Art Forms


Podcast April-May 2014
Podcast April-May 2014

Hello and welcome to a new edition of Catalan Music’s bimonthly podcast in which we’ll be covering all the international activities involving Catalan artists in the months of April and May. Catalan Music is the brand name specially created by the ICEC (The Catalan Institute of Cultural Enterprises) for Catalonia’s music industry and offers you all the latest news and events on a happening Catalan music scene, covering a wide range of musical genres ranging from Pop, Jazz, Fusion and Folk to World and Electronic Music.

With the arrival of spring we have a wide range of new products headlined in the Catalan press showing the excellent creativity of our current music scene. One such example is Mishima’s new album, entitled ‘L’ànsia que cura’ (Curative Anxiety or Desire). Mishima, a 5-piece band from Barcelona, with more than a decade’s experience under their belts, have become a charismatic flagship of our most advanced and sophisticated pop. The band recorded this new album at Black Box Studios, in Anjou, France, with German producer Peter Deimel, who has worked with artists such as Deus, Anna Calvi and The Last Shadow Puppets. Yet another step forward for a band who have created a powerful and poetic language of their own.

Another new product is the much-awaited new album by Gerard Quintana, who was the lead singer of the legendary Catalan rock band, Sopa de Cabra, After the triumphant return of the band in 2011, when they played for three nights in a row at Barcelona’s Palau Sant Jordi to 50,000 people, Quintana is back with a new album entitled ‘Tothom ho sap’ (Everybody Knows) created together with ex-Very Pomelo frontman Xarim Aresté, in a return to his rock 'n' roll roots peppered with catchy soul rhythms.

Here are a band who have taken the fusion scene by storm. We’re referring to Txarango, who have also just released a new album entitled “Som riu” (We are river”), their second CD to date following their highly successful debut album, ‘Benvinguts al llarg viatge’ (Welcome to the Long Journey). In the past two years Txarango, have proved to be quite a phenomenon with young audiences and have reasserted their commitment to participative, festive sounds blending Jamaican and Latin rhythms with instinctive pop. The band believe that their most important mission is to reach people through their music and, with this in mind, their new album is available for download on their website. The result has been extraordinary with over 40,000 downloads in just the first few days. .

Catalan Music is about to release three new albums in its series of compilations whose aim is to reflect the current situation of our music scene. The albums will be dedicated, respectively, to pop-rock, world music and jazz, and will be available at the end of April at international music fairs. But if you’d like a copy of your own, all you have to do is send an e-mail to internacional.icec@gencat.cat with your request. The volume devoted to pop-rock offers a wide variety of tracks ranging from the experimentation of Za! and the potent rock of Standstill to the vibrant soul of The Pepper Pots. The World Music compilation features exponents of modern fusion such as La Pegatina and La Troba Kung-Fú, and the Jazz volume offers a selection of top artists such as Agustí Fernández, Marc Miralta and David Mengual.

One of the international fairs at which the compilation albums will be distributed is "Jazzahead", the most important jazz festival in Europe, which will be held in Bremen, Germany, from 24th to 27th April. The Generalitat de Catalunya’s Department of Culture will be there, under the Catalan Music brand, with a stand hosting 13 Catalan agencies: Balaio Producciones, Central Art Process, Galbany Productions, Giulia Valle, El Cazador de Luz Group Quintet Garay, Julian Sánchez Music, Monday Music Producers, Montuno Producciones y Eventos, Nota SCCL Névoa, Pierre Bechet Artists, Angels Mas Music Productions, Victor Correa Management and Iryna Parr.

Catalan Music
will also be present at this year’s edition of Classical Next, a fair specializing in classical music, which will be held from 14th to 17th May in Vienna, Austria. We will also have our own stand which we’ll be sharing with The Catalan Guild of Music Editors (GEMC), with its project Symphonic.cat, and other agencies such as Notes in Cloud and Tritó, the Ramon Llull Institute and saxophonist Joan Martí-Frasquier, who’ll be offering a showcase as part of the Fair’s official programme.

La Pegatina, one of our most internationally active bands, who just a few weeks ago made a successful appearance at the prestigious Eurosonic festival in Holland, will be giving 5 European concerts to present their fourth album, 'Eureka!'. This young band, who offer a vibrant fusion of Catalan rumba and ska, will be performing on  April 10th in Paris at the La Flèche d'Or venue. Then they’ll be in Amsterdam on April 17th, the Belgian capital, Brussels, on the 18th and back to Holland on the 19th for a concert in Schijndel. The band will also be performing in Belgium, in Liège, as part of the Les Ardentes festival, on July 10th.

Still on the fusion scene, the indefatigable Che Sudaka, a Barcelona-based band made up of musicians from different Latin American countries, will be travelling to the Mexican capital to perform at the Vive Latino festival on 30th March. And in April, they’ll be giving two concerts in France, on the 4th in Guyancourt and on the 5th in Guipel.

D’Callaos are one of the most acclaimed New flamenco bands on the Catalan music scene. Fronted by the exciting and powerful vocalist Maribel Martín, this band who also embrace rock influences will be presenting their new album, 'Oír tu voz' (Hearing Your Voice) on a 6-concert tour of Germany, with 4 performances in May, on the 15th in Berlin, the 16th in Bielefeld, the 17th in Paderborn and the 18th in Melle-Buer, and two in September: on the 26th in Duisburg and the 27th in Leverkusen.

Marinah, the ex-lead-singer of Ojos de Brujo, one of Barcelona’s most famed fusion bands from the last decade, has released a new solo album entitled ‘El baile de las horas’ (The Dance of the Hours), which fuses pop and Mediterranean sounds. Marinah is set to present her new creations in London, at the English capital’s Rich Mix venue on 11th April.

