вторник, 30 декабря 2014 г.

Feliz Año Nuevo 2015!

My dear musicians and music lovers, Happy New Year to all of you and your families! And thank you very much for being here!
Here below I put the only photo that catched the moment of my greatest triumph connected to rock español. Yes, that guy in blue shirt in the upper left backstage (next to the girl in blue dress) - that's me. The foto is the property of Musica Para Marsupiales blog (musicaparamarsupiales.com).

среда, 24 декабря 2014 г.

Presentando la Banda. Hacia las Rocas Imantadas

Hacia las Rocas Imantadas "Noray" EP (p)2013
Hacia las Rocas Imantadas "aNИa" EP (p)2014

This is not the easiest subject to review. Definitely this is not the music for everyone. Sometimes it's not even 'music' in the common sense of the word. Not a band in the common sense of the word, Hacia las Rocas Imantadas is an audiovisual collective where the music, the novel or the video cannot (or shouldn't) be considered apart from other creative sides of the bandmembers. Conducted by the 38 years old 'man of many talents' David Bailon (apart from his musical self within Hacia las Rocas Imantadas he's also a writer and a comic book author) together with his adherents Miguel Castro and Maria Muñoz, these sound collages are like the sketches from the extraterrestrial scrapbook where nothing is stable and nothing is habitual. You hardly can find the songs here (there are vocal parts but the vocals are mostly the narrations). What you'll get are the crawling, fragile and hypnotic free-form tracks that incorporate the diverse range of sub-styles and influences like lo-fi, ambient, space rock, Fennesz, Fushitsusha and the early Mercury Rev and mix them to the point where it does not make sense trying to categorize the final result.
It is definitely an adventurous listening but it's a good adventure to dive into.

Hacia las Rocas Imantadas' Bandcamp page
Hacia las Rocas Imantadas' Facebook page

вторник, 23 декабря 2014 г.

Presentando la Banda. Clara Plath "Hi Lola !!" EP

Clara Plath "Hi Lola !!" (p)2014 Self-released
I am very pleased to present to you the young and restless quintet from Murcia: Clara Plath. Unfortunately, this short album has come to my hands too late to be included in the "best of" lists but it surely deserves it. First of all - Clara Plath, the namesake frontwoman of the band, has the beautiful sexy voice. The second - the music the band plays is good old school indie rock with the prevalence of guitars. I have a bent for this kind of music so two names have occurred to me right from the dark times of the 90's indie: The Geraldine Fibbers and Helium. Both bands were led by the girls with the deep voices (Carla Bozulich and Mary Timony respectively), and both bands were making music so loud that it was in controvercy to those girls' pretty appearances. Apparently, the Clara's songs are more conventional in terms of structure and dynamics but the 'loud clanging guitars and the rich voice of the female singer over them' template is present anyway.
The five-piece consists, apart from the girl at the mic, of Roberto Lopez (guitars and keyboards), Gabi Holden (guitars), Miguel Angel (bass) and Sergio Nicolei (drums). They are able to create the sound which is coherent and thick. The "Hi Lola !!" EP contains six songs plus one hidden track, and all the songs are memorable (with "A Whisper" as the most memorable amongst them) footstompers less or more rocking. Any of these songs might be a hit single, so this short album is very close to perfection within the chosen way/style/genre, I suppose.

You can easily get the full album HERE and/or like the Facebook page HERE.

среда, 17 декабря 2014 г.

The post #101. Comps of Foehn Records and El Hombre Bala Records

It's the post #101, so it's something like starting a new life. And I'd like to start this new life with something good for everyone who reads these words.
Two of the best and most innovative labels of Spain - Foehn Records (Barcelona) and El Hombre Bala (Santa Cruz de Tenerife) - have released recently their compilations of the best 2014's tracks of the bands from their rosters. And you can get them for free on the labels' bandcamp pages (see the links below).


P.S. I think I should make my own compilation right now. Oh, no - no 'right now'. A bit later.

понедельник, 15 декабря 2014 г.

The Best Of 2014. Album #1 (and the post #100)

The fractured.
The sick.
The morbid.
The hysterical.
The ironic.
The balladesque.
The minstrel-like.
The haunted.
The dark.
The spooky.
The best album of the year is...

...01. Joe La Reina "Bailamos Por Miedo"

Ademas, it's my post #100 in this blog! I should clebrate this somehow...

