Catalan! Arts

Compilation CD Pop Rock from Catalonia 2006
Compilation CD Pop Rock from Catalonia 2006

In Catalonia, as in any other corner of Europe, musicians have also grown under the indisputable magnetism of the Anglo-Saxon pop-rock. However, over the last years, they have left this influence behind and have developed their own and distinct character.
    
Music made in Catalonia is experiencing a splendid moment. It's becoming usual to find the kind of artist that could not have been sprung in another part of the world, that believes blindly in his or her vision and fends for it with such determination that fortifies his or her proposal and renders it unique. The most obvious proof of the good shape of Catalan music is this selection, signed by the music critic of El Periódico Nando Cruz, where many names have been left out. The intention has been to reveal the unmistakable feel of pop-rock done in our country, the richness of tastes and aromas that the well-digested mix offers and the proud abundance of unique personalities.

The Pop Rock CD forms part of a series of three CDs intended to promote Catalan music internationally. The rest of the CDs are: Jazz from Catalonia 2006 and World Music from Catalonia 2006.

If you want to listen to the tracks selected on this CD, click on the links below.

Batiscafo Katiuskas
01
Antònia Font: “Batiscafo Katiuskas" (3.47)
CD: “Batiscafo Katiuskas”
Author: Joan Miquel Oliver

The best band in the history of pop sung in Catalan is Majorcan. And this is only one of the paradoxes of a quintet that combines with extraordinary personality a melodic classical talent, a fascinating poetic universe and an unlimited imagination. Popular and universal.

La manera més salvatge
02
Enric Casasses & Pascal Comelade: “Allò" (1.59)
CD: “La manera més salvatge”
Author: Enric Casasses

The still unvindicated poet and performer Enric Casasses and the miniaturist of pop Pascal Comelade play with verses and melodies (their own and others´) to compose his first joint record. In this case, the appropriation of ideas is not an offence but rather an inspiring starting point.

Mística domèstica
03
Roger Mas: “Si tu m'ho dius" (3.02)
CD: “Mística domèstica”
Author: Roger Mas

This songwriter from Solsona was already one of the most solid values of the new century´s Catalan lyric, but in this record he wanted to go further, coming closer to pop without forgetting his roots. Watch out for the frightening appearance of the tenora.

Barcelona Intimísimo Café
04
Burruezo & Bohemia Camerata: “El vendaval" (4.50)
CD: “Barcelona Intimísimo Café”
Author: Pedro A. Burruezo

Pedro Burruezo founded Claustrofobia in the 80's. He now takes up his biggest project: to formulate a concept of Mediterranean song far from the common mixes. This Barcelona man defends an illustrated and serene mix, half way between the corner street bar and the university.

Techarí
05
Ojos de Brujo: “Silencio" (4.11)
CD: “Techarí”
Author: Marina "La Canillas"

A real phenomenon of the Barcelona scene, with solid flamenco roots which have allowed them to incorporate any style without ever loosing their identity. As well as becoming a reference of the mestizo sound it also probably is the most internationally known Catalan band.

De Benidorm a Benicàssim
06
Abdess Oukhi: “Almodóvar y Amenábar" (4.41)
CD: “De Benidorm a Benicàssim”
Author: Luis Troquel

A Morrocan bricklayer sings this composition by the journalist Luis Troquel. It is part of an unusual record that traces the indie scene taking as metaphorical reference the journey between the legendary Festival de la Canción de Benidorm of the 60's and the now famous Festival Internacional de Benicàssim.

Feria
07
Feria: “No comment (S. Gainsbourg)" (3.00)
CD: “Feria”
Author: Serge Gainsbourg

Timid but poisonous, these three Barcelona girls spit their hate and addiction for the post-modern superficiality. Their songs built by Genís Segarra (from Astrud), talk of sexual desires and others impossible things. That's why they also sing Serge Gainsbourg's songs.

Abscience
08
Sesam-o: “Invisible shadows" (4.32)
CD: “Abscience”
Author: Ferran Vilanova, Jordi Moncho

This collective of electronic psychedelic always want to go beyond music. In its first record they added a DVD full of evocative short-films. In this second record, they have written a short novel that explains the story of a scientist that is trying to find a way of becoming invisible.

