Montevideo has been doing pure pop since 2002, when Manu and Damiana decided to leave other projects and concentrate on this group, that to date has an extended career of five albums, three published under the label Jabalina Música: “Ella y Él” (ep 2005), “Transoceánico” (cd 2006), “Cuando Miramos al Sur” (cd 2008) and two LP released with El Genio Equivocado, “Vértigo y Euforia” (2010) and “El Año del Dragón” (2012).
Montevideo’s family has been growing from the initial duo to a quartet today. These and other changes made them took new sonic directions ending a chapter and their “transoceanic” trilogy. Then, with renewed energy, new ideas and new label, the group sought for their own space with songs ready for live shows and stages, with a band more cohesive than ever. In 2012, their 10th anniversary as a band, came “El Año del Dragón“, their most refined and balanced work to date, full of fast melodies, guitars and upbeat keyboards, rhythms full of melancholy and celebration and, above all, pop songs in all its glory. Manu, Damiana, Alexis and Miguel are more synchronized than ever, with a more polished, homogenous and mature sound, ready to captivate audiences.
Odio París are Víctor (guitar, vocals), Oscar (guitar, vocals), Marcel (moog and keyboards), Jaume (drums) and Alex (bass). They have become the flagship of the new national shoegaze, being considered by many as the national response to the lo-fi new wave coming from NY, and by others as the natural heirs of noise pop traditionally done in our country. After their “Demo #1“, one of the most buzzed unofficial debuts in recent years, in 2011 arrived a debut LP that has propelled them to another, much hyped, sphere. The press praised “Odio París” (El Genio Equivocado, 2011) as one of the most striking debuts of the year, appearing in countless best-of lists of 2011 in and out of Spain, including a nomination to “Best New Group” in the UFI Spain awards and as “Best Band” in Mexico IMAS (with bands like El Columpio Asesino, Dorian or El Guincho).
Odio Paris have one of the strongest live shows that can be heard today in Spain, and we can safely be said that this is one of the most promising bands nationwide. Melodies infected in feedback and reverb, gold indierock, C-86 style, but in Spanish. Fame awaits the Spanishgazers!
Behind this curious name -one of the best characters from The Simpsons show- are Halldór Már (vocals, guitar), Marc Miralles (Bass), Dani Barrera (drums) and Marc Molas (vocals, guitar). Formed in late 2009 when Julio Salvador (left the band this year) and Halldór Már decided to embark on a new musical project with the goal of fulfilling their dream of someday making a living from music. After a couple of changes on their line-up, Wiggum recorded their debut LP, “Sintón Nisón ama a Nifú Nifá” a year later. The independent critics’ praise, signing with El Genio Equivocado and touring extensively followed until 2012, when they decided to re-lock at the studio and challenge themselves. The result is their second album, “La Guerra Mundial” out in April 2013, a shift towards guitar-driven rock, leaving aside the 60s to embrace and channel the spirit of 90s alternative music. A sea of distortion and intertwined melodies from a band finally acknowledging influences from early Oasis, Nirvana, Smashing Pumpkins and the more melodic punk. A gigantic step forward, judging by singles like the anthems “Amarillo“, “El Caminar” o “Eterna Juventud”.
The term “Burrito Panza” refers to the phenomenon, so common in the Canary Islands, which is characterized by a low cloud ceiling and misty and gray surroundings. Behind this peculiar name there’s a trio responsible for some of the best moments of Spanish music in latest years: Carlos Cuevas, Jose Manuel Mora and Carlos Flan from historic groups like Surfin ‘Bichos, Mercromina, Travolta and Alienistas of Fernando Alfaro. After signing with El Genio Equivocado the project was first materialized in 2011 with digital single “Tu lado Salvaje“, followed that same year by the LP “Solo y Mal Acompañado“, highly praised by critics, saluted as a much needed breath of fresh air based on simplicity, classicism and luminosity. His long awaited new LP, “Una familia desestructurada” is expected to arrive in February 2014.
