Art Forms


Podcast June 2012
Podcast June 2012

CATALAN MUSIC PODCAST - JUNE 2012

Hello and welcome to Catalan Music’s June 2012 podcast which, as every month, will be keeping you up to date with all the latest news and events on the Catalan music scene, presenting new albums and international concerts by Catalan artists. Catalan Music is the brand name specially created by the ICEC (The Catalan Institute of Cultural Enterprises) for a wide variety of musical genres produced in Catalonia, such as Pop, Jazz, Folk, World Music or Electronic, with a stress on international projection.

We’ve opened the podcast with a band who are an excellent example of perseverance and conviction being rewarded with popular success. Love of Lesbian, whose latest albums have been a commercial success, have been working hard for over a decade and, in the process, changed their original language of expression, from English, to Spanish. Love of Lesbian, a band who are strongly influenced by classic British artists such as David Bowie, The Cure and Radiohead, ended their last tour with three concerts at Barcelona’s Razzmatazz venue, attracting over 6,000 people. Now they’re back with a new album, ‘La noche eterna. Los días no vividos” (The Eternal Night. The Unlived Days), a double album that deals predominantly with the themes of night and the city, produced by their regular collaborator, Ricky Falkner. A new collection of intense songs and euphoric anthems which Love of Lesbian will be presenting on the 12th of July at the Poble Espanyol in Barcelona; a 5000-capacity venue.

Following the pop of Love of Lesbian, now for a more rugged and raw product. Mujeres are a young band with a murky garage rock approach showing a wide range of vintage influences ranging from Link Wray to The Cramps. Mujeres released their debut album in 2009 and have now published their second CD entitled ‘Soft Gems’, full of their natural fury, but with a slightly more refined finish.

If Mujeres excel with their brash and brusque garage sounds, our next band do so with a product that is rather more difficult to categorize. Asstrio are a predominantly instrumental band who began their musical adventure with a funky, jazzy groove approach, and, now, with their third album, ‘Don’t Leave the Planet’, they’ve consolidated a very open and consistent personal style, drawing on black music, rock and electronic., a collection of powerful songs featuring guitar, keyboards, drums and samplers.

Looking back and adopting retro ingredients is a definite trend in terms of the current international music scene and it’s also true in the case of Catalonia. The Excitements are a band inspired by the classic soul and funk of Stax Records and James Brown, offering contagiously energetic performances. Fronted by the powerful voice of Koko Jean Davis, the band have as yet released only one single, which they’ll be presenting in France in the coming weeks: at the Les Tempos du Monde festival in Saint-Paul-Lès-Dax on June 2nd; the Festival Aucard in Tours, June the 9th in Reims and on July the 6th at the Festival Cognac Blues, in the town of Cognac.

So, with The Excitements we kick off this month’s international concert agenda with a number of groups who specialize particularly in fusion music, a genre characterized by the blending of Latin rhythms with pop or rock. Such is the case with Muyayo Rif, a band from the greater Barcelona area who fuse Jamaican and tropical genres. The band have just released their new album entitled ‘P’alante’, produced by Gambeat, Manu Chao’s ex-bass guitarist, with songs sung in Catalan, Spanish and French. Muyayo Rif are about to take France by storm: on June 1st they’ll be performing in Saint-Laurent-de-Neste; on the 2nd in Landes;; the 14th at the Fête de la Musique in Quéven; on the 16th at the Hace Calor Festival in Gruissan on the 29th at the Soirs du Village festival in Saint-Calais, and on the 30th at Les Kampagn’arts festival in Saint-Paterne-Racan.

Another two of our top fusion bands will also be performing in France: Che Sudaka and Zulú 9.30. Che Sudaka, a Catalan-Colombian band based in Barcelona have recently released their new album entitled ‘10’ (Ten) which is a direct reference to their 10 years of musical combat. The band will be performing at the Oun’Bass Festival in Eauze on June 1st; at Haute-Garonne’s Fête de l'Humanité in Toulouse on the 2nd and in Ayherre on the 16th. Zulú 9.30 will also be presenting their latest album entitled ‘Tiempo al tiempo' based on the fusion of reggae, Latin rhythms and rock, at the Oun’Bass Festival on June 1st, and at the Fête de la Musique in Pau, on the 21st.

Germany will also be the destination of other Catalan artists such as D’Callaos, an outstanding new flamenco band fronted by singer Maribel Martín. D’Callaos will be performing in Germany’s capital, Berlin, on June 22nd.

The Suicide of Western Culture are another band who’ll be playing on German soil with their experimental electronic sounds featuring ingredients of post-rock and industrial music. The Suicide of Western Culture will be performing on June 23rd in Cologne and will travel directly to Tunis to play at the Le Fest festival on June 24th.

And also on the electronic front, we have Guillamino, an artist whose music shows a strong human component with funk and soul tendencies. Guillamino, who has recently performed in Uruguay in collaboration with Barcelona’s Barnasants Festival, also gives small-format musical performances in the form of interactive workshops for children. Now, the Barcelona-born artist will be giving one of his workshops entitled “Guillamino in the Giraffes’ Class” in Utrecht, Holland, on June the 2nd, an activity that has been programmed by the Instituto Cervantes.

Another restless creator, Mau Boada, a member of the experimental duo Les Aus (The Birds) will be performing on June 8th at Porto’s Optimus Primavera Sound festival, the Portuguese edition of its famous Barcelona counterpart. Mau Boada will be presenting his Esperit! project, in which we can appreciate his lo-fi psychedelic singer-songwriting skills.