The Best Of 2014. Albums 2 - 3

03. Rufus T. Firefly "Nueve"
It was an absolute shock. At the moment when music stopped I got stuck with my mouth open and my mind totally blown out. It was not an intention, but this album crawled through my system like a venomous reptile. Call it psychedelic pop, call it space rock, call it everything you want to, but this quintet from Madrid suburbs has created an album which is deep, smart, obscure, blurry, diverse and coherent, absolutely controlled and wide as space all at once.

The thing that speaks for itself: "Nueve" was produced and mixed by Manuel Cabezali from Havalina, the man who rarely makes a fault.

02. Vetusta Morla "La Deriva"
(p)Pequeno Salto Mortal
From the moment I heard "Golpe Maestro" for the first time I was pretty sure that this album is going to be the champion. I wrote a review in English, a review in Russian as well as the first attempt of the history of Vetusta Morla in Russian. I saw no alternative for the most part of the year. And the only thing that finally made "La Deriva" a runner-up is as follows: the album that made it on the very top really came as a surprise while "La Deriva" has shown the highest level of the band but it was no surprise at all. 

пятница, 12 декабря 2014 г.

The Best Of 2014. Albums 4 - 10

10. Acuario "Cassette Para Los Niños"
The solo analogue electronica project of Nudozurdo's Leo Mateos. These great tunes (imagine something between Depeche Mode's "Some Great Reward" and Dorian's "La Ciudad Subterranea") accompanied by the familiar plaintive vocals of Leo should be the good intermediate POI for the one who's waiting for the next Nudozurdo release - but it's not good, in fact. It appears to be fucking good.
09. Guerrera "Mauna Loa"
A supergroup of sorts (Guerrera represents the members of the local Galician indie bands - such diverse as melodic indie/grunge-oriented Holywater or blackened crust/hardcore Ictus, for example), this band is the energy, the fury and the rampage all incapsulated and wrapped up in psychedelic/ sludge/ progressive thunderstorm.

08. I Am Dive "Wolves"
A total opposite to Guerrera, I Am Dive's new album is the quiet slowcore mixed with ambient IDM and dreampop, a perfect soundtrack to the lonely hours spent on the thin border between the reality and the dream.
07. Sr. Chinarro "Perspectiva Caballera"
In the 2010's Antonio Luque has come to the 'album per year' schedule. But despite the short interims between albums the last one contains some visible changes to the renowned musician's usual template. On his most recent work Antonio sounds like he was bitten by Bill Callahan. So, "Perspectiva Caballera" is the most cohesive album in Sr. Chinarro's history - and probably the saddest one.
06. Niños Mutantes "El Futuro"
(p)Ernie Producciones
Though "Las Noches de Insomnio" and "Naufragos" contained some truly great songs, but they did not work for me as albums. So "El Futuro" is their first album in years which contains some great songs and works very well as a whole.
05. Sidonie "Sierra Y Canada"
The best bittersweet pop album of the year. "These songs surely will make sing and dance along and get stuck in your head for [at least] months", I wrote 8 months ago. And now I must admit that it works just like I predicted.
04. Poomse "Vs.The Kingdom Of Death"
With two albums in Top10 and absolutely fantastic Karen Koltrane short album, Barcelona-based Foehn Records is the 'Champion of All Indie Labels' in 2014. The Poomse's album was the first released by Foehn this year - in the very beginning of February, so this album follows me all the year through. With the songs like "Empty Sea", "August, 2011" and especially "Daily Bread" it's the best companion for the old school indie rock fan like me. 

понедельник, 8 декабря 2014 г.

The Best Of 2014. Albums 11 - 20

20. Yani Como "Tu Ninca Te Aburres"
(p)Art Of Troya
With every next album (this one is sixth) my Persons Of The Year (I suppose they know why I call them so) become better and better - just like good DO Ribera del Duero wine.
19. Tania De Sousa "Tania Tank"
(p)Talka Records
With the ideological help of Fermin Muguruza and the full throttle guitar support of Correos' frontman Fermin Bouza this Pais Vasco native punk girl creates the melodic monument to the feminine power.

