic, although the sound department was responsible for half of that performance’s flaws. Over at the very green Jardín stage, things were a hit and a miss, where the analog warmth of Late Nite Howl and the synths of the leather-covered L.A. Drones were the breakthroughs. Not to forget the energetic set by Santos, who really upstaged Sonidero Travesura (the closing act at the main stage), who we had very high expectations from after seeing them with a funkier and double-the-members formation at a strip club in Ensenada a few years back.

Lastly, if any single thing was worth the 6-hour drive to Rosarito (other than the personal joy of being able to pick up a copy of Mexico's VICE, where I’m featured next to Juan Gabriel –thanks Marty!) was the triumphant performance by Füete Billēte. Prior to the festival, it seemed like the buzz slanted more towards the American acts and the bands with new albums. Many understated the livelihood and relevancy of the masterpiece that is Música de Capsulón. Whatever sound discrepancies the main stage had on its earlier headliners, Füete Billēte sounded truly bold and deflowered every punk, snub, and rockosaurio that might have been in attendance. It sure was fun seeing so many booted people descending to the floor with “Hasta El Piso.” And when those heart-trenching synth crescendos of “La Trilla” (the best song of 2012) broke through the speakers, we saw a few of the featured chefs of the event abandon their food trucks just to live that moment. The fireworks that were fired up during “Bien Guillao” were nothing short from fitting and an extension of what many of us were feeling on the inside.

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Primavera Sound 2014: Festival Report

Photo: Pierre Lestruhaut






















It’s been a week since we got back from Primavera Sound and I must say that it takes quite a long time to recover from such a huge festival. We have seen lots of concerts, maybe not as many as we wanted but here you have Club Fonograma’s favorite acts from Barcelona’s biggest festival.

Wednesday May 28th, La [2] de Apolo: Aries, Beach Beach, Me & The Bees

Ex-Charades Isabel Fernandez’s new musical project Aries has attracted a lot of attention lately due to its second album Mermelada dorada, released by La Castanya last march. Opening the label’s showcase in the small room of the Apolo venue, Aries offered an audiovisual experience more than a concert. As dreamy as the songs are, relying just on voice, pre-recorded stuff and synths, live creations projected in the background wall illuminated the music and hypnotized everyone in the audience. Beach Beach started their show with its newest single, “Just like before,” from their forthcoming album and thus kept the lively ambiance in the room created by girl-duo Aries. They presented most of their forthcoming release The Sea (september 2014), which is going to be one of my favorite albums of the year (I already know it), but also played older hits from their previous album Tasteless Peace (2012). Beach Beach have become a poppier ensemble and it feels like a luxury to see them play in such a small venue, because it looks like they are going to be huge in the future. This showcase was also the occasion to present Mundo Fatal, Me & The Bees latest album, released just a day pior. Even if they could have preferred a setlist full of their old and well-known songs, Ester Junquera’s band played most of the new album and it was a very good surprise to see that everyone was pleased with it, the room at its full capacity. - Glòria Guirao-Soro



Thursday May 29th, Fòrum: Föllakzoid, Lasers

The ATP stage was the one hosting chilean psych-rock band Föllakzoid and, even if it was pretty early in the afternoon, there was a very big audience waiting for them just before the show -maybe because their latest shows in Barcelona were so well received. The desertic sounds of Föllakzoid’s album II invaded the surrounding space, fitting well in a place that looks like some post-apocalyptic site. Lasers closed the Vice stage at 3:00 in the morning with a mainly local audience but succeeded in throwing a Chicago look-alike party with their concert. The disposition of the trio on stage was peculiar, my impression of it was that the audience reacted to it as if it was just a DJ set, dancing to a setlist based on their disco tracks.  - Glòria Guirao-Soro

