Art Forms


Podcast November 2012
Podcast November 2012

CATALAN MUSIC NOVEMBER 2012

Hello and welcome to Catalan Music’s November 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 and Electronic, with a stress on international projection

We’ve opened the podcast with one of the most consolidated modern-pop bands singing in Catalan, Antònia Font, a group from Mallorca who are highly popular and much acclaimed in Catalonia and have also made the odd foray onto stages in Madrid and other Spanish cities. Antònia Font have shown a bolder approach on their new album ‘Vostè és aquí’ (“You are here”)', which features forty different songs, the majority of which last just over one minute. Antònia Font, like the American bands The Residents and They Might Be Giants before them, have used this micro-song format without renouncing their characteristic pop language; which they present to us in a compressed and distilled form.

From the classic sounds of Antònia Font, we move to a new and increasingly popular band that goes by the name of Quart Primera, who released their first album two years ago, a melodic folk-pop product with lyrics based on common day-to-day situations. Now they’re presenting their second album entitled ‘Pel·lícules’ (Films). Quart Primera have remodelled their line-up with the collaboration of singer, guitarist, composer and producer Pere Jou, who also works with other bands such as Mine! ‘Pel·lícules’ presents us with a more profound and sophisticated product on the basis of acoustic instruments combined with electronic ingredients.

Acoustic sounds with no other interferences mark the identity of Senyors Tranquil. This duo formed by David Amills and Gad Sans follows the tradition of vocal harmonies and acoustic guitars, with influences ranging from Simon and Garfunkel and Kings of Convenience, and also includes ventures into the world of Brazilian rhythm. Senyors Tranquil have released their second album entitled ‘Gratacels’ (Skyscraper), a home-made production in which artists such as Arnau Vallvé, the drummer from the band Manel, have participated.

This month there is a particularly busy agenda of Catalan artists performing abroad. We begin November’s international agenda with a leading brand in the world of electronic music, the Sónar festival, which each year attracts 100,000 people to its main headquarters in Barcelona. Sónar has been organizing events for some years now at cities around the world such as Chicago, Sao Paulo, Cape Town and Tokyo, but it had never to date embarked on such an ambitious adventure as the Sónar North American Tour, which will take the Sónar Festival brand-name to eight different cities in the United States and Canada during the next few weeks. The tour offers a line-up fronted by South African band Die Antwoord and will be featuring performances and DJ sessions by Paul Kalkbrenner, Seth Troxler, Tiga, Gesaffelstein and Nic Fanciulli. The Sónar North American Tour will kick off on October 31st in Chicago and will then travel to Toronto, on November 1st, the 2nd in New York, the 3rd in Montreal, Boston on the 4th, Denver on the 7th, Oakland on the 9th and Los Angeles on the 10th. Each evening, Sónar will be programmed at venues with capacities ranging from 2,000 to 4,000 spectators.

Another big name on the electronic scene is John Talabot, an artist from Barcelona who, on his new album, entitled 'Fin' (End), has produced a universe of dark and enigmatic sounds which have evolved from his more customary house roots. John Talabot will be giving two concerts in France this month. On November 1st in Paris and on the 17th in Rennes.

France will also be hosting another prominent exponent from our electronic scene, The Suicide of Western Culture. This duo who produce experimental post-rock sounds have been prominent on the international scene for some time now. Last Spring they gave seven concerts in the United States, including the South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas. Now they’re back in France with two performances: on November 8th in Dijon and on the 9th in Vendôme.

One of the most acclaimed and veteran bands on the Catalan pop scene are Els Pets, a trio who recently celebrated their 25th anniversary, and are still highly active making albums which are always warmly welcomed and acclaimed by critics, albums on which they’ve collaborated with American producer Brad Jones, who’s worked with artists such as Josh Rouse or Jason & The Scorchers. Please take note, British audiences, and specifically London audiences, as we invite you to see for yourselves that it is possible to create pop in Catalan with sophistication, sensitivity and and good melodic ideas, because Els Pets are set to perform for the very first time in Europe’s capital of pop, the city of London. The concert has been programmed at the Cargo Club on November 3rd.

Many of Catalonia’s new bands have been conceived on the frontier between pop and folk, and such is the case with Animíc, a band specializing in psychedelic forest sounds. One of the group’s most loyal fans is Texan singer-songwriter Will Johnson, leader of the band Centro-matic, and he has collaborated with Anímic onstage. This month, Anímic will be crossing the Atlantic to present the magic of their latest album entitled 'Hannah' in Chile. The performances will take place on November 15th in Santiago de Chile, on the 16th in Chillán, the 17th in Concepción and on the 19th they’ll be back in Santiago, at the Pulsar festival.

Rik Van Den Bosch is a Barcelona-based Dutch singer-songwriter who built his own guitar from a tin-can, a piece of wood and some nylon when he was just 7 years old. Since then, his instrument has become more sophisticated, but not that much, as he continues to base his expressiveness on a raw acoustic guitar through country and blues sounds. With his new band, Rik Van Den Bosch and the Dandies, he has come up with a more colourful product, which his Dutch fans will be able to enjoy on November 25th when the band will be performing at the Paradiso venue in Amsterdam.