P.S. "She's the model and she's looking good..."
18. Proyecto Solaz "Homeoextasis"
Named after the Lagartija Nick song "Solaz", the six-piece from Almeria released their first album in the very end of 2013. 9 noisy nervous restless tracks of experimental alternative rock with the perfect 'from intimate to earcrushing' vocals of Maria Martinez and Standstill-like rhythmical structures.
17. El Columpio Asesino "Ballenas Muertas En San Sebastian"
(p)Mushroom Pillow
Misanthropic electro-punk from the Pamplona-born post punk quintet - as cold and icy as Baffin's Island and as friendly and cheerful as an iceberg that crashed Titanic. 
You have longed for the next "Toro"? - Haha.
16. Puma Pumku "Is It In You?"
The impressive first long play (produced by the members of Triangulo de Amor Bizarro) from the Galician psychedelic quintet is the reign of echoes, reverb, detached vocals and old-school dreampop-drenched instrumentation.
15. Sin Rumbo "LUZ"
The band on the verge of 'making it', Madrid-based Sin Rumbo have changed the direction before releasing their most ambitious project yet. But despite the genre-bending metamorphoses "LUZ" could star as a perfect example of how to change the ways and methods without losing your face.
14. Carmen Boza "La Mansion De Los Espejos"
"Gran artista y mejor persona. No, en serio; hago canciones" says the bandcamp page of Carmen Boza. Her album is a true gem of the semi-acoustic folk songs and 'a girl and a guitar and a tiny backing band' template. All the 11 songs here are absolutely fantastic.
13. Velcro "Hojalata"
(p)El Hombre Bala
The great collection of re-recorded and re-produced early tracks of the Canarian leftfield electrorock outfit. As I said earlier in the beginning of this year, "Hojalata" is full of great tunes and catchy choruses and happiness for everyone who's into the post-shoegaze alternative dance rock. Since then my opinion has not changed.

12. Blusa "¡Toca Breakbeat, Perro!"
(p)Sello Salvaje
The best feature that "Toca Breakbeat, Perro!" wears on its sleeves - and that makes this wordless album so exciting - is the four musicians' outstanding three-dimensional thinking and the ability to construct the compositions with almost architecturally detailed use of the sound space.
11. Las Ruinas "Toni Bravo"
(p)El Genio Equivocado
These tracks may seem simple enough but the truth is they are so perfectly constructed that could work even without vocals ("Ultimo Tren" as a proof) said I a month ago. Like Blusa, this post punk trio also has an exceptional three-dimensional creative vision - but they use it in another way: instead of creating the slowly evolving soundscapes they make 2 minutes long songs with equally fine results.

пятница, 5 декабря 2014 г.

The Best Of 2014. Albums 21 - 30

30. Yes I M "Vietnam"
The extremely catchy lo-fi 'bedroom indietronica' from Chinese Christmas Cards' singer Mario Gutierrez Brun.

29. Cosmen Adelaida "La Foto Fantasma"
(p)El Genio Equivocado
The young quintet from El Genio Equivocado's roster plays nugaze-oriented twee-tinged indie rock - a Spanish 'hi-five' to The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart.

28. Breis "Verna"
(p)Sweet Song
The new album of Manolo Breis is a bit calmer than his two previous works "Asuntos Pendientes" and "Invisibles", but "Verna" definitely is a grower - and now I hardly can imagine my year 2014 without it.

27. Mourn "Mourn"
The teen four-piece genetically related to Ramon "The New Raemon" Rodriguez (two chicks in Mourn are his daughters) plays homage to Sleater-Kinney and PJ Harvey with love and sincerety.

26. Bel Bee Bee "Still Unstirred"
(p)The Note Company
This debut disc of Belen Alvarez Doreste is detailed, deep and dreamy example of the intelligent mix of trip-hop and folk. A good pack of features to fit in this Top30.

25. Grises "Animal"
Grises go loud adding the elements of djent and rave to the standard electrorock plate.
24. Supersubmarina "Viento De Cara"
Far more catchy than "Santacruz", "Viento de Cara" puts indie-goes-major superstars Supersubmarina back on the "Electroviral" track.
23. Cuello "Modo Eterno"
(p)BCore Disc
The post-hardcore quartet's second effort in two years is a raw, fast and sarcastic fireball you can't stand against.

22. Modelo De Respuesta Polar "El Cariño"
(p)Limbo Starr
Less shoegaze and more folky than "Asi Pasen Cinco Anos", the sophomore release shows the wider spectre of this Valencian band's talents.
21. Havoc "Lo Saben Los Narvales"
The ideal pop music for the ideal world.

среда, 3 декабря 2014 г.

The Best Of 2014. Albums 31 - 33

Dulce Pajara de Juventud "Triumph"
(p)BCore Disc
It seems like they decided to be the Spanish The Spiritualized and started to implement the 'wall of sound' methods and elements of soul music. Sometimes it sounds really great, but overall this album is a bit 'too much' for me.