Can you mix British pop with French chanson, Americana and some experimentation without being indigestible? Can you recall bands like The Beautiful South and Stereolab at the same time? This impressive quartet hailing from Las Palmas de Gran Canaria can, gracefully. Formed in 2008 by Daniel Machin (vocals and acoustic guitar), Cristina Santana (vocals and percussion), Alby Ramirez (guitars and vocals) and Sergio Miró (drums, vocals), after winning, in 2009, the nationwide Heineken Greenspace contest, they signed with El Genio Equivocado and released their S/T debut album in 2011, which included the participation of Rami Jaffee (founding member of The Wallflowers and Foo Fighters keyboardist), keyboardist Roger Manning (Beck, Air) and New York singer Dayna Kurtz (which has a stunning a duet with Dani in the single “Frappuccino Lovers”). Mixing and editing was also equally done by expert hands, with people like John Agnello (Patti Smith, Roger Waters, Lemonheads) and Greg Calbi (Bruce Springsteen, Lenny Kravitz, U2, John Lennon, Lou Reed, Ramones, Iggy Pop).
In this 2013 they are back with their sophomore release, “Châteaux en Espagne“, out since February, again with previous collaborators like Rami Jaffe, and new ones like Chris Carmichael (Alison Krauss, Josh Rouse, Chuck Prophet) on the strings arrangements. Classy, diverse and colorful indiepop, which in a final advice you shouldn’t miss live if you have the chance.
Cosmen Adelaida began in early 2009 in Madrid, when Elisa Pérez (drums, vocals), Javier Egea (guitar, vocals) and Nacho de la Hoz (guitar, vocals) met at the only bar in Madrid that closes late and does not charge entry. The quintet, after the departure of Bea and Marcos in 2013 is completed with Luis Fernandez and Juventud Juché. During their initial demo phase, they played almost every venue in Madrid and participated in several contests nationwide, being finalists at Contempopranea Festival 2010 and Project demo FIB 2011. After two EPs in 2009 and 2010, in 2011 they signed with El Genio Equivocado, releasing their mini-album “7 Picos” later that year, a unique pop kaleidoscope ranging from gorgeous twee-pop (irresistible girl-boy vocals) to creeping guitars on a grunge style, to synths and loops recalling Stereloab. The excellent reviews helped them to play at the best Festivals in Spain, like Primavera Sound, FIB or Contempopránea. Their second LP is scheduled for 2014.
Grushenka are a noise-pop group from Barcelona, currently formed by Xavi (vocals and guitar), Joan (who replaced Erik on bass), Laia (keyboards) and Enric (drums). Born in mid- 2010, after publishing in November 2011 their debut EP “Grushenka“, with which got rave reviews, in June 2012 his long awaited first album was released. “Técnicas Subversivas”, recorded and produced at Xavi’s home, but mastered at Golden California Studios (Sonic Youth, Girls, Japandroids) confirmed all the expectations. Fuelled by the anthemic single “Ese Gran Lunar de Tu Espalda” (which included an exclusive cover of New Order’s “Ceremony” on vinyl), the record is a mind-blowing blend of 90s shoegaze and pop, recalling seminal bands like Los Planetas, Ride or The Smiths. Distortion, dissonance and instantly catchy pop melodies for one of the most exciting bands on the Spanish music scene. We couldn’t be more eager to hear their next step, expected for early 2014.
New to heavy-pop? Not for long. Las Ruinas are Eduardo Chirinos (vocals, guitar), Jaime Bertrán (bass and vocals), and Toni López (drums) and were born in Barcelona in 2008. After a home demo called “Lecciones de Submarinismo“, selected among the best of the year in Catalonia by Mondosonoro magazine, the group recorded and self-released two albums, “Butano” in 2010, and “Disco de Autoayuda para Mutantes” in 2011, gaining the appreciation of local underground scene and national press. Thanks to the growing buzz, that same year they signed with El Genio Equivocado, reissuing both LPs on a double CD that December. In October of 2012 they released their third album, “Groarrr!” and following the same path of live, without retouches and much production on the recording process, their latest LP, entitled “Acidez House” is about to come out this December. As mentioned, they define their music style as heavy-pop, which we can summarize with a simple but exciting equation: punk-pop + humor & surrealism + liveness + fun= Las Ruinas. Roar with them!
