среда, 12 сентября 2018 г.

5 años. Top50 albums 2000-2017

The year 2018 marks the 5-year jubilee of this tiny music-related blog. Now I'm finalizing the string of specials to celebrate this. This is the ultimate one - Top50 albums of the newer history of Spanish rock music as I see it. For good or bad this is what it's like. Initially I've tried to create this list with quite objective approach avoiding my personal affections and taking into account such things as impact on the scene instead - but quickly found it impossible. So that's what came out as a result.

50. Love Of LesbianCuentos Chinos Para Niños Del Japon” (p)2007 Naive
49. Delafe Y Las Flores Azules "Trompetas De La Muerte" (p)2010 Warner
48. Sexy Sadie "Butterflies" (p)2000 Subterfuge
47. Pau Vallve "Abisme Cavall Hivern Primavera I Tornar" (p)2017 not on label
46. Disco Las Palmeras! "Nihil Obstrat" (p)2011 Matapadre
45. Second "Fracciones De Un Segundo" (p)2009 Warner
44. Ivan Ferreiro "Mentiroso Mentiroso" (p)2008 Warner
43. Joe La Reina "Bailamos Por Miedo" (p)2014 Subterfuge
42. Triangulo De Amor Bizarro "Triangulo De Amor Bizarro" (p)2007 Mushroom Pillow
41. Nadadora "Luz Oscuridad Luz" (p)2010 Ernie
40. Half Foot Outside "Heavenly" (p)2008 Limbo Starr
39. Mercromina "Bingo" (p)2003 Subterfuge
38. Izal "Magia Y Efectos Especiales" (p)2012 HOOK
37. McEnroeTu Nunca Moriras” (p)2008 Subterfuge
36. Carmen Boza "La Mansion De Los Espejos" (p)2014 self-released
35. Muy FelliniMuy Fellini” (p)2007 BCore Disc/ Underhill
34. Russian Red "I Love Your Glasses" (p)2007 [PIAS] Spain
33. Pumuky "Justicia Poetica" (p)2015 Jabalina Musica
32. Dorian "El Futuro No Es De Nadie" (p)2006 [PIAS] Spain
31. Power Burkas "Llarga Vida Al Taranna" (p)2016 BCore Disc
30. Los Planetas "Encuentros Con Entidades" (p)2002 RCA-BMG
29. L.A.Heavenly Hell” (p)2011 Warner
28. Berri Txarrak "Jaio.Musika.Hil" (p)2005 GOR Diskak
27. Christina Rosenvinge "Tu Labio Superior" (p)2008 Warner
26. HavalinaLas Hojas Secas” (p)2011 Origami
25. UnicornibotMambotron” (p)2011 Matapadre
24. VillanuevaViajes De Ida” (p)2014 Esmerarte
23. Aina "Bipartite" (p)2001 BCore Disc
22. Sr. Chinarro "Perspectiva Caballera" (p)2014 VEEMMM
21. Igloo02. Transicion De Fase” (p)2009 Ernie
20. La Habitacion RojaFue Electrico” (p)2012 Mushroom Pillow
19. Muy Poca GenteEn Flor” (p)2001 Grabaciones En El Mar
18. Delorean "Apar" (p)2013 Mushroom Pillow
17. Manta RayEstratexa” (p)2003 Acuarela
16. GAF & La Estrella De La MuerteSunriser” (p)2013 Foehn
15. NudozurdoTara Motor Hembra” (p)2011 Everlasting
14. Madee "L'Antartica" 2007 (p)BCore Disc
13. Hazte LaponNo Son Tu Marido” (p)2015 El Genio Equivocado
12. CelereAl Dia Siguiente (p)2012 not on label
11. Leon BenaventeLeon Benavente” (p)2013 Marxophone
10. Love Of Lesbian1999” (p)2009 Music Bus
09. Linda GuilalaPsiconautica” (p)2016 Elefant
08. Rufus T. FireflyMagnolia (p)2017 Lago Naranja
07. DeluxeFin De Un Viaje Infinito” (p)2007 Mushroom Pillow
06. I Am DiveGhostwoods” (p)2012 Foehn
05. Vetusta MorlaUn Dia En El Mundo” (p)2008 Pequeno Salto Mortal
04. El Hombre BurbujaNadando A Crol” (p)2000 Everlasting
03. PumukyEl Bosque En Llamas” (p)2009 Jabalina Musica
02. Los PiratasUltrasonica” (p)2001 Warner
01. Oso LeoneMokragora (p)2013 Foehn

