Art Forms

Podcast August-September 2013
Podcast August-September 2013


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 August and September. Catalan Music offers you all the latest news and events on a happening Catalan music scene, covering a wide range of musical genres produced in Catalonia, ranging from Pop, Jazz, Fusion and Folk to Electronic Music. Catalan Music is the brand name specially created by the ICEC (The Catalan Institute of Cultural Enterprises) for Catalonia’s music industry.

With the arrival of summer, there are a host of new products, so this edition of the podcast will be covering many of the new albums that are captivating the Catalan public and media and which were also created with a view to reaching out to international audiences. Such is the case with Standstill, a veteran Barcelona band which European hardcore and post-hardcore fans will recall as they’ve been highly active on European circuits for over a decade now and have worked hard to make a name for themselves. Standstill have greatly evolved in the past few years and offer mature and experimental rock sounds with their lyrics now in Spanish as opposed to English. Their new enigmatic album is entitled “Dentro de la luz” (Inside The Light). Another band producing introspective but powerful rock is Inspira. They’re from Barcelona and their songs, sung in Catalan, are highly emotional and rich in dream-like images. Inspira are in the spotlight at the moment on account of their third album, 'Amunt!, a cry of encouragement meaning “Up you get”, which is replete with socially critical messages in an extremely subtle narrative framework.

Mallorca, the native island of the popular pop group Antònia Font, continues to produce mould-breaking artists who seem to be ruled by their own particular creative laws. We’re referring to two highly promising creators. Firstly, Miquel Serra, a new-folk singer-songwriter who has broken moulds with innovative songs that draw both on experimental polyrhythms and psychedelic and post-rock sounds. Miquel Serra made his recording debut with two demos which were later featured on the album 'Miquel Serra (2009-2010)' and he has now consolidated his career with the album ‘Roses místiques’ (Mystic Roses). Miquel Serra’s ‘Roses místiques’ was mixed by Pep Toni Ferrer, the singer and composer from Oliva Trencada, another highly recommendable Majorcan band. On their new album, ‘Orsai!’, the band once again show how freely they embrace new genres leaving behind their visionary pop-folk and adopting a harder and more expansive appraoch which seems to hark back, with doses of humour, to 1990’s stadium rock.

Carlos Ann, a singer and songwriter with fifteen years of experience, was a member of the supergroup Bushido, together with Enrique Bunbury, who fronted the popular Spanish rock band Héroes del Silencio. Carlos Ann is an obscurantist, an artist with a penchant for the darker side of things, who works with rock and electronic materials, and his latest albums have flung open the doors of a number of Latin American markets, particularly in Mexico. He has released a new album, entitled Agatsu, which he’ll be presenting there this summer. Following several concerts in July, he’ll be performing in Puebla on August 1st; on the 2nd in Distrito Federal and on the 3rd in Guadalajara. And so, with Carlos Ann we open our bimonthly concert agenda.

Another highly active band on the international scene are La Troba Kung-Fú, a reference band in the field of Latin fusion. Joan Garriga and Co. have just released their third album ‘Santalegria’, which takes their exciting fusion of Catalan rumba and tropical rhythms a step further. The band will be presenting their new songs this month at four different venues in France: on August 1st in Brest, on the 2nd in Crozon, as part of the Festival du Bout du Monde (where Amparo Sánchez will also be performing); on the 14th in Luxey, at the Musicalarue Festival and on the 15th at the Dax Fair. Amparo Sánchez, the former Amparanoia lead-singer, who worked with members of the band Calexico on her new album “Alma de cantaora' (Flamenco Singer’s Soul), full of border aromas, will also be giving another concert in France, on the 2nd of August in Saint-Nazaire. Other Catalan fusion bands will also be touring the European continent this summer. Zulu 9.30 will be presenting their album ‘Para todos los públicos’ (For All Audiences), at two French festivals. The album abounds in catchy choruses and hot rhythms reminiscent of Jamaica. On August 3rd, they’ll be playing in Arles at the Festival Convivencia and on the 13th of September, they’ll be in Clères, at the Arts Croisés Festival. France is also one of the ports of call in La Pegatina’s European summer tour. The band will be presenting their latest album, the highly infectious ‘Eureka’ (Eureka) on August 3rd in Cheffois, and then they’ll be travelling on to Budapest on August 7th and to Brussels on the 17th. And another top fusion band, Txarango, will be taking their hit album 'Benvinguts al llarg viatge’ (Welcome to the Long Journey), which blends Latin sounds with reggae and ska, to the United Kingdom with a concert on August 3rd in Nottingham, at the Riverside Festival, and on the 29th of September they’ll be playing at the Balen World Festival in Belgium.

