Friday, February 27, 2015
Matias Aguayo, our favorite Chilean-born/European-based artist outside of Alexis Sanchez, returns from years of hibernation with the rousing “El Rudo del House.” It’s a welcome return to form for Aguayo and his Comemé label, which hasn’t had a massive run since Rebolledo's outstanding debut LP back in 2011. "El Rudo del House” is a frenetic and loose number that isn’t too far removed from The Visitor, Aguayo’s underrated 2013 album. However, the lack of vocals indicates that Aguayo is moving away from the pop songwriting of his last two LPs. Whatever happens, this latest single is proof that Aguayo still knows how to turn up a dance floor. That’s why he’s the label boss…
Tuesday, February 17, 2015
After catching two raging AJ Dávila y Terror Amor shows as part of the Burger Records’ Caravan of the Stars tour last October, all I could think of for weeks was how fascinating it was to watch Lola Pistola sing while agilely playing tambourine (and especially after she swiftly beat back some drunk college kids lurking under her Qipao dress). There was just something unnerving and compelling about that Boricua Brooklynite with the 1960s’ bank robber moniker’s aura.
“Tú Pensabas,” a lo-fi chaos of what I feel is what you get that emerged while recording Terror Amor, makes the journey through heartache weirdly enjoyable. Lola Pistola sounds ferociously confident, and AJ Dávila’s raw production (his signature echoing textures) gives the track a ruthless edge. Breakups are the worst. Yet, pain and desperation (and a rambling jam) has once again given rise to an honest and freakishly catchy number.
Monday, February 16, 2015
After seeing them mix porn and surf, acid freak outs and boat rides, Los Blenders re-team with director Joey Muñoz for a more low-key and lo-fi clip in "Amigos." There's not much in the way of a treatment, daytime TV plus a trip to the beach make for some quality guy time, but it's a fitting look for a track that celebrates friendship (and/or cocaine). "Amigos" not only delivers Los Blenders' trademark scuzzy garage pop, but there's the added bonus from lyrics that give meaning to the phrase A poca barba,
Sunday, February 15, 2015
Juan Wauters is one of those few melodists who can combine simplicity, sensitivity and subtlety in each of his compositions. Yet this tinkerer of irresistible songs impresses with the richness of his texts that can both make you chuckle and choke up. On “Asi No Mas” Wauters exposes, in an uninhibited exploration of a popular expression and its phonetic and graphic ambiguity (¿así nomás o así no más?), his thoughts on life changes, inevitable moments of loneliness, and his desire to "poder estar bien sin qué pelear." The track, released earlier this year, is an charmingly catchy cut from a Daytrotter Session he recorded last November at Futureappletree (Rock Island, IL). Juan Wauters will be playing this song and many others at Festival Nrmal 2015.
Friday, February 13, 2015
Sheep begins with a looped dial tone coming from another parallel dimension. A barnyard cacophony of well, sheep, urban grunts and uhhs, then kicks into (fascinating) short circuiting overdrive—horns, a train? A woman moaning, throbbing and we're back where the S&M runway of Xen left off. A bathhouse, club thumps, dark elevators, a dial tone that can’t be reached. An Eastern flute calls inwards, a digital ping, a digital pong—walls transforming, we're back on the elevator. A woman sings in a language nearly obliterated by conquest, this mélange hints at Chancha Via Circuito, if Chancha were purging his electronic demons on ayahuasca. Maddening anxiety, phosphorescent, the clacking percussion of what sounds like an automatic handgun, the trumpet of a beast signals this transition, sloshing elephants thru an oasis amidst arid lands and a contaminated sunset in what could be Tokyo or Mexico City (really any giant metropolis where you’re bobbing your head right now) dodging traffic, checking your social network for your next high. That trumpet again—mad. The traces of Arca's haunted piano, obliterated into the nebula of his signature sound continuum. For the grand finale, we pray. A chorus of haunting tragedy unfolds, and post modern cathedrals collapse in the darkness of the second decade of our young century.
Thursday, February 12, 2015
Famèlic Records has kept our ears full thanks to their growing catalogue of stellar releases. Yet even amongst other acclaimed albums from fellow labelmates Germà Aire and Univers, Da Souza still feels like a revelation. On last year’s grossly underrated (outside of Catalunya anyway) debut Flors i violència, the Barcelona group skipped nostalgia in favor of a spirited mash-up of Japandroids and Les Savy Fav topped off with slight touches of emo (Dads, American Football) to great results. "Boca a boca," latest single from a just-released split EP with Regalim titled Bossanova infinita, signals an impressive growth for the band. As an organ-led intro gives way to their trademark sunny and uninhibited hooks, there’s glimpses of a newfound confidence, which help make this meeting of precious and punk especially memorable. As writer Glòria Guso put it a year ago, “that is what they do, and they do it well.”
Monday, February 9, 2015
Catalan teens MOURN have released their first videoclip, directed by Roger Guàrdia and produced by CANADA for “Your brain is made of candy,” one of the songs included in their first, self-titled album (Sones, 2014). Melancholy, rage and despair are expressed by blunt drums, melodic guitar progressions and a ripen up voice that inevitably recalls PJ Harvey. Combined with an almost aggressive succession of shots in a grisaille ensemble, the video captures and enhances the intimate howl of the song. MOURN got a lot of buzz at the end of 2014 with their signing to NY label Captured Tracks (which will release their album on the 17th February in the US). They are going to tour extensively (both in Europe and in the US) in 2015, so be ready to hear a lot from them in the future.
Monday, February 2, 2015
Devoid of temporal linearity, “≅ ☀ L U Z ☀ ≅” explores the paths of weird melancholy under woozy new wave and wistfully occult nu-metal airs. From his fiefdom in Sevilla, the MC/producer for whom music seems to be the extension of his wayward personality outlines an imaginary territory where time is cyclical. Pedro LaDroga embodies a warrior of light caught at the center of the most evil of pentagrams; awakening consciousness to the perpetual motion between obscurity and clarity. The particularly transfixing video, all in gif. art (courtesy of visual artist John Karel), displays looped pop culture landmarks in such a way so to provoke momentary melancholy. In his nasal and discordant voice, the founder of netlabel/ niche collective Ladroga Lab repeats “En el momento”, passing on the secret: eternity is not a reality to come; eternity is lived in the density and intensity of the moment.