Esgarrapada
09
Mazoni: “Perduts en la boira (però agafats de la mà)" (4.07)
CD: “Esgarrapada”
Author: Jaume Pla

One of the many examples (Sanjosex, Guillamino…) of an artist instructed under the Anglo-Saxon influence who is fighting to find his own character and make pop a personal language by observing his surroundings, just like masters such as Pau Riba in the 70's.

Safari
10
Gallygows: “The Users" (3.20)
CD: “Safari”
Author: Gallygows

Specialist in the sublime art of vocal harmonies, this veteran quintet has stayed discretely in the background for more than a decade within the independent Barcelona scene. Their devotion for the classical Californian pop has evolved towards more dense and psychedelic surroundings.

Mentider
11
Marc Parrot: “No m'estiris del fil" (3.25)
CD: “Mentider”
Author: Marc Parrot

This is the first time that he records in Catalan, but in his previous Spanish records he had already shown signs of a unique personality. Half-way between the author lyric and that of pop-rock, he continues to grow with songs of a rough electricity and an unconventional intimate poetry.

The Lame Fiancée
12
Àlex Torío: “Slippery fish" (3.28)
CD: “The Lame Fiancée”
Author: Àlex Torío

This singer-songwriter from Barcelona is greatly influenced by the big names of foreign rock and is becoming more and more worthy of the compliments of his admired Tom Waits. His repertoire is also increasingly solid and evocative. This third record is by far the best he has done until now.

L'univers
13
12Twelve: “La habitación de Albert" (3.47)
CD: “L'univers”
Author: 12Twelve

They record with Steve Albini and are taken for a band from Chicago. Yet, these four are, simply, a Catalan instrumental rock band, half-way between the post-rock and jazz, that is constantly growing and surprising us with each new record and project it embarks on.

(Next:Matêria)
14
(Lo:Muêso): “L'smolarêk firmamento" (2.43)
CD: “(Next:Matêria)”
Author: (Lo:Muêso)

Catalonia has always been the cradle of post-hardcore bands, but not all have looked for a local perspective to the language of the guitars in tension, the strident voices and the changing rhythms. This band from Premià de Mar have taken a risk and obtained very interesting results.

Haranna Hanne
15
Les Aus: “El Matagalls" (3.38)
CD: “Haranna Hanne”
Author: ---

Before, they were called The Cheese. They are only a drummer and a guitarist, but they sound like a troop of elephants destroying a tent full of electric amplifiers. They have performed on several occasions in the US and this record will be edited by an independent North American label.

Veracruz
16
Veracruz: “Van tension" (2.39)
CD: “Veracruz”
Author: Veracruz

Representatives of the most strident side of the new Barcelona underground, their first record is a frenzied, disconcerted and intuitive reinterpretation of the chaos and noise of avant-garde punk of the early 80's. On stage, they are either worse or better, but never the same.

Mermelada de tomate
17
Sibyl Vane: “Bananas" (1.29)
CD: “Mermelada de tomate”
Author: Sibyl Vane

This trio has brought an energetic gust of fresh air to the indie scene. In the best tradition of feminist rock, their songs of pop transparency and punk anger expose with precise words the most moving and intimate yearnings of three girls in their early twenties.

La Colazione Vol. 1
18
J. Irizar toca la batería: “Kambio" (4.28)
CD: “La Colazione Vol. 1”
Author: J. Irizar

Jordi Irízar does not play the drums but is a key person in the new independent Barcelona scene shown in this compilation. He makes songs with (and for) friends which are inspired by the own and minimalist philosophy of K Records, the anti-folk scene and the most naive Basque pop.

Victoria Principal
19
Beef: “La transición" (2.22)
CD: “Victoria Principal”
Author: Beef

They were pioneers of indie-rock in the 90's and have recorded ten records ranging from the experimental rock to the wildest pop. Most of the bands of their period have already given up but they continue to be an incorruptible and unbelieving example of vocation and talent.

Lo Pardal Roquer
20
Lo Pardal Roquer: “El cant dels pardals" (3.17)
CD: “Lo Pardal Roquer”
Author: Pau Casals

This man from Lleida practices a type of local rockabilly where he mixes experiences of a village in the deep countryside, traditional religious education, slang from the countryside and the exotic attraction of the primitive rock'n'roll. This surf version of the Pau Casals composition is a clear example.