High voltage heavy-metal fans should take note of the next item, a band from Barcelona who go by the name of ’77, a band inspired by the classics of AC/DC and a fascination for music from the 1970s. ’77 are now touring Europe and, following performances in Switzerland and Germany, they’ll be giving two concerts in Sweden, on November 1st in Avesta, and on the 3rd in Stockholm, and another in Finland, on the 2nd in Mariehamn. After a short break, the band will be returning to Germany, with a concert on December 7th in Freudenburg, and on December 8th they will be performing in the Dutch city of Eindhoven.

Another band specializing in powerful guitar sounds, in the framework of garage and psychedelic sounds, is Mujeres, who’ll be presenting their album ‘Soft Gems’ in Belgium. This fiery band from Barcelona will be performing in Brussels on November 1st , on the 2nd in Liege, in Charleroi on the 3rd  and in Gant on December 15th.

The Excitements are a band who constantly delight audiences with their fiery, communicative and unashamedly old-school soul sounds, They’ll be travelling to France this month for concerts in Bourg-en-Bresse on November 7th and Auxerre on the 9th.

One of the most unorthodox outfits on the current Catalan scene is a band called Za!, a duo who offer free-thinking sounds with avant-garde rock influences and tribal rhythms performed with just guitar, drums, cacophonic vocals, loops and the occasional appearance of wind instruments. Za! will be presenting their new album, ‘Megaflow’, at two venues in France, on November 24th in Montbeliard and on December 15th in Marseille. Later they’ll be travelling to Russia to bring in the new year with a concert on December 31st in St. Petersburg.

And now let’s move on to the fusion scene with European concerts by two of the genre’s most prominent bands. Calima are a new-flamenco band fronted by Juanlu, one of the founders of Ojos de Brujo. The band will be closing their tour of Holland with a concert in Utrecht on October 27th, and just a few days later, November 1st, they’ll be performing in Trondheim, Norway. And Che Sudaka, a combative Latin-American root band, based in Barcelona, will be giving two concerts this month in Germany: on November 9th in Hamburg and on the 10th in Rostock, and later they’ll be travelling to Skopje, Macedonia, to perform on December 8th.

We close this month’s concert agenda with the international activities of an outstanding Jazz outfit, the Ramon Fossati Glowing Trio, trombonist and composer Ramon Fossati together with two outstanding musicians, double-bass player Horacio Fumero, who regularly accompanied Tete Montoliu, and drummer David Xirgu. The Ramon Fossati Glowing Trio will be giving three concerts in Argentina: on November 18th in Rosario, the 23rd in Córdoba and the 24th in Buenos Aires, before flying to Germany where they’ll be performing in Hamburg on November 28th and in Berlin on the 29th.

And now for a band who have quite a unique approach to music. They got together to record an album and went into the study without any previously planned repertoire, with the aim of creating the material in situ. The band is called Viva, and is fronted by Victor Herrero (an accomplice of American singer Josephine Foster) in tandem with Israel Marco, from the Barcelona-based band Cuchillo. For Viva’s first album, entitled 'Tiempo para la cosecha’ (Time for the Harvest), the line-up was completed with a further five members, including percussionist Gamal Seya from Togo. The band’s sounds are organic and earthy, a communicative folk product with African polyrhythms, hypnotic beats and electric guitar solos worthy of the great Ali Farka Touré.

To conclude November’s podcast, we invite you to immerse yourselves in the luxuriant and fantastical music of Pau Vallvé, a singer, composer, multi-instrumentalist and producer who is always highly active on different fronts. Following his ambitious '2010' album, he’s now back with a new project called 'De bosc’ (Of the Forest), a disc from a communicative singer-songwriter who explores different sounds and textures in search of his own creative space. On his new album, Vallvé, has worked with some of the most charismatic artists of the current Catalan music scene such as as Maria Coma, Joan Colomo and The New Raemon.

With the confident and sophisticated voice of Pau Vallvé, we conclude November’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, the international activity of artists specialising in different genres such as pop, folk, fusion, jazz and singer-songwriting and Catalan Music’s initiatives at international fairs. We’ll be back next month and hope you’ll join us again. Moltes gràcies i fins la propera!

TRACKLIST

Antònia Font "Zoom"
http://www.antoniafont.com/inici/

Quart Primera "El teu amant"
http://4t1a.wordpress.com

Senyors tranquil "Ja tens 1000 amics"
http://es.myspace.com/senyorstranquil

Els Pets "El poble sota el barret de fum"
http://www.elspets.cat

Jeff Mills "Track A1 taken from AX-009B"

John Talabot "Depak ine"
http://www.myspace.com/johntalabot

The Suicide of western culture "The end of luxury"
http://www.myspace.com/thesuicideofwesternculture

Za! "Calonge Terrassa"
http://www.myspace.com/putosza

Rik Van Den Bosch "I don't feel"
http://www.myspace.com/rikvandenbosch

Anímic "Trenco una branca"
http://www.myspace.com/animicblog

77 "Are you ready for rock'n'roll"
Mujeres "Salvaje"
http://www.myspace.com/mujeresdebarcelona

The Exitements "Wait a minute"
http://www.myspace.com/theexcitements

Ramon Fossati "Six times ten"
http://www.ramonfossati.com

Calima "Suspiro"
http://www.calimacolores.es/es

VIVA "Canción de la cosecha"
http://www.myspace.com/jfostervherreroband

Pau Vallvé "Geranis als balcons"
http://www.pauvallve.com