Is it possible to mix the singer-songwriter tradition with power pop, psychedelia or noise? Yes it is. So, is it possible to greet Yo la Tengo and Spiritualized, while winking an eye to Roy Orbison and even John Coltrane? Yes, it is too. And all that with melodies that you can sing in the shower? Yes, of course. And with lyrics that actually are substantial? Yes indeed!
Hans Laguna is a musician from Barcelona who began his career in 2006 with El Hombre Teórico. Since then, Hans has had time, among other things, to form a band, perform at a geriatric, launch the EP “Hans Laguna y la Sintaxis”, compose music for various plays, have an experimental project with the poet Albert Balasch, organize an acoustic music festival or collaborate in the tribute to Julio Bustamante. “Primeras Marcas”, his expected LP debut, came out during the summer of 2011. In October 2013 he came back with “Oteiza” a sonic experiment honoring the Basque sculptor. His second album is expected for January 2014. A cult author on the making.
Blacanova was born in late 2005 and its current line-up includes Manuel Begines, Pepe Fernandez, Cristian Bohorquez, Ines Olalla, Armando Jimenez and Paco Arenas. His career began with the EPs “Monja” (2007), “Perro” (2008) and “Madre” (2009), achieving immediate attention from critics. Dark, dense, hypnotic or noisy are the adjectives most used to review these early works, with influences from early The Cure, Sr. Chinarro or 90s shoegaze like Ride, Slowdive or My Bloody Valentine. In 2010 the band released its first album with Foehn Records, homonymously entitled “Blacanova”. Described as one of the most original and interesting in the national indie scene, the LP is considered one of the best albums of the year. The pillars of the band’s sound are two. Lyrics that deal with the bleak, macabre, and at the same time show the hilarious deformation of day-to-day life. And a musical discourse grounded in vocal play, layers of reverb, distortion and elaborate rhythmic patterns that fluctuates between slow melodic developments and powerful bursts of intensity. The band has also released songs with other international labels such as Series Two Records or Slanty Shanty, and has appeared on various compilations published by media as RockdeLux, Go Mag.
In 2012, already with El Genio Equivocado, came sophomore LP “¿Cómo Ve el Mundo un Caballo?“, that was mastered by Kenny MacLeod (Mogwai, Chemical Underground), which now has a follow-up in the form of “Regiones Devastadas”, out since March 2015, and preceded by the advance single “La Soga”. Another firm step towards a unique take on shoegazing, dream pop, post-punk packed with dark humour and a bleak way of understanding life.
The Mequetrefe project begins in 2007 in Santiago de Compostela and they are: Xan (guitar, drums and voice), Noel (guitar, bass), Campini (guitar, bass) and Gerardo (synthesizer, sampler). In 2008 they recorded two demos for Alg-a netlabel and reaching the semifinals of the FIB Festival Demo contest. In May 2010 they released their first EP “Play Of”, with a collaboration from Florent, Los Planetas guitarist in the song “Bomba Navarro“, which received excellent reviews in and out of Spain. The next step would arrive with the digital single “Kill All Indies” in 2012, after which they signed with El Genio Equivocado, publishing the EP “A Serious Band”, the single “Orange“, and finally, their second album “Gobi”, out now. A unique sound where rock, pop, electronic, psychedelia, shoegaze and dub coexist, sometimes even in the same song, Mequetrefe’s music will recall you to The Beta Band, The Sabres of Paradise, The Flaming Lips, Spiritualized and My Bloody Valentine in songs where electronic drums, shoegaze guitars, dub trumpets, delay feedbacks, Martian voices and atmospheric sounds live in harmony. A sonic universe of their own.