Yo, Estratosferico "Aves Raras"

I am biased. I should declare it beforehand cos I know this time I can’t be objective. Frankly, there’s nothing to do with objectiveness in my reviews from the very first moment I started doing it. But this time I’m biased quite significantly even by my habitual measures because sometimes you run into the things that make you happy on a molecular level and you can’t stand it just letting it loose.
The 21st century spoiled the term ‘emo’ making it some kind of the death sentence, a black mark. People forgot it was first coined back in the 80’s, and initially it was an abbreviation for ‘emotionally charged hardcore’. All through the 90’s it had being used for the bands of the Sunny Day Real Estate and Braid streak (later these bands were framed into the ‘2nd wave emo’ subgenre to separate them from those like Rites Of Spring and Embrace with whom frankly they had little in common). And I don’t get it completely how it all jumped from The Appleseed Cast’s “Mare Vitalis” to sticking the 'emo' tag to My Chemical Romance shit albums in two year span.
The Guadalajara-based combo started making records back in 2014. With one EP and two [too cool to go unnoticed] longplays in the backpack the guys set the most recent 6 track EP "Aves Raras" to be their most ambitious record. Initially a four piece, now Jose, Diego, Oscar and Manu recruited the longtime friend Alberto “Tito“ Sanz (formerly of Thomb - the local band with the 'family ties' to Yo, Estratosferico) as the second guitar player to build up the sound they wanted to recreate with due precision.
Structurally the songs on “Aves Raras” come close to post-hardcore as they’ve got these stop-start dynamics, unusual time signatures and the kind of riffing usually labeled ‘angular’. Tone-wise the EP relates – on par with all the previous works of the band – to the 2nd wave emo rock as the voice of Jose is charged with emotion galore. His trademark singing style makes him one of the most memorable voices of the scene. Finally, the EP befriends the jangly edgy guitar playing style of post-millennial indie rock. Summing it all up the EP produces the full-bodied brooding and cathartic impression. If there’s an allegory to describe the difference between “Aves Raras” and the previous albums I’d like to suggest this one: imagine the band that usually played in the extremely small room stepping out into the greater hall. They might play the same music but it would sound quite different as there’s more space and air in there.
The EP contains two tracks the closest Yo, Estratosferico ever get to a hit: “Oporto” (a city or a metro station?) and “Todo Madrid Habla Mal De Ti”. But my by far favourite track is “Palido Y Salvaje” – the most unconventional and uncompromising track on the album. The most post-hardcore track. The most 2nd wave emo track. I’d like to live in the world where “Palido Y Salvaje” could be a massive hit.

понедельник, 3 сентября 2018 г.

5 años. Participation in crowdfunding

The year 2018 marks the 5-year jubilee of this tiny music-related blog. Now I'm finalizing the string of kinda 'special issues' to celebrate this. The penultimate special issue is right here right now, and it's dedicated to 5 albums I participated in financing (in temporal order).
The sixth album, La Perra de Pavlov’s “Cronica De Un Movimiento” is the only one I’ve never received physically.

Sin RumboLUZ” (p)2014

Baden bah!Futuro/a” (p)2014

NixonEl Ultimo Fuego” (p)2015

SecondViaje Iniciatico” (p)2015

Proyecto SolazPropaganda” (p)2017

среда, 29 августа 2018 г.

5 años. 5 Albums More

The year 2018 marks the 5-year jubilee of this tiny music-related blog. So I'm in the process of making of kinda 'special issues' to celebrate this. The fourth of them is right here right now, and it's dedicated to 5 more albums (this time without ranking) I’d like to put emphasis at – reasonably, but without one common reason for all of them.