Ruin Man Band "Paraiso"
(p) Ruin Records
Strange but undeniably pleasing, this record came from Canary islands. Imagine acid jazz mixed with dirty guitars, dancehall chants, funky rhythms and lush (mostly winds) orchestrations - and you'll get an approximate impression of "Paraiso".

Is "El Duelo"
(p)Limbo Starr
Isabel Leon has produced her second effort via Limbo Starr nine years after the first disc "Istochnikov" was put out. It is very beautifully crafted indie pop album. It is delicate, it is cinematic, it is twee.

вторник, 2 декабря 2014 г.

Lo Mejor del Ano - EPes y mini-albumes/ Best of 2014 - EP's & mini-albums

Before I start revealing my annual Top30 list of the best Spanish albums I'd like to present to you the teaser. So please find below my list of Top10 EP's - in no particular order (with Karen Koltarne as winner anyway):

Karen Koltrane "Plantas De Interior" 
(p)Foehn Records
This is the classic Foehn album - intelligent, warm and thinkful. The say they play synth pop. I'd rather say Karen Koltrane (the name of this four piece only seems to be the name of a single person - and there are no females in the band either) play something like trip-hop for smartasses. The slow motion beats, the melodies that evolve in minutes, the pure electronica and lo-fi ambient. The album was recorded as a pack of demos. But if these songs are demos - what would be their high fidelity?
And as a classic Foehn record - "Plantas de Interior" is a piece of heaven for every vinyl junkie.

El Viejo Astra "Estudio Dos" 
(p)El Hombre Bala
The Canarians El Viejo Astra somehow call this album an EP. I don't know why cos it's 35 minutes long, and there are many albums of shorter lenghts which are long plays. But if they want to call it an EP - let it be. Who am I to argue with the creators? The music here is full of the layers of foggy psychedelia, and it also contains thick analogue noise and timeless melodies galore. The bastard child of ELO and Medicine (or Spacemen 3). 
Kasparov vs Deep Blue "E.P." 
The band whose name reminds the battle of the greatest Russian chess champion of Azerbaijan origin Garry Kasparov with one of the first chess-trained supercomputers named Deep Blue plays alternative rock that flows from post-rock to post-grunge with Dredg as a main transit hub.
The great guitar sound and depression flowing directly into your blood system. The song "Big Eyes" is one of the best songs of the year.
baden bah! "futuro/a"
I've already spread my opinion on this cool album HERE
Doctor Lobo "Reiniciar"
Honestly speaking, I know nothing about this band from Valencia. I have picked this mini album from their bandcamp at random and found it very interesting. Stylistically they have something in common with the band Neuman, I suppose - it seems like they also did not make the final decision on what exact genre to play. But despite the stylistic uncertainty the songs are good, and their singer really can sing.
Nixon "Alter Ego" 
The music of this a bit psychedelic indie rock band from Almeria can remind you of Second at times.
Nixon exist from 2006 and "Alter Ego" is not their first release (in fact it's second), so the issues of 'the first attempt at writing' are hardly present here - all 6 songs on this EP sound very professionally composed and recorded.

Dulce Pajara de Juventud "Faithful Songs"
(p)BCore Disc
The provocative cover hides only three songs on this EP - but all these tracks are great.
The first "Evelyn Fuck Machine" is a killer hit. The next "Faithful Song" contains at least six non-cycled melodic progressions in the range between noise rock and chamber pop. The closing song "Benjamin" is a calmer track that fits good for the purpose of a classic closing track. The great appetizer before the full lenght.

Apenino "Viravolta"
(p)Jabalina Musica
This is the classic Jabalina Musica release - intelligent, warm and thinkful - but not in the same way as Foehn's classic releases. The project of Marco Maril (who hides himself under Apenino moniker), one of the core artists of Jabalina, delivers the smooth and intimate electronica-based indie pop that fits best for the sad smiles and quiet minutes of the pairs newly in love.

Mi Pequena Radio "Mono"
(p)Audiomatic/Sony ATV/EMI Publishing
Another pack of great songs from David Tabuena. Recording now as a full band, my personal favourites Mi Pequena Radio show the signs of the creative growth and growing ambitions on this tiny EP. Godspeed you, chicos!

Walden Dos "La Distancia Indolora"
This Madrid-based formation plays music which is obscure, powerful, colourful, loud and melodic. It incorporates the elements of trip hop, old school psychedelia, shoegaze, and krautrock standing in a couple of steps from electro-industrial.