London’s The Bank venue will also be staging a performance by Anímic, a restless pop-folk band who have created a darker and more electric sound on their new album 'Hannibal '

In the coming weeks, France will be hosting a number of leading Catalan artists, such as the charismatic Sílvia Pérez Cruz, who’ll be presenting the rich and emotive repertoire of her debut solo album “11 de novembre” (11th November), in Strasbourg, on 5th April. Also La Cafetera Roja, a multinational band created in Barcelona by Catalan, French and Austrian musicians, will be offering their fusion of hip-hop, soul and pop in no fewer than 9 French cities: on March 29th in Langeac, on April 5th in Lille, the 9th in Paris, the 12th in Tulle, the 20th in Montenay, the 26th in Mouthe, on May 2nd in Bayonne, the 7th June in Sigoyer and on September 6th in Sainte-Catherine-de-Fierbois.

And another highly active band on the international scene, The Excitements, will be presenting their explosive soul on April 4th at the New Morning venue in Paris, to kick off their 7-concert tour of France. On 5th April they’ll be performing in Charleville Mézières, on the 17th in Toulouse, the 18th in Castres, the 19th in Montauban and the 30th in Nantes. The Excitements will also be playing in Belgium, with concerts on May 1st in Lessines and the 4th in Incourt, and then they’ll be travelling to Holland for three performances: on May 3rd in Ospel and on the 5th in Zwolle and the Hague. And they’ll be concluding their European tour on May 29th with a concert in Coutances, in Normandy.

We close our April-May concert agenda with two highly recommendable and very different concerts: Early Music by viola da gamba virtuoso Jordi Savall and a classical programme courtesy of the ESMUC Symphony Orchestra. Jordi Savall will be giving three concerts in France: two in Paris: on the 7th April at the Salle Pleyel and on 14th May at the Cité de la Musique, and a third, on May 30th, in Valenciennes. And on April 26th the ESMUC (Advanced Music School of Catalonia) Symphony Orchestra will be performing pieces by composers such as Felix Mendelssohn, Antonio Caldara and Louis Raibaud in Brussels.

As usual, in this final section of our podcast, we’d like to recommend you a selection of new products by leading artists such as Maria Rodés, a singer-songwriter specializing in enigmatic and dream-like pop who has surprised audiences with her third solo album on which she’s adapted classic Spanish copla songs, a genre rooted in Andalusia that was extremely popular during the 1940s. ‘Maria canta copla’ (Maria Sings Copla) is the title of this curious album, which offers a new and interesting insight into the world of cobla with an unabashed approach and innovative ideas.

Another freethinking singer-songwriter specializing in pop is Joan Colomo. Colomo has just released a new album entitled “La filia i la fòbia” (The Philia and the Phobia), on which he’s further developed his distinctive sound with childlike reflections and magical climates at the service of bright melodies. And with messages that are not quite as innocent as we might imagine: "I don't like human beings/They strike me as unhealthy beasts" begins the title song. “La filia i la fòbia” is the fourth solo album by this original pop singer-songwriter who composes both in Catalan and Spanish.

Èric Fuentes, ex-lead guitarist and vocalist of The Unfinished Sympathy, a band from Barcelona who were a veritable post-hardcore institution during the first decade of the Third Millennium, is enjoying a period of great productivity and, just a year after his last solo album, is back with an impressive triple CD entitled 'Barcelona'. An album featuring 30 intense songs on which he has consolidated mature rock sounds with great emotional power.

We close the podcast with Joana Serrat, a young pop singer-songwriter from the active music scene of Vic, in the heart of Catalonia, who uses English as her language of expression. Joana, whose debut album ‘The relief sessions’' was released 3 years ago, is back in the limelight with 'Dear Great Canyon', published by the El Segell del Primavera label, created by Barcelona’s alternative rock festival Primavera Sound. Joana Serrat is a sensitive and inward-looking vocalist with a very promising future ahead of her.

So, with the emerging vocals of Joana Serrat, we close this edition of the Catalan Music podcast, which, as always, has brought you a wide variety of sounds which reflect the scope and versatility of the current Catalan music scene. Once again, we’ve offered you all our latest news and events with a special emphasis on the international activities of Catalan artists. Catalan Music will be back in a couple of months with a new musical selection and we hope you’ll join us again. Moltes gràcies i fins la propera!!!

Tracklist

Mishima - Ja no tanca els ulls
http://www.mishima.cat/

Gerard Quintana i Xarim Aresté - Pin Ball
http://www.gerardquintana.cat/

Txarango - Músic de carrer
http://txarango.com/

The Pepper Pots - Good times
http://www.thepepperpots.com/fight/

Giulia Valle - Graphic content
http://giuliavalle.com/

La Pegatina - El curandero
http://www.lapegatina.com/

Che Sudaka - Ona kasuita
http://www.chesudaka.com/index.php/es/

D'Callaos - Tiempo de remar
http://www.dcallaos.com/

Marinah - Aquí estoy
http://www.marinah.es/en

Anímic - El crani i la serp
http://www.animic.info/

Sílvia Pérez Cruz - Dias de paso
http://silviaperezcruz.com/

The Excitements - Ha, ha, ha
http://theexcitementsband.com/

Jordi Savall - Première suite
http://www.jordisavall.es/

María Rodés - Que nadie sepa my sufrir
http://mariarodes.net/

Joan Colomo - Els amigos
http://www.joancolomo.com/

Eric Fuentes – Incansable
https://www.facebook.com/ericfuentesbarcelona

Joana Serrat - Summer on the beach
http://www.elsegell.com/artistas/joana-serrat/ca/