Posts Tagged ‘Bcnmp7’

Zeidun: 15 years hiding talent

May 7th, 2014 1 Comment

Zeidun © Oriol Escarmis

For years we have accepted it with total normality, as if it were intrinsic to them, but it is not, nor is it habitual, or common, or anything remotely like that. Perhaps because we had never paused to analyse it. It was so evident that we were looking at extremely talented people, that we never considered it. But at the time we couldn’t see it, perhaps some intuited it, but we doubt that anyone would dare to put their hand up and admit, heatedly, that they knew what would happen later.

We are at the start of this century and the venue might be a gaztetxe in Pamplona, or a piece of land in La Roca, or the Sant Feliu Fest, it doesn’t matter. Five twenty-year olds on the stage. T-shirts featuring Swedish hardcore bands, and low-slung trousers, incredibly low-slung trousers. Some tattered Vans and everything sounds out of synch, a disastrous racket. Their lyrics talk about our lot, it is the moment and the era, there is no alternative but to bring out all their adolescent fury in those songs. That’s their way. Ours is standing below, with a raised fist and a sweaty body while we sing them all: “Every song I play, every word I say, everything I do, all my acts are just for you”. The notes of “Galactic” and the five lads that destroy it live are called Zeidun, like the dog of their mate in Sant Celoni. And they are the best group in the world, even though they don’t seem to be, even though it would take us years to know that they are.

But time has shown that yes, they were the best. That behind that band that didn’t stand out, that lived in the most extreme anti-pretentiousness, there were, precisely, brutally inspirational people. How can one define, if not, Dalmau Boada? Restless, experimental, ingenious and good, stunningly good. “Mau” has made “cult” groups like someone going out to buy a loaf of bread. But in the year 2000, when recording Oceane with Zeidun, we probably wouldn’t have given a cent for the drummer of that group of kids from the Montseny. Well we should have, because that lad who looked like he’d just come out of the jungle went on to form Omega V, and later Les Aus, and after that Esperit! And these are bands that have changed the game rules of the music scene in Catalonia. Or Joan Colomo, who formed, together with Mau, La Célula Durmiente. Have you ever known a band that was bigger fun? I haven’t. You would see Colomo fall off the stage with Zeidun because of the amount of beers in his blood, but later they ended up recruiting him to form part of The Unfinished Sympathy, probably the most outstanding indy-rock band that has ever existed in this country. And while the years passed, he made songs, songs that one day came to light in solo, and it turned out that they so good that he gets calls from all over the place and everyone knows who he is. But hadn’t we agreed that he was just the vocalist with four notes and long hair heading up Zeidun? Even my mom knows who Colomo is.

Xavi, the bass guitarist, has been less active, during the last decade “all” he has done has been to form part of a group called Els Surfing Sirles, that’s “all”. Els Surfing Sirles were the best, but you already know that. Candid, the two-meter giant who played keyboard, has formed so many bands that they can’t be written on three pages. This is not an opinion, it is not conditional, it is real information, because we’ve seen it with our own eyes. Now he can be seen playing with Murnau B and Autodestrucció, but recently he was the headline drummer with Joan Pons of El Petit de Cal Eril. Albert Trabal played guitar and trumpet with Zeidun, and also did so in a pile of bands such as Rain Still Falling and, later, with L’Orquestra de Sant Celoni.

Probably when they all played together, they never showed us their real potential. Excuse the expression, but that band was just the tip. Sufficient for us to look back now and, finally, start to defend their previous and subsequent work and, above all, their work as Zeidun. An emo-core band full of exciting and fantastic moments. Here and now, it’s the right time to thank them for everything they’ve given us with their multiple names, with all their faces. This is the feedback that they never received and, undoubtedly, they deserve, for so many great nights and great days rounded off by their songs.

On 15 May 2014 Gentnormal and La Fonoteca Barcelona have programmed It’s killing me but I like it: A genealogy of Zeidun for the third session of #BCNmp7. The session will consist of performances by Zeidun and by many of these bands: Joan Colomo – who has just released a new disc, Els Surfing Sirles – revived for the occasion, Esperit!, La Célula Durmiente, Autodestrucció, L’orquestra de Sant Celoni, Murnau B and Omega V). In addition, there will be screenings of small documentary capsules about the musicians and free distribution of a fanzine and a CD that cover this “genealogy”. On Monday 12 May in the afternoon we will be giving out 5×2 free admission tickets via our Twitter account @CCCBmusica, all you need to do is answer a question.

The Industrial / New Wave scene in Barcelona in perspective

April 8th, 2014 No Comments

The Spanish transition represented a very important sea-change for the state’s political and social structure. Among other transformations, a new democratic system was established, which brought with it an unashamed opening-up towards a new way of understanding and making culture. A new generation of young artists faced a challenge previously impossible to imagine: breaking away from the old “clichés”, dismantling the old traditions associated with an oppressive regime and discovering the infinite possibilities that this new social context could offer them.

In parallel, during the late 1970s and early 1980s, in the most “underground” spheres of the music world, an explosion of creativity took place that in retrospect seems evident to me. One of the determining factors was, most probably, the introduction of the synthesiser into the “global” market: a new generation of electronic instruments were sold in specialist shops, and at prices now affordable for the general public. This meant, among many other things, that it was no longer necessary to join up with other musicians to form a band, or go to a recording studio to record a demo, or know how to play guitar to produce a song, or depend exclusively on a record label to release a record. Electronics were within everyone’s reach, punk was almost exhausted and something similar to a “new music” appeared from nowhere, or so it seemed.

