Art Forms

Podcast September 2012
Podcast September 2012


Hello and welcome to Catalan Music’s September 2012 podcast in which we’ll be seeing what the new season has in store for us. As every month, we’ll be keeping you up to date with all the latest news and events on the Catalan music scene. 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 the refreshing and somewhat unorthodox sounds of Sanjays, a band from the Empordà region in the North of Catalonia, with accessible and catchy songs midway between psychedelic disco pop and corrosive rock’n’roll, showing influences such as MGMT, The Flaming Lips, The B-52s and Arctic Monkeys. Sanjays have released their second album, ‘Laboratorium’, with songs in English. The disc was produced by Mazoni’s Jaume Pla, and Xarim Aresté from Very Pomelo also participated in the recording.

In previous podcasts we’ve referred to The New Raemon, the band fronted by Ramon Rodríguez, ex-leadsinger and guitarist of Madee. Now The New Raemon’s keyboard-player, Marc Prats, also an ex-member of Madee, is presenting his new project, baptized with his surname Prats, and a debut album entitled ‘Pla B’ (Plan B) featuring a melancholic, emotional, powerful and sensitive pop d’auteur. On ‘Pla B’, Prats collaborated with top Catalan producer Ricky Falkner and Mishima guitarist Dani Vega.

From Marc Prats, we shift to a product rooted in the tradition of American Rock music. We’re talking about Partido, a band who’ve achieved significant international projection on account of their collaborations and tours with Eef Barzelay from Clem Snide. The members of this band from Barcelona indeed became fully-fledged Clem Snide members on the Boston band’s 2011 tour. Now, Partido have released their second album, ‘Leaving all behind’, with songs in English that transmit unique serenity and depth, intimate and solemn rock music, which is warmly atmospheric and shows a remarkable degree of maturity.

And now turn the volume up for an exciting and inflammatory hard rock band who’ve made quite a name for themselves on the international circuits. We’re referring to 77, a Barcelona band, whose name is a tribute to rock music from 1977 and, in particular, the sounds minted by the legendary Australian band AC/DC. 77’s songs are based on biting riffs and vocals reminiscent of the late Bon Scott. The band have now come up with a second album entitled ‘High decibels’, which they’ll be presenting on a long European tour in September and October. So, with 77, we begin this month’s international concert agenda. The band will be kicking off their tour on September 5th in Osnabrück, Germany. On the 6th, they’ll be performing in Gant, Belgium, on the 7th in Amsterdam and the 8th at the Raismes Festival, in France. The band will be giving a number of concerts in Germany: on September 28th in Berlin, the 29th in Leipzig, the 30th in Frankfurt, the 3rd October in Munich, the 5th in Saarbrücken, the 6th in Cologne and the 8th in Essen. They’ll also be playing on October 2nd in Vienna, the 4th in Aarau, Switzerland; the 7th in Ambers, Belgium and on the 9th back to Holland for a concert in Utrecht.

The Pepper Pots, a band devoted to the renaissance of the classic soul sounds of Tamla Motown combined with Jamaican ingredients, will be playing at an international venue this month. The Pepper Pots recently released the album ‘Time and place’, together with the acclaimed American musician Eli ‘Paperboy’ Reed, and will be travelling to France for a concert in Montbeliard on September 29th.

The Suicide of Western Culture have also made a name for themselves with their mould-breaking electronic sounds that draw on experimental German rock, post rock and industrial music. This mysterious duo, who are portrayed wearing hoods in their promotional photos, have recently performed in countries such as Germany, Slovakia and Tunisia, and are planning to release their second album in Autumn with presentations at a number of international venues. For the moment, they’ve officially announced performances in Vienna on October 5th and two further concerts in France in November: on November 8th in Dijon and on the 9th at the Rockomotives Festival in Vendôme.

On the Electronic Music scene, we have one of our most internationally prominent artists, John Talabot. His album ‘Fin’ (End) was much praised by the media, including excellent reviews in ‘The Guardian’, ‘The Independent’ and ‘Pitchfork’, and John Talabot will soon be touring the USA and Canada in two different formats: the first with solo performances and the second as the guest artist of Brit band The XX. John Talabot will be performing solo on September 26th in Washington, on the 27th in New York, the 28th in Chicago, the 29th in Toronto, the 30th in Seattle, on October 2nd in Denver and on the 4th in Los Angeles, and then he’ll be joining The XX’s American tour with a concert in Vancouver on October 5th, Portland on the 7th, Las Vegas on the 10th, Denver on the 11th , Salt Lake City on the 16th, Boulder on the 17th, Minneapolis on the 19th and Milwaukee on the 21st.

And now from the Electronic Music scene to the world of fusion sounds, with two bands who are regulars on the international circuit. Firstly, we have Muyayo Rif, with their popular cocktails of Latin and Caribbean rhythms from their second album ‘P’alante’ (Go Forward), who’ll be performing on September 8th at the Tribus d’Ailleurs festival, in Plessé, France. And secondly, Canteca de Macao, a band fusing flamenco, reggae, ska and Latin rhythms, who’ll be presenting their third disc to date ‘Nunca es tarde’ (It’s Never too Late), at a Festival specializing in multicultural fusions, the Fiesta Mundial, in Balen, Belgium.