La Cafetera Roja is a multinational Barcelona-based band, made up of musicians from Catalonia, France, Austria and Lithuania, who sing predominantly in English and made their mark with the creation of the 'Made in Europe' label. In August the band will be presenting their second album, 'Louise Kick An Eyebrow’, which blends pop and hip-hop with folk and blues ingredients, on a tour of France with nine concert dates. On the 1st August they’ll be in Bourg-en-Bresse; the 3rd in Nevers, the 8th in Saint-André-des-Eaux, the 9th in Lancieux, the 10th in Rennes, the 11th in Bagnoles de l’Orne, the 12th in Pont d’Ouilly, the 16th in Razès and the 31st in Nonette. And there’ll be more fusion rhythms on the European circuit with Che Sudaka, a band made up of Latin American musicians who are based in Barcelona. On August 30th the band will be playing at the Rock for Churchill festival, in Vroutek, in the Czech Republic, and on the 31st in Idar-Oberstein, Germany. Also in Germany we have D’Callaos, a band who experiment with Flamenco through virtuoso guitar sounds and the powerful vocals of Maribel Martín, alias 'La Canija'. On August 24th the band will be performing in Dortmund.

Fusion is also the speciality of Santo Machango, but it’s a different kind of fusion based on funk and drawing on rock, hip-hop and soul ingredients in a fiery urban framework with socially committed lyrics. Santo Machango, a band located in Barcelona with musicians from the Canary Isles, will be presenting their first album, 'Dopamine’, in France: on August 3rd at the Festival des Garennes in La Roche Bernard, and on the 6th at the Porto Latino Festival in Saint-Florent, Corsica.

Daniel Puente Encina, a singer and guitarist of Chilean origin and ex-member of the bands Polvorosa, Niños con Bombas and Pinochet Boys, will also be highly active this summer. He’ll be presenting his new album ‘Disparo’ (I Shoot)', which fuses rock, Afroamerican and Latin rhythms in a unique cocktail he describes as "Furious latin soul', to German audiences. On September 6th he’ll be performing in Ingolstadt, on the 7th in Marl and on the 14th in Suderburg. On September 13th he’ll also be playing in Denmark, in Copenhagen.

Lovers of warm and aromatic guitar sounds with southern accents should take note of the band fronted by Pedro Soto, a guitarist from the city of Badalona, influenced by the manouche jazz of Django Reinhardt. The band are called the Pere Soto Gypsy Trio and will be exhibiting their talents and instrumental expertise at a concert in Holland, on September 7th in Amsterdam.

We close our August and September agenda with separate performances by Jordi Savall and his daughter, Arianna Savall, at the Gstaad Menuhin Festival in Switzerland. Jordi Savall, Catalonia’s most prestigious viola da gamba virtuoso, will be performing on August 4th with the 'La viole du Roi Soleil' repertoire, a concert based on the music of Marin Marais, composer to the Royal Court of Versailles, which the world-renowned Early Music specialist previously adapted for the soundtrack of Alain Corneau’s acclaimed film ''Tous les matins du monde”.