Photo: Felipe Mercado






















Friday May 30th, Fòrum: The Saurs, Oso Leone

Apart from the big ones, there are also other smaller stages that showcase local bands or that are part of the Pro programme, where every year there’s an invited country or region (this year being Poland and Estonia). One of Barcelona’s youngest bands, The Saurs, played on friday at the Adidas Originals stage because they won the festival contest for local bands and it was one of the best shows that evening, very energetic and powerful. The garage-rock trio has just released their second EP, Dry Finger, and their shows are always a guarantee of fun. Friday was also the big event for young Mallorca band Oso Leone, playing and being filmed at the Pitchfork stage in prime time. With a setlist based mostly on the songs of Mokragora (Foehn Records, 2013), Oso Leone presented their very personal folk-rock based on noisy atmospheres and intense reverberations accompanying a voice that sometimes recalls Amen Dunes. It was an intense performance that started soft and quietly but unfolded a lot of energy all along.  - Glòria Guirao-Soro



Saturday May 31st, Fòrum: Univers, Juventud Juché

The last day at the Fòrum started with Pierre and I watching the last song of young nineties rockers Ohios, then going to the Pitchfork stage to see Univers defend their first LP L’Estat Natural. It was early and it was raining, but there were a lot of fans, friends, members of other local bands, but also curious international attendants. The latter only stared at the very beginning, but ended shaking their heads and moving along the noisy rock ambient Univers created with their setlist, based mainly on their last album but also featuring hits like "La pedregada" or "Cavall daurat" from previous releases. It was a pleasure to see that such a big stage wasn’t that intimidating for them, even if they look pretty nervous sometimes. Pierre had the chance to talk to them and we will soon publish an interview with two of the band members. Right on the other side of the festival site, playing at the same time Television was, we could see Madrid post-punk band Juventud Juché at the small Sony PS14 stage. It was a short but very intense show featuring songs from Quemadero (Sonido Muchacho, 2013) and from their self-titled EP, which already have a very powerful sound and gain intensity when played live. Juventud Juché is a well-greased trio whose member Javi (vocals, guitar), stands out as an extremely charismatic singer that can scream really loud.  - Glòria Guirao-Soro

Photo: Sony Club PS14






















Sunday June 1st, BARTS: Juana Molina

I wasn’t supposed to write anything about Primavera Sound, since we were only given a single press pass that was used by Glòria, and I eventually found myself in more of a festive than journalistic mode. But in an unexpected turn of events, here I am, surrendering to my own devotion for music writing, in spite of the festival’s strange press pass policies regarding digital media. Two reasons made me sneak in this last paragraph in our Primavera report (pronounced pry-mah-vee-rah if you trust the singer of Chk Chk Chk). There’s the fact that I really wasn’t gonna miss the chance to join the very exclusive club of (pseudo) journalists that have covered festivals in three different countries. And of course there’s Juana Molina. I was glad she got to play an intimate show at a local club in downtown Barcelona because 1) if you’ve heard anything Juana Molina’s ever done then you just know this is music that needs to be experienced in an intimate setting and 2) there were no other bands she had to compete with for my presence at her show. I did experience the concert while sitting on the third floor balcony of BARTS, since my complete lack of knee strength after three days of “festivalling” forced me to find a place to sit down. But despite the relative distance and even though I’m not the biggest fan of Wed 21 around here, the mix of warmth, tension, charisma, and musicianship that emanated from Juana and her accompanying musicians, was the kind of perfect finale that the greatest music festival in the world needed. In a week that was full of self-conscious indie weirdos (from Stromae and St. Vincent's eccentric dance moves to Arcade Fire’s everything) Juana was the only one that just felt naturally quirky and effortlessly whimsical. Like Kendrick Lamar said at the end of his performance: I will be back! - Pierre Lestruhaut

Monday, June 9, 2014

Papasquiaro ((A compilation by Club Fonograma))


Papasquiaro
((A compilation by Club Fonograma))