Giulia Valle, one of Catalonia’s most internationally acclaimed jazz musicians, was born in San Remo, Italy, but moved to Barcelona as a child with her family. Giulia is set to demonstrate her talents in South Korea, where she’ll be performing with her quintet, together with Martí Serra, Gorka Benítez, Marco Mezquida and David Xirgu on October 14th at the Jarasum International Jazz Festival, in Gapyeong, and on the 16th in Busan.

The Catalan music scene will be well represented at one of the music industry’s most important showcases, Womex, which will be holding its 12th edition from October 17th to the 21st in the Greek city of Salonika. Womex, one of world’s leading music events, will once again be attended by a significant number of Catalan music companies such as Jam Session, PTW Music, Rosazul and Tazzuff who’ll be co-manning Catalan Music’s stand at the fair. La Fira Mediterrània/Mediterranean Fair organizers and the Production Company Sonde3 will also be present at Womex with their own stands. And, in addition to the Catalan stands at the fair, Womex will also be featuring Catalan artists with a performance by Lenacay, a new group formed by three ex-members of the charismatic fusion band Ojos de Brujo: Ramón Giménez, Xavi Turull and Dj Panko.

The creative boom the Catalan music scene is currently experiencing is a good explanation as to why many of our country’s festivals are resorting to local bands for their programmes. Such is the case with the festival that will be kicking off the new season, the Acústica de Figueres. L’Acústica will be holding its 11th edition from August 29th to September 1st in Figueres, Salvador Dalí’s birthplace, with a programme dominated by Catalan artists such as Els Amics de les Arts, Mishima, Anna Roig i L’Ombre de Ton Chien, Guillamino, Amparo Sánchez, Quimi Portet, Pastora and Pascal Comelade, in addition to top pop acts such as Dover and Bebe, and ex-Morcheeba vocalist, Skye Edwards.

L’Acústica de Figueres has become an excellent showcase of Catalan music, a musical territory that has also been well cultivated by another leading Greater Barcelona festival, the Altaveu de Sant Boi. The Altaveu was born in 1989 and primarily specialized in singer-songwriters, before opening its doors to other unique musical products. Its 24th edition, which will be held from September 6th to September 8th, will also be featuring top Catalan artists such as Els Amics de les Arts, La Casa Azul, Txarango, Las Migas, l’Orquestra Àrab de Barcelona, Manos de Topo, Mendetz, Mambo Jambo and Esther Condal, and UK’s The Whip and Darren Hayman, the ex-leader of Hefner.

Just a week after the Altaveu festival in Sant Boi, the Catalan music scene will move inland to Vic with the 24th edition of the Mercat de Música Viva from the 12th to the 16th of September. The popularly named ‘Mercat de Vic’ is much more than a festival and offers a wide area devoted to music industry professionals with meetings, showcases and forums. This year, the Mercat has signed an agreement with Brazil’s Minas Music Cooperative, a mutually beneficial collaboration like those already established with international festivals such as Womex, Paris’s MaMas, Scotland’s Celtic Connections and Canadian Music Week. This year’s artistic programme will be featuring some 60 concerts, including top Catalan bands such as Love of Lesbian, Antònia Font, Asstrio, Gertrudis, Guillamino, La Pegatina, Maria Rodés, Mayte Martín, Txarango and Za!, to name but a few.

One of the most exciting new products of the new music season is the new album by Amparo Sánchez, who fronted Amparanoia, one of the most popular bands on the Catalan fusion scene. Amparo Sánchez began her solo career in 2010 with the album entitled ‘Tucson-Habana’, in which she delved into the world of “frontier” or “border” music in tandem with Joey Burns from Calexico. Now she’s consolidating her new career with a second album entitled ‘Alma de cantaora’ (Singer-songwriting Soul), to be released in September, with which she’ll be demonstrating her talents as an intimate singer-songwriter with both country music and Latin influences,

We close September’s podcast with a shift in style towards hip-hop and R’n’B. This is the musical territory chosen by Barcelona-born singer Flavio Rodríguez who’s released his third album ‘Ego’ (Ego). The product is elegant and sophisticated, reminiscent of Prince and contemporary creators such as Craig David. With his new album, Flavio Rodríguez has defined his own personal terrain with a refined, sensual and soulful atmosphere. It’s an evocative work in which he applies his own characteristic approach in a framework influenced by black music.

So, with Flavio Rodríguez’s voluptuous night rhythms, we close this month’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 specializing in different genres, such as pop, rock, hard rock, frontier music and new-generation R’n’B, with a highly promising and exciting new season in store both at home and abroad. We’ll be back next month and hope you’ll join us again. Moltes gràcies i fins la propera!


Prats "Delirant"

Sanjays "champagne club sister"

77 "high decibels"

The Pepper Pots "don't mess up a good thing"

The Suicide of western culture "Battle of the Ebro"

John Talabot "Missing you"

Muyayo Rif "C.R.I.S.I.S."

Giulia Valle "Groovin' González"

Ojos de Brujo "Sultanas de merkadillo"

Els Amics de les Arts "L'affaire Sofia"

La Casa Azul "La fiesta universal"

Love of Lesbian "Si tu me dices Ben, yo digo Affleck"

Amparo Sánchez "Sé que no sé"

Flavio Rodríguez "Máquina de escribir"

Flavio Rodríguez "Déjame entrar"