Just three days later, on August 7th, at the same venue, Arianna Savall, a soprano and harpist with over a decade of experience among the musical elite, will be performing together with Norwegian singer and multi-instrumentalist Petter Udland Johansen with a repertoire entitled “Songs from the North and South”, a journey through poems and compositions belonging to different cultures, including Catalonia, Scotland and the Sephardic legacy.

On the border between summer’s end and the new academic year, we have two not-to-be-missed appointments, two of Catalonia’s most important showcases. The Acústica festival in Figueres, the home of the world renowned Dali Museum, will, from August 28th to September 1st, be hosting artists such as Farhad, Paco Ibáñez, La Pegatina, Delafé y Las Flores Azules and Albert Pla with The Pinker Tones. And just a week later, the Altaveu de Sant Boi will be opening its doors to celebrate its 25th edition with top artists such as Standstill, Dorian, La Troba Kung-Fú, Núria Graham, British musician Scott Matthews and American singer and guitarist Damien Jurado.

The Mercat de Música Viva, held annually in the city of Vic, just an hour away from Barcelona, in the Osona region, will also be celebrating its 25th anniversary. From the 12th to the 15th of September, the Mercat (literally Market) will, once again, be the epicentre of our music industry, offering fifty or so concerts with a wide representation of Catalans artists such as Anímic, Cabo San Roque, El Petit de Cal Eril, Maria Coma, Els Pets and Refree, to name but a few. As is customary, the Generalitat de Catalunya’s Department of Culture will be hosting a stand in the professional zone, where it will be offering a number of different activities

To end our bimonthly podcast, we’d like to recommend two new and exciting albums. Firstly, the new disc by the Orchestra Fireluche, entitled ‘Tants caps, tants joguets’ (So Many Heads, So Many Toys”) with dreamlike and childlike imaginativeness. The album features toy and fantasy instruments as part of a multilingual repertoire in Catalan, Spanish, French, Italian, Portuguese and English. The Orchestra Fireluche have, for the very first time, collaborated with singers, specially invited for the occasion, such as Roger Mas; David Carabén, Mishima, Maria Rodés and Marc Parrot. The album will be distributed in vintage toy shops both in Catalonia and France.

And, secondly, we have Ramon Mirabet, a singer and guitarist who is well known to French audiences on account of his much talked about appearance on the Music Competition TV show 'Nouvelle Star’. Following his encounter with large-scale fame, Mirabet has decided to get down to brass tacks and devote himself to singer-songwriting with a sensitive and dynamic new album, entitled 'Happy Days', which is sung in English and is clearly influenced by pop, folk and classic jazz improvisation.

With the open-minded sounds of singer-songwriter Ramon Mirabet, we close our summer edition of the Catalan Music podcast, in which we’ve featured new albums in the fields of pop, rock, fusion, folk, Electronic and classical Music and have filled you in on the international activity involving Catalan artists in the months of August and September. As you’ve seen, this summer is full of opportunities to discover our artists on a number of European and international circuits. The Catalan Music podcast will be back in two months with more news, events and recommendations and we hope you’ll join us again. Have a great summer! Molt bon estiu i fins la propera!


Standstill - ¿Puedo pedir?

Inspira - Més fort que mai

Miquel Serra - Guerra somniada

Oliva trencada - L'estat Newton

Carlos Ann - Varias vidas

La Troba kung-fú - Rúmbia

Amparo Sánchez - Muchacho

Zulu 9.30 - Todo vuelve

La Pegatina - La ciudad de los gatos negros

Txarango - Amagada primavera

La cafetera roja – Rolex

Che Sudaka - Mirando el mundo al revés

D' Callaos - Como dos gotas de agua

Santo Machango – Dopamina

Niños con bombas – Prediga

Pere Soto - Daysy in the sky

Jordi Savall - Une jeune fillette

Arianna Savall – Preghiera

Manel - Teresa Rampell

El Petit de cal Eril - Gribi bestial

Orchestra Fireluche - Pirates d'habitació

Ramon Mirabet - Le sud