Les Sueques are Blanca (bass, vocals), Tuixén (guitar), Rachel (keyboards, other instruments) and Pau (drums, ex Tokyo Sex Destruction). Coming from Barcelona, they debuted in 2011 with “Les Sueques” EP on Repetidor Discs, a release that surprised everyone by their dose of dark and hypnotic music. After signing with El Genio Equivocado, their debut album, “Cremeu les Perles” appeared that March. Pop-punk reminiscent to groups like The Velvet Underground or The Fall, with a twisted, sardonic side, sharp guitar lines, heavy rhythms, 60s keyboards, and loads of fun and promise. Carefree & homemade riot-grrrls with a bunch of addictive tunes and a peculiar sense of humour (proceed with care when you read the lyrics). A work that exuded openness, light, sorrow and rage. Arty post-punk female. On the last months of 2014, “Ara és aquí”, an advance single of their second album, “Educació Física”, was published, with the LP arriving some weeks later. More powerful songs, distorted basslines, sharp guitars and sweet voices, offering 13 tunes that oscillate between post-punk, pop, krautrock and garage rock with a very personal idiosyncrasy and lyrics full of irony. A more mature and stylistically diverse effort without losing their riot grrrl touch or their characteristic social commentary.
From Porto but based in Barcelona, this fully international group is the project of Vasco Batista. Technically it started in 2008, when Vasco got together with drummer Simon Mille, but it wasn’t until late 2011, when bassist Shorn Keld joined them, that things got serious. The delicious “Morning Sun” came out in 2012, creating some “blogosphere” buzz. Now a quartet after recruiting Robert, the momentum got the attention of El Genio Equivocado, signing them and officially releasing the single in early 2013. Quickly afterwards came an EP entitled “Bone and Arrow“, five brilliant pills devoted to the 90’s, echoing Real Estate and Yuck, showing the great promise of the combo. And since the end of October we can enjoy “Everything Is Going to Be Ok”, a debut album where all expectations are confirmed. Diverse, shiny, warm and summery pop-rock pills showing Vasco Batista’s stunning talents.
Born as Victor Algora’s personal project in the summer of 2004, his first two demos, “Planes de Verano” and “Cosas del Star System” were finalists and winners in some demo competitions (Foc & Sound, Demo Project, Contempopranea) and after several months of gigs, his first official release saw the light of day: a promotional EP including covers of two of his most acclaimed tunes: “Planes de Verano” and “Mr High Heels“. In 2006 he signed with label Dress For Excess, releasing the LP “Planes de Verano” (DFE Records, 2007) and “Nubes Blancas, Sueños Raros” (DFE Records/PIAS, 2008), a remixes/covers CD. In 2010 Javier Castellanos, Nacho Carpejo and Rafa Casquel join the project releasing their third album, “Galimatías”, an LP based on guitars, where electronics becomes more ornamental, and the lyrics are more oblique and intimate. In 2012, now as a proper group, they prepared a self-defined disc of rarities, “El Cadáver Copulador”, basically a collection of instrumentals resulting from experimentation and the beginner’s creative freedom. Meanwhile, also in 2012, they created the songs of “Verbena“, album that came out on May of this year, under their new label El Genio Equivocado. The album has had a breakthrough theme, “La Era Punk“, (with video included) with the collaboration of Marina from Klaus & Kinski. Another single, “No Bailes”, and another video clip, for the tune “Terrorismo“, has followed.
They are from Murcia and Jaén, but we can’t offer many more details about them. We know they must be a boy and a girl (named Lena and Sema), but as two dogs always appear in their videos, we are left wondering whether or not they are part of this combo. In their tunes they have exceptional collaborators with members from El Estudiante Larry, Perro or The Yellow Melodies, Alex from Klaus & Kinski, Jota from Los Planetas … Murciano Total have been presenting regularly their songs in an individual form, always accompanied by amazing videos. “El Rey Caníbal” closed the list of demos that they have been created and will appear along with a cover that is on the works. A forthcoming cassette collecting all those songs will appear on December 5, with an official release following well into 2014.