01. Las Hermanas – “XII” (Discos Muertos, Colombia)
02. Whitest Taino Alive – “Mi Bandera” (Unpublished, Dominican Republic)
03. Kali Mutsa – “Traga Traga" (feat. Francis Boy) (Shock, Chile)
04. María y José – “Tormenta Tropical” (Unpublished, México)
05. El Remolón– “El Preferido” (ZZK Records, Argentina)
06. Tunacola – “Danky” (Endemika Records, Chile)
07. Diosque – “La Cura” (Unpublished, Argentina)
08. Capullo – “Orientación Vocacional” (Unpublished, México)
09. El sueño de la casa propia – “Color Piel” (Unpublished, Chile)
10. Gepe – “Promesa” (Unpublished, Chile)
11. La Lá – “Animales” (Independiente, Perú)
12. Matilda Manzana – “En Otras Dimensiones” (Independiente, México)
13. Escuela de Trance – “Tan mágica, tan especial” (Unpublished, Argentina)
14. Lust Era – “Baila Conmigo” (Independiente, Puerto Rico)
15. Planes (Estudios Universales) – “Cosas Importantes” (Independiente, Colombia)
16. Las Chaquetas Amarillas – “Mujer bonita” (Independiente, Chile)
17. Ramona – “Tristes Ojos” (Independiente, México)
18. Carmen Cosmos – “Luces” (Unpublished, Dominican Republic)
19. bbrainz – “Home Design” (feat. CASTING) (Independiente, Argentina)
20. Cohoba – “I Just” (Independiente, Dominican Republic)
21. BB Johnson – “CONTE$TO” (Unpublished, Puerto Rico)
22. Bill Yonson – “Chola” (CUU desde el Espacio, México)
23. Mañaneros – “The Vass” (Unpublished, Chile)
24. Princess Nokia – “Bikini Weather / Corazón en Afrika” (Independiente, USA)
25. Animal Chuki – “Capicúa” (ZZK Records, Perú)

Thursday, June 5, 2014

MP3: MKRNI - "Inercia"


If we were to take a poll on what’s the best summer jam to have come out of the last couple of years, “Humedad” would be near the top. But was that too much of a hit? This is perhaps, a stretched assumption, but MKRNI seems to have taken solid steps to departure from the bubble-gum streak of Jumper. By the second release, Playa Futuro (released in late 2011), the Chilean act rejected pop structure –making the music more interesting, but also more alienating. They went as far as trying to change their name into the more proper, Makaroni, showing signs that they were ready to get more serious. Neither the public nor the bloggers responded too warmly to such changes.

Elisita, Roman, and Marcelo are pushing forward. We’re glad they’ve kept the MKRNI name and even happier to see them negotiating with both, pop structure and personal vision, as shown on their latest single, “Inercia.” The track starts with menacing dreamwaves dictating the melody. As the song progresses, we find that those epic synths are actually the chorus of this song –if there’s a chorus at all. Slow-paced and responding to its own echos, “Inercia” is a lovely and immaculate gem. Getting closer to what we’ve heard from Granit and Marineros than their past tropical affairs, MKRNI’s newfound introspection is surely promising. Download the track via the Soundcloud player below.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Chancha Vía Circuito - "Coplita" (featuring Miriam García)


From touching elbows on a couple festivals, Pedro Canale is the kind of artist you’re more likely to find amongst the crowd than at backstage. His love for music has kept him rooted and aware of the subtle, yet significant discourses of digital music. Which is why despite continuing on the canvas of Latin American folk on his latest single “Coplita," Chancha Vía Circuito seems to be providing his music with even more space to reach a cosmopolitan sensibility. The song had been made public since about four years ago, but the new edit sure merits its proper release. The digital discourse in this track is spacious and focused – the percussion bubbles pop up when they need to, as does the unfolding of its rhythm. Featuring the vocals of Miriam Garcia, “Coplita” reaches new heights of dramatic and magical purpose for Chancha. The single is set to be released on a 7’’ vinyl via Wonderwheel. The label announced they will also be releasing Chancha’s forthcoming full-length, Amansara, in late September.

