Ritmos Kraut!

r0MgvkgwIwNnIXGCA_UilZuJc-QE4yjPOin0YSz-BskGoing off all Hispanic again…

Siesta!

If Vainica Doble could be filed under “Spanish but Good”, Siesta! would go under “Good but Spanish” (entirely different), and are actually a new band, doing it now…

I’ve written about Siesta! before, here in fact, just before one of our Spanish jaunts, and I think I put them on my Secret Santa CD last year. They’re a Valenciano band with strong motoric tendencies, and have just released their second record, Fuerza de Gravidad Absoluta, on the ever-wonderful Sonido Muchacho label.

Their first record, Terroruterino, I liked a lot, but this one is even better. At just six tracks it might look a little thin, but with the first two of them over the 8-minute mark, and three of the other four being near five minutes, you certainly do get your money’s worth. Spanish press are describing the sound as being full of “ritmos kraut y pro-industriales” or (even better) “punk troglotrónico” which pretty much tells you what you need to know.

My favourite track, “Montador de Bicicletas” wanders back and forth for over ten minutes of electronic psych, as do other tracks on the record, taking in all sorts of spacy beats, synth jiggery-pokery and relentless German-infused hammering. If you’ve enjoyed any of the Mugstar releases of recent, or have the odd Hawkwind album buried on your hard-drive, you might just like this…

Many strangers have arrived, wearing immense black boots, selling buttons at my door, I don’t feel well

f23ee6be4059db716502c71ea3433326Once again the earnest souls of @lpgrp have organised a Secret Santa exchange of Best of ’14 tracks to share with each other. I enjoy this and it’s always interesting to hear new endorsements but I have to admit that this year I threw mine together in a bit of a hurry, having not got myself organised earlier and for a number of reasons I’m not entirely happy with it.

Probably the biggest gripe I have with myself is that although the brief was to compile it from “new to you” tracks rather than bona fide released-in-the-last-12-months stuff, there really isn’t much new stuff here. I can’t decide whether this is because 2014’s not been a great year for new releases or whether this year I’ve been more easily distracted than usual. I suspect it’s a large slice of both.

This is one of the reasons I’ve not clambered into the whole seasonal gongs business this year – I haven’t really bought a lot of new stuff (neither have I seen a lot of live music, for that matter…) – and so I feel a little out of touch. All in all, I reckon the tracks by Mogran Delt, Doug Tuttle, the Delines, Siesta! and Tigres Leones are about the only brand new stuff on the collection. The tracks by White Fence, Courtney Barnett and Speedy Ortiz are new-ish but the rest is, I’m afraid, all old. Some of it really old (the Trio Matamoros song is from the forties, I think).

But anyway, here, in all its glory:

Secret Santa ’14 – @Sweeny99

  1. Pink Gorilla – White Fence
  2. Make My Grey Brain Green – Morgan Delt
  3. Save My Soul – Wimple Winch
  4. 1906 – The West Coast Pop Art Experimental Band
  5. Millionspiel – Can
  6. Bat Macumba – Os Mutantes
  7. Muevéla – Abelardo Carbonó
  8. Jam 5 Kai Thiet – Ros Serey Sothea
  9. Lam Tung Wai – Chaweewan Dumnem
  10. Buenos Hermanos – Trio Matamoros
  11. Avant Gardener – Courtney Barnett
  12. Colfax Avenue – the Delines
  13. Erusu Nganga – The Sweet Talks
  14. Ya Mom Samaray – Guelewar
  15. Bocata de Sangre – Siesta!
  16. Pájaros – Tigres Leones
  17. With Us Soon – Doug Tuttle
  18. No below – Speedy Ortiz

Having said all this, you’ll love it – some psych, some afrobeat, some garage punk, some Spanish new wave – but particularly worth noting are tracks 8 and 9 which I’ve taken from a couple of fabulous Cambodian and Siamese compilations by Parallel World and by the consistently brilliant Soundway Records.

If you don’t fancy any of it, I understand, it’s OK – we can still be friends. Although, I would urge you to listen at least to the Trio Matamoros track which features Cuba’s greatest singer Beny Moré and is just magnificent. It also includes a really wild piano break which sounds like it finishes in some sort of plane crash (around the 2:30 mark).

 

I was going to leave it there, but I think it’s worth mentioning that while I may not have spent much time on new releases, 2014 has not been a waste of time entirely. It is after all the year when I finally discovered the West Coast Pop Art Experimental Band, surely the weirdest of a weird crop.

“1906” is certainly as odd a song as anything I heard this year and I can’t help thinking 2015 will have to be a very strange one indeed to throw up anything like this…

 

Here’s to more strangeness!

¡Bocata de sangre! ¡Bocata de sangre!

Archivo-adjunto-al-mensaje-620x403Well, Spain was a lot of fun, but regrettably it’s been gone for a couple of weeks now. I would’ve been back on here earlier but I’ve been sprawled open-mouthed in front of the World Cup rushed off my feet with work.

Valencia was my favourite of the cities we visited and I could go on about it for a while given the chance. Suffice to say it’s a beautiful city with a lovely green river-bed park running through the heart of it. And there’s a fair few more-than-decent record shops where a so-minded tourist can easily lose a few hours… My favourite one was Discos Amsterdam which as well as having your standard Indie, Psych, Metal sections, was also well-stocked with Spanish and Latin American records. I spent a happy couple of hours there and met owner Juan who was patient with my Spanish and was politely surprised that I listened to his podcast.

Siesta!

As it turned out, the record I really wanted to buy by Valencia’s own krautrockers Siesta! had already sold out which was a shame. I’d done a little bit of prep before leaving for Spain (I think I wrote about it…) and was quite intrigued by what I’d heard on YouTube and Bandcamp. Turns out the vinyl record itself had only 300 pressings but the band have made the mp3s available on their Bandcamp page for free.

Woop!

It’s a cracker of a release as well – noisy, aggressive, full of energy. Siesta! are two Valencianos called Pepe and Jonathan who both play drums, keyboards and synths and are clearly big fans of synthy motorik sounds and a fair dollop of psychedelia. Not so many lyrics, but at least they’re all in Spanish (which I kind of approve of).

 

Rather charmingly, Siesta! describe themselves as “losers” and “two pissed off monkeys with drumsticks”. More specifically, there’s the aforementioned nods toward Neu and Can, but there’s actually quite a lot of scampering post-punk lines that I can hear too, some Cure, some Bunnymen – not my favourite references these days, but it all kinda works. It all makes for quite a nervy, adrenaline fuelled listen, pretty much the direct opposite of a restful snooze in the afternoon…

 

[By the way, if you were wondering, a “bocata” is apparently a sandwich made with French bread…]