And for jazz fans, we have Ignasi Terraza, one of our most refined pianists. Terraza is set to cross the Atlantic and perform in the United States from the 14th to the 18th June in Washington, at a unique venue, the National Gallery of Art.

And to close this month’s agenda, we have an appointment with the classical music industry. From May the 30th to June the 2nd, Munich will be hosting the first edition of the Classical: Next music fair, which will be attended by two Catalan companies: the classical music magazine ‘440 Clàssica” and the music publishers Boileau. Classical: Next is organized by Class, an association of independent German classical music labels, and the event is produced by Womex. Its purpose is to contribute to consolidating the classical music industry through networking, shared experience and projects. Classical: Next will be held annually in Spring and will also feature in-situ showcases and conferences.

June is also the month in which Barcelona hosts two of its top international music festivals, Primavera Sound and Sónar, which both draw massive audiences. Primavera Sound will be offering, from the 31st  of May to 2nd of June at Barcelona’s Parc del Forum, by the Mediterranean coast, a bill featuring leading international artists such as The Cure, Wilco, Rufus Wainwright and Marianne Faithfull, as well as various representatives exponents of the Catalan scene, namely Joe Crepúsculo, Mujeres, Senior i el Cor Brutal and Bigott.

And Sónar, Europe’s not-to-be-missed appointment with electronic, advanced music and multimedia art, will be held from the 14th to the 16th of June at its customary venues such as Barcelona’s Centre of Contemporary Culture and the Gran Via Trade Fair installations. Sónar will, once again, be hosting another luxury line-up this year, including international stars such as New Order, Lana del Rey and The Roots, and local talents such as John Talabot, Guillamino, The Suicide of Western Culture and Árbol.

Catalan Music has also published a new series of its ‘Music From Catalonia’ compilation albums, offering a selection of the most interesting creations from the current Catalan music scene, with three volumes devoted to different musical styles. One of the discs, which, as always, are compiled by a group of specialized journalists, is dedicated to World Music and features songs by artists such as Mediterranean root singer, Miquel Gil, the multicultural fusion of the Barcelona Arab Orchestra and the infectious rumba of La Pegatina. This new Music From Catalonia compilation disc will be distributed by the Catalan Institute of Cultural Enterprises at international fairs, but you can also acquire a free copy by sending an e-mail to internacional.icec@gencat.cat

And we cannot end this month’s podcast without recommending some of the most outstanding new albums on the booming Catalan scene. One of the most surprising and refreshing products of the moment belongs to the Minimúsica series of albums, CDs aimed specially at children, with no stereotypes attached, treating their target audience with the utmost intellectual respect. After releasing a series of conceptual albums dealing with the themes of food and transport, Minimúsica is back with a CD entitled ‘Els animals" (The Animals), featuring songs inspired by hamsters, cats and great bustards, and performed by bands such as Anímic, Beach Beach and Doble Pletina.

If you’re partial to warm, intimate and imaginative songs, we would recommend you not to miss out on a debut solo album by Fanny Roz, a singer-songwriter from Toulouse in southern France, who lives and works in Barcelona. The disc, entitled “Prend Son Souffle et Saute” features songs in French with the collaboration of Catalan artists such as the pop singer-songwriter Maria Rodés.

And to close this month’s podcast, we have the revelation Catalan fusion band Txarango, made up of musicians averaging the age of 20, who’ve attracted a large following with their debut album, ‘Benvinguts al llarg viatge’ (Welcome to the Long Journey). The band fuse reggae and Latin genres with pop ingredients and a highly exciting and playful approach.

So with Txarango, the latest phenomenon to hit the Catalan music scene, we close June’s Catalan Music podcast. For the past half hour or so, we’ve tried to fill you in on all the latest news relating to music produced in Catalonia, and the international activity of artists specialising in different genres, such as pop, rock, soul, fusion, new flamenco and jazz. We’ll be back next month and hope you’ll join us again. Moltes gràcies i fins la propera!

TRACKLIST

Love of Lesbian "El hambre invisible"
http://loveoflesbian.lacoctelera.net/

Mujeres "Soft gems pt1"
http://www.myspace.com/mujeresdebarcelona

Astrio "5 seconds"
http://www.astrio.es/

The Excitements "Take the bitter with the sweet"
http://www.myspace.com/theexcitements

Muyayo Rif "La rebelión del sin nada"
http://muyayorif.org/

Che Sudaka "Desearía"
http://www.chesudaka.com/index.php/es/

D'Callaos "El viajero"
http://www.decallaos.com/

The Suicide Of Western Culture "This is the last time a shake your hand"
http://www.myspace.com/thesuicideofwesternculture

Guillamino "Inspira conspira"
http://www.myspace.com/guillaminoo

Esperit! "Ja ho tenen"
http://www.myspace.com/maumusicca

Ignasi Terrazza "Just you, just me"
http://www.ignasiterraza.com/

Richard Wagner "Lohengrin prelude to act III"

Rufus Wainwright "Out of the game"

Lana del Rey "Video game"

Miquel Gil "Per marcianes"
http://www.miquelgil.com/

Germana (Minimúsica)"Els gats de la veïna"
http://www.minimusica.tv/

Maria Rodés "Lejos de Pekín"
http://mariarodes.net/

Txarango "Benvinguts"
http://www.txarango.com/