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Javiera Mena - "La Joya"


People often refer to us as Chilean pop insiders. And although we don’t shy away from calling her our diva, we’ve been very distant to Javiera Mena’s highly anticipated follow up to Mena –the only album to have ever received a perfect score from us. Considering someone leaked Mena about six months before its release date, it’s understandable that Javiera and producer Cristian Heyne have opted to keep the new album (out in September) under extreme vigilance. Today, on her birthday, Javiera has released “La Joya,” the second single off her third album. If first single “Espada” had some people claiming we had “lost her to the mainstream” and comparing the pop agency of the song to something Paulina Rubio would do, the new single will complicate things even further.

The music in “La Joya” is vibrant and the melody is eventually catchy. It’s the further reduction in the lyrics (particularly in the bridge towards the chorus) that builds a barricade that prevents it from being truly engaging during its first half. Things get much better once the song re-structures its proposition on its second half. The synths get bold, the melodies find a direction, and some very militant vocals provide the track with roundness and pop prowess. “Espada” wasn’t an easy swallow either. For some people, it was resolved once the music clip came out. For me, I realized I loved it when Sam Rodgers referred to the performance as “an 8-bit character in a fantasy quest game, collecting coins.” Perhaps something will resolve “La Joya” for us too –hopefully the album itself. It’s okay to be skeptical –that’s why we’re here. Javiera is doing her job, acquiring visibility and keeping momentum until it’s time to open her vault.

Video: Torreblanca - "1000 Fantasmas"


The frame opens with two adolescent girls entering a door and quickly surveying their surrounding. Director Benjy Estrada doesn’t immediately follow their personal eye line. Instead, he presents the place where the girls will be sheltered through a high shot that slowly descends into the characters’ eye level. There is contrast and content in the making of this decision. The offering of an aerial shot tells us this is a clip of magnus scope –which you may read as the view God would have when looking over these young ladies. The sinister music and adolescent themes quickly refer back to the films of Carlos Enrique Taboada (Hasta el viento tiene miedo, Más negro que la noche). And as the melody of Torreblanca’s “1000 Fantasmas” progresses, we find ourselves presented with a phantasmagoria –one with plenty of space for explorations of the heart and the flesh. A promising premise for the visual attachment to the first single of Torreblanca's forthcoming album, El Polvo en la Luz.

The name of the clip's producing company, Los Niños Perdidos, sure is fitting. The teenagers soak in water for the thrill of the splash, but also for cleansing. Affording such a retreat means these kids belong to the bourgeoisie. And yet, they show little refinement, manifesting violently in frustration. Perhaps negotiating their newfound social interaction outside the virtual networks. When contained in the pool, the kids revolt. When out in the lake and nature, they exercise their fears and encounter their roots. This presentation of a colossal youth acquiring self-worth and knowledge goes in deeper into the personal ghosts of Juan Manuel Torreblanca. “Pobre de tí,” he sings with a wounding tone over and over –perhaps singing as a way of negotiating and reconciling with his own adolescent years. At the end of the clip, we see the same girls leaving the magical place. One girl looks back over her shoulder, glimpsing at what she’s leaving behind, just as the music leaves us on a key of unsettling suspense.

Monday, June 2, 2014

DESERT - "Saps prou bé"


Since DESERT's captivating presentation at SXSW, we count the Barcelona duo's new material as among our most anticipated of the year. June 17th finally marks the release of their debut EP Envalira. New single "Saps prou bé" provides a slice of what we can expect from the four-song release. At a little over six minutes, the track is not exactly a flashy marker to signal their return, which as a result probably got passed over by more impatient listeners. Their loss. "Saps prou bé" is meditative, sure, but also all kinds of majestic. Like a chariot ride through an arid landscape at night. Bumps and clatters of percussion interlace as Cristina Checa's looped ah-oohs call out to the infinite. Who needs to be wowed? This already has us feeling some type of way. Pre-order the EP via Minty Fresh (US) and Buenritmo.