Tania de SousaTaniatank” (p)2014 Talka Records
This album was recorded with the help of Correos’ frontman Fermin Bouza and one-of-a-kind Fermin Muguruza. The additional amount of attention should’ve been attracted to it by this mere fact - and it did some splash at the moment of release, I recall. But the initial buzz was not prolonged for more. As the album sounds better than any given pop punk band’s ‘the best of’ compilation I could only express my regrets that it doesn’t seem to receive some continuation cos it looks like Tania quit making music now to pursue other interests in her life.
Sin RumboForma Parte Del Espectaculo” (p)2012
My Spanish isn’t as fluent as I might want it to be. There are moments when I speak quite easily, and otherwise there are moments when I stuck like a dumbhead with no words in my mouth. This August I talked to Pablo Rodriguez-Salinas (guitar) twice, and both times were of the latter kind, to my self-depreciation. I tried to explain him that the whole Sonorama thing has started for me with Sin Rumbo’s performance back in August 2013. That performance was mostly based upon “Forma Parte Del Espectaculo”, so this album itself is a milestone in my own history of interactions with rock español.
Moriran Todos!Saltar” (p)2015
I bet you’ve never listened to Moriran Todos! cos the band ain't pretty active on the mainland of Spain. They’re from Canary Islands and “Saltar” is their first LP. This album has the right feel. It’s not overproduced. It’s not intended to be taken too seriously. It’s not that case, you know, when you can physically feel the burden of the commercial expectations (or expectations of any other kind) in every song. It’s kind of lighthearted album. Even if it was born too far from music epicenters – it’s hardly a reason for discarding it. The term ‘cool’ was intended for the albums like this one, and coolness never depends on place of birth.
Mi Pequeña RadioDonde Esta Lo Que Un Dia Fuimos” (p)2012 Bohemia Music
From my point of view, for this album the gap between the attention it deserved and the attention it received is the greatest of all. It seems like I am the only person (apart from its auteur David Tabueña) who still understands how good the album is. I recommended it to my friends, to my facebook and twitter followers. I put it in the 2nd place of my 2013 annual Top30 list. It all never seemed to work. The band put out another EP (which was great as well) and then quietly disbanded. As of now David plays guitar in Cycle. For him it’s all Ok today, but I still feel some kind of guilt about Mi Pequeña Radio’s ill fate.
The BrightLineas Divisorias” (p)2015 Subterfuge
Definitely it is the most frequently listened album for me through the last 3 years. I may return to it in different moods, in different places and in different situations. This is my constant choice when I ain’t up to listen to something new. This is my constant choice when I don’t know what I want to listen to. Frankly, this is my constant choice - whenever.

воскресенье, 26 августа 2018 г.

5 años. Top5 Most Underrated Albums

The year 2018 marks the 5-year jubilee of this tiny music-related blog. So I'm going to make a string of kinda 'special issues' to celebrate this. The third of them is right here right now, and this time it's dedicated to the albums that appeared in my annual top lists - but on some painfully low positions.

5. Dulce Pajara de JuventudTriumph” (p)2014 BCore Disc
Appeared in: 31-33 appendix to the main Top30
Now: if the most recent albums of Smashing Pumpkins were sounding like this one I would still love them like hell.
4. ElenaConcepte Vitrina” (p) 2015 Warner
Appeared in: ‘Honorable Mention’ appendix to Top50 list
Now: the perfectly crafted album of melodic guitar-driven pop that surely deserves more recognition than it ever had.
3. Ruin Man BandParaiso” (p)2014 Ruin Records
Now: I return to this strangely attractive mix of acid jazz, primordial blues and proto trip hop more frequently than I could’ve imagined.
2. Yo, EstratosfericoPotencialmente Infinitos” (p)2016
Appeared in: #30 of Top50 list
Now: through the last couple of years this album and this band grew on to be more than just an album and a band for me.
1. Hazte LaponNo Son Tu Marido” (p)2015 El Genio Equivocado
Now: as simple as it goes, the hidden gem of a nation, one of the best albums ever released in Spain.

четверг, 23 августа 2018 г.

5 años. 5 great albums never reviewed here before

The year 2018 marks the 5-year jubilee of this tiny music-related blog. So I'm going to make a string of kinda 'special issues' to celebrate this. The second of these is right here right now, and it's dedicated to the Top5 albums released within the last 5 years but never reviewed on the pages of this blog before.

5. The Right Ons "Volcan" (p)2013 Warner
Usually they say something like “Every track on this album could be a hit single” or “This album is brimming with hits” in case of albums like this one. And this is when they are completely right.

4. Eladio Y Los Seres Queridos "Orden Invisible" (p)2014 Esmerarte
The Galician-born stylistic brother of this list's #2. The pack of great songs, the right mood, the touch of genius on the songs like "Los Dinosaurios".
3. Villapellejos "Elogios Y Ampollas" (p)2015-16 Mama Vynila
Funny and charming album that reflects in equal proportions the Basque band’s interest in folk, punk, riot grrl and indie pop. Demolition Doll Rods on a slumber party with Camera Obscura.

2. Senior I El Cor Brutal "El Poder del Voler" (p)2013 Malatesta
El Poder Del Voler” is born in a juncture of the straightforward folk rock and introspective indie rock so this music is pretty simple in its core. But it works phenomenally well.