New artists, new sounds… although they reached Barcelona in dribs and drabs, they showed a new way of making, understanding and above all listening to music that was total innovation; groups such as UltravoxJoy DivisionKraftwerkTuxedomoonHuman League and so many others, incorporated among their instruments devices such as synthesisers, rhythm boxes and other electronic contraptions with a futuristic aesthetic that captivated many young people who were disenchanted and bored of always listening to the same music… And their discourse, close to the punk movement though more introspective or intellectual, fitted in perfectly with the everyday reality of this generation. We find ourselves in the midst of the Cold War, and the promises of a better world were now being discovered as the fallacies of an industrial society in decline. However, disillusionment was a widely extended feeling, especially among the younger generations. In short, a window opened up with infinite possibilities: a host of different, strange, and unknown sounds were available to disaffected young people who wanted to make a break with the past. And they didn’t need to be good musicians, or have a recording studio, or lots of money or even a minimum of musical knowledge; now they could do it.

An BCNmp7 to discover the new wave and industrial scene in Barcelona 

The aim of this session is to find out and understand a little better how the music scene in Barcelona assimilated this new paradigm: through three pioneering musicians from our city we want to find out what or who inspired them to break with “musical” conventions of the time and how they did it; their relationship and/or connection with other groups and record labels, how they organised their concerts, how they advertised their music, how the public reacted to this “new music”, their perception of the media and the general public towards these “new sounds”, what problems or difficulties they had to face to continue with their projects and, in short, how the introduction of these new electronic instruments led them to do something that, at that time, very few people were doing in Barcelona, and with the few people that were doing it often ignored.

These three artists will be:


Víctor Nubla: one of the most important figures in experimental music in our country. A multidisciplinary artist with an inquiring mind, he is a musician, theorist, essayist, and experimentation activist. A writer, ideologist, programmer, publisher, cultural agitator and the creator, together with Jun Crek, of one of the leading industrial music groups: Macromassa. His career is a fundamental part of the avant-garde scene of Barcelona over the last thirty years.

Gat: musician and founder of leading and pioneering bands in Barcelona such as Ultratruita and later New Buildings, the latter more part of the New Wave movement. He was also founder of the G3G record label in the late 1980s; a project that initially emerged to cover the void existing in the artistic sphere. It was totally committed to the music scene, while far removed from the more commercial canons of the era. Pascal Comelade, Jakob Draminsky, Oriol Perucho, Macromassa, Raeo (Mark Cunningham), Pau Riba, Juan Crek… these are just some of the names that among many others are listed in its wide-ranging catalogue.

J.J. Ibañez: Founder of Badalona-based group Kremlyn in the early 1980s and also a very active artist on Barcelona’s electronic scene in the early 1990s. Kremlyn was a band that could be considered as Technopop which, although not managing to record any albums, was very active between 1982 and 1986. Nowadays we can consider Kremlyn as one of the few Catalan music bands categorised in the Technopop style, especially from Barcelona, with a very genuine and interesting sound. Last year Domestica Records released one of its first live concerts, with a very warm welcome among the younger audience, and an LP with studio songs is planned for next year.

Immediately following this we can enjoy, for the first time in Barcelona, performances by two representatives and heirs of this “new” scene:


Tvnnel: A low and deep voice, acidic and nostalgic lyrics diluted in the coolness of programmed sounds and rhythms. TVNNEL was born in 2013 as a solo project by artist Tono Inglés (Polígono Hindú Astral, Roman skirts). Three synthesisers and a hardware sequencer submerge us in an underground tunnel, where dance and melancholy converge. Trying to move away from “revival” proposals, TVNNEL seeks new paths between electro, synth pop and industrial music. Machine coolness and human warmth combined in an interesting and personal proposal, with a musical idea and a staging that clearly seeks reduction, minimalism, and self-production.

Phillipe Laurent (France): plastic artist, musician, and designer active since the early 1980s, he now has a very extensive discography and audiovisual production and is one of the most internationally renowned names on the Minimal-Synth scene. Whether working with graphic codes or digital codes, plastic arts or music, Laurent’s focus and objective is always investigation into people’s perception of signs and symbols. As a multimedia artist, Laurent has always been an innovator, incorporating new technologies to compose graphic and music works. In the 1990s, his work achieved maximum dissemination with a series of concerts in France and Germany through the design of complex pieces that mixed different advanced techniques. His paintings or the illusory effect of typographies on a monochrome background raise a question regarding the relationship between signs and meanings. Philippe Laurent develops abstract ideograms, with the aim of never repeating the same figure twice, in the same way that the writing of a lost continent or of an original language was a code that preceded all other languages and has now been lost. This play on ambiguity sparks a fundamental question on the ontological status of written language in our western societies. Philippe Laurent has developed a wide-ranging personal study of the forms of the first symbols and letters that lead to the “sublimity” of an esoteric alphabet.

More information on the Facebook event:

An uncontrollable music

February 28th, 2014 1 Comment

By Sidewalk Bookings and Los Cuatro Cocos

“The complete cost of Smokescreen was 153 pounds