Catalan! Arts

Compilation CD World Music from Catalonia 2014
Compilation CD World Music from Catalonia 2014

World Music from Catalonia 2014: tracks selected by Miguel Amorós (Globalbeats Dj and music journalist) in collaboration with Jordi Lara (writer), MariaJo López Vilalta (journalist and music activist), Jordi Urpí (music chronicler), Francesc Viladiu (music programmer) and ICEC.

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La Troba Kung-Fú: Sta. Alegria (3:51)
CD: “Santalegria”
Author: Joan Garriga

Santalegría is the third album from La Troba Kung-Fú and is a bid to reclaim the spirit of celebration, in its broadest sense, whether fun, social, political or, of course, poetic. Explicit in musical terms, the band reclaims its 'rumbia vallesana', an individual mix of rumba and cumbia, with a local, rural and urban flavor and a global reach. In short, quintessential popular music that breaks rules, stirs the soul and in which they have created a small masterpiece.

La Pegatina: Non è facile (2:55)
CD: “Eureka!”
Author: La Pegatina

They have been packing out venues across the world for ten years, from China to Argentina, from Japan to Canada, with the whole of Europe in between. Their live shows are a joint celebration between the band and their audience. A true shot of adrenaline for all the young at heart. What used to be urban rumba is now a festive musical cocktail of rhythms with bags of melody. Make no mistake though, behind that hedonistic spirit lays a strong work ethic.

Els Catarres: Rock & Roll (2:47)
CD: “Postals”
Author: Els Catarres

After becoming a social media phenomenon thanks to the song 'Jenifer' (with more than one million hits on YouTube), this group has demonstrated with their second album that their success was no accident. Accordion, double bass, acoustic guitars, wind instruments and drums combine to create pure uplifting pop-folk with lyrics that are 'a little oasis of optimism and positivity in the midst of the crisis'. They also put on a very dynamic live show. They have a bright future ahead of them.

Col•lecció de satèl•lits
Projecte Mut: Comissió de festes (3:37)
CD: “Col•lecció de satèl•lits”
Author: David Serra, Joan Barbé

They are now on their third album, although they have a long musical history. Projecte Mut came over from Ibiza to show that there is much more going on there than electronic and chill-out music. Their Mediterranean-flavored brand of folk-rock-pop, sung in the Catalan linguistic local variant, gives them their distinctive sound. The fact that the album includes a version of 'Misirlou' (a Greek song popularized by Dick Dale) and of 'World Freak Show' by The Levellers gives an indication of the band's broad tastes.

Para todos los públicos
Zulu 9.30: Extraños (4:09)
CD: “Para todos los públicos”
Author: Zulu 9.30

While their fourth album, Tiempo al tiempo, already reflected a move towards 'song', that is further confirmed here. Without leaving behind the sense of celebration in their music, the lyrics in these new compositions are now more weighty, more personal, deep as well as critical, but always positive. Musically there is still an air of reggae, but the group has a broad stylistic range and the surprise comes in the form of its colorful arrangements. Another group that continues to travel throughout Europe winning everyone over with their strong live set.

Forn de pa
Wagner Pa & Brazuca Matraca: Na Estrada (3:12)
CD: “Forn de pa”
Author: Wagner Pa, Cesc Pascual

On his new album, Wagner Pa leaves behind his previous, more dance-focused era for an acoustic, intimate and relaxed musical style. With jazz, reggae, cabaret, samba... some would call it a singer-songwriter album, but Wagner is impossible to pigeonhole. A Brazilian who has been living in Barcelona for years, Pa sings in Portuguese, Spanish and in his own unique Catalan. The lyrics of this street poet are still relevant and include large doses of irony and surrealism.

Man ex Maqina
Man ex Maqina: Cade seu Boi (3:12)
CD: “Man ex Maqina”
Author: Maxwell Moya Wright

Maxwell Moya (percussionist, singer, songwriter, producer and member of Ojos de Brujo) is the founder of this new band. In it he fuses electronic music with the natural sound of the voice and body percussion. Israeli singer Tal Ben Ari, Cuban rapper Kumar, Guinean Mu Silva, Anglo-Algerian Ayesha Mehdam and Haitian-Cuban Mel Seme accompany him on this electro a cappella journey, the result of which is original, inspiring and remarkable.

Lumbre… canciones de carromato
Calima: Durotones (3:45)
CD: “Lumbre… canciones de carromato”
Author: Juanlu Leprevost

A bright new era in Calima's continuous journey of exploration into flamenco. A journey because the latest of Juanlu's (founding member of Ojos de Brujo) compositions have conceptual aspirations and put music to a grandfather's imaginary trip with his granddaughter (Eastern European Gypsies) across Europe in search of his wife. The album, therefore, reflects a nomadic spirit, soundscapes, and Gypsy accents and includes enchanting songs, as well as an innovative live show.

El teu nom
Toti Soler: Va com va (3:10)
CD: “El teu nom”
Author: Ovidi Montllor

The fact that this is Toti Soler's thirtieth album gives an indication of the importance of his work in Catalan music. This musician, composer, singer and outstanding guitarist has invited relevant voices to accompany his uplifting, warm and delicate guitar sounds. Quiet and fascinating landscapes which 'silently' touch you within. 'Va com va' is a composition by Valencian Ovidi Montllor, who Soler played alongside for over twenty years.

A Tribute to Different Musical Cultures
Barcelona Ethnic Band: Vila Kombali & Dance of Aparan (4:28)
CD: “A Tribute to Different Musical Cultures”
Author: Popular

Barcelona Ethnic Band is a group of young musicians performing music inspired by different cultures around the world: from Palestinian gypsy jazz and traditional Norwegian songs to Arabic music, Celtic culture and a long list of others. All are musicians from the worlds of classical and jazz music, from countries such as Armenia, Norway, Argentina, Spain and Catalonia, who share a love of traditional music. An acoustic, rhythmic and organic album.

Mysticísssimus Coralliummm
Burruezo & Bohemia Camerata + Coral Cypsella + Wafir S. Gibril: Aman, Aman (5:42)
CD: “Mysticísssimus Coralliummm”
Author: Pedro Burruezo

Misticísssimus Coralliummm is a show sung in Catalan, Arabic, Latin, Italian and both modern and ancient Castilian, with lyrics inspired by mystic poets from the medieval world of the three Abrahamic religions: Islam, Christianity and Judaism. The forty-strong Coral Cypsella choir and lutenist Wafir (Radio Tarifa) join Pedro Burruezo and his Bohemia Camerata in this all-encompassing journey between the past and the future, but from a contemporary and captivating perspective.

Live at the Kursaal Theater
Niño Josele & Cobla Sant Jordi - Ciutat de Barcelona: Cabo de Gata (4:41)
CD: “Live at the Kursaal Theater”
Author: Niño Josele

Niño Josele is one of the best flamenco guitarists of the moment (he has played with Paco de Lucía, Alicia Keys and Elton John). The Cobla Sant Jordi is a Catalan folk music group that primarily plays sardana compositions, the traditional Catalan dance. Together they provide an original twist, uniting flamenco, jazz and traditional music which, through the immense talent and open-mindedness of those involved produces something simply outstanding.

Cordes del Món: Un catalán muy fino (2:40)
CD: “Morenika”
Author: Kiko Veneno

Based on groups like Yo-Yo Ma and the Berklee World Strings, this extraordinary string orchestra (with its twenty members) was created out of a desire to add an anthropological content to music and with the idea of designing unique shows in which a number of different disciplines could converge, as well as develop social, cultural and educational objectives. For its latest project, it accompanies Kiko Veneno, who is one of today's most important popular musicians.

Capítol 1
La Colònia: Pernil dolç (3:49)
CD: “Capítol 1”
Author: Xavier Ciurans Travé, Albert Galcerà Oliver, Josep Busquets Cañellas, Lluis Chabuch Santillán

Out of a partnership between Xavier Ciurans (the singer from Gertrudis) and Albert Galcerà (conductor and accordionist from L'Orquestrina Garbuix), comes this new band with its own style that combines flavors of Balkan music, hints of cabaret and the spirit of the Mediterranean. At the same time as delivering some very special lyrics. Besides being a musical adventure, La Colònia is a joint project that brings together different disciplines such as visual, audiovisual, sonic and performing arts.

Canya d’Or: Mahala (4:09)
CD: “Viratges”
Author: Romanian folk song

This version of a Romanian melody, popularized by Fanfare Ciocărlia, is taken from Viratges, Canya d'Or's first album. The quartet manages to update the arrangement of the gralla (a traditional Catalan instrument belonging to the oboe family), giving it an original, fresh and innovative twist. And the result is amazing. The group's adaptations of folk music, rumbas and Balkan rhythms allow the exploration of new possibilities for an instrument linked to a more traditional kind of music.

Come to el Barrio!
Electric Gozarela: La revolución (4:55)
CD: “Come to el Barrio!”
Author: Electric Gozarela

A super group that brings together musicians from different bands with the wholesome aim of dancing and getting people dancing. However, behind the love of music (or more specifically, behind the love of Latin music: mambo, Latin soul, funk and boogaloo), the idea is to give those listening some food for thought. 'Something positive is sure to come out of all the bad things going on'. A message that, even if louder, could certainly never be delivered with as much 'groove' as they do.

Nakany Kanté: Saramaya (5:27)
CD: “Saramaya”
Author: Nakany Kanté

An exciting debut from this young composer and sultry-voiced singer from Conakry in Guinea. Twelve tunes, inspired by tradition, Mandingo Afro-pop, mbalax, soukous, etc., but with a modern and very colorful sound. An album recorded with her wonderful backing band and special guests, saxophonist Jimi Jenks (Buena Vista Social Club), percussionist Oumar Tounkara (Rokia Traoré) and Max Moya (Man Ex Maqina, Ojos de Brujo). And her live show is dazzling.