1. Villanueva "Viajes De Ida" (p)2014 Esmerarte
Quite painfully overlooked on the national level, this album is a solid, bright, masterful record that redefines the boundaries of post punk-based indie rock.

понедельник, 20 августа 2018 г.

Sonorama 2018. Day 4

Days 1-2
Day 3

Saturday, 11th
Our last Sonorama 2018 morning started at midday with the band Repion performing on Plaza la Sal. Repion were one of these bands we decided to look at only by chance as there was no appropriate alternative at the moment. Fortunately, it turned out to be one of the best decisions as this band impressed us much. They’ve got mood, they’ve got vibe. They’ve reminded me of The Breeders (though I never had a chance to see The Breeders live) – especially when the sisters Iñesta swapped their instruments with Teresa coming in to the mic and Marina taking on drumming duties. The discovery #1 for me.
The next band to appear on Heineken stage were Los Estanques. We missed most of their performance while drinking beer on Plaza Mayor but we managed to catch two last songs of their set. Thus we found them charming enough to dive deeper into their Paisley Underground-bred music upon returning home.
Then we headed to Castilla Y Leon stage for Burrito Panza. I personally had the strong desire to see them live as they’ve got that enormous new album “El Nuevo Frente Frio” and I was guessing how they would reconstruct the sound of the album onstage. Live the band sounded more in the vein of Mercromina (albeit excluding the latter’s signature wall of post-shoegaze guitar noise). For me as a longtime fan of Albacete’s finest it was all ok. 
At the moment we were teamed up with Rafa Tuñon (leader of Paciente Cero) and his company of friends so we won ourselves a couple of beers and the good place next to the entrance of Santa Catalina building to fully enjoy what was happening around. Also I was happy to see Rafa and Joan, the co-heads of Burrito Panza’s label El Genio Equivocado, amongst those before the sunlit stage. Up to the next gig (La Bien Querida) Gloria and her friends came to the place so our company grew bigger.
In the very beginning of La Bien Querida’s show we recognized Manuel Cabezali playing bass for Ana Fernandez-Villaverde. As far as I know this was his first appearance in Sonorama since the show of his primary vehicle Havalina was abruptly switched off the power (due to technical issues or schedule constrictions) back in 2013. 
Inside our circle of friends we talked alot but amidst the talks we paid attention to the show where Ana in her yellow dress did her tiny dancing to her own songs in slightly electronic wrap-up.
We stayed there for one more timeslot waiting for Nocturnos to come out. Frankly speaking, Nocturnos didn’t sound like the band for escenario principal. Rather they sounded like the great band for a club. Nevertheless, they’ve got plenty of catchy tunes and lots of energy so their performance was one of the best for us. Somewhere around that time Rafa Tuñon walked away searching for his friends, and Glo brought us some more beer...

Cosmen Adelaida have peeled off their dream pop influences almost completely for this gig presenting us their post punk side only. I don't know was it their usual modus operandi as it was the 1st time I saw them live. As for ‘Joana Serrat – Nat Simons’ case being compared to La Plata they sounded way more diverse while treading the same path.
Los Punsetes were our next POI. The only motions Ariadna, the female singer of the band, did during the performance were to come onstage and to come off. The entire concert she – dressed up in the Alice in the Wonderland costume (or it was the uniform of 18th century chambermaid) – stayed absolutely immobile. But the music was highly energetic, and this difference created pretty strange effect. We stayed there until the end of their set, and then accidentally run into Coque and Pablo from Los Vengadores. We talked in the interim, and these two folks were so nice that it felt such a pity to part ways with them.
For the second time in a row I was watching the performance of Izal through the leaves of an adornment plant standing in the corner of the VIP zone. For the last 5 years Izal grew on to enter the Pantheon of the best live bands of Spain, so they gathered the crowd easily comparable to one Liam Gallagher gathered the last night. They started their gig with “Pequeña Gran Revolucion”, my favourite song of theirs, so I screamed alot and then the rest of the concert I was just standing literally in the ficus elastica tub trying to figure out what’s going on onstage. They finalized the show with the fireworks. It looked so beautiful and, eh, monumental.
We didn't dare to move away from VIP zone cos there were too many people onsite, so little changed for me for Dorian's concert. The same corner, the same ficus elastica, the same emotions, the songs that great... Just some contagious sense of yearning started to crawl somewhere inside my spine as I knew well that this would be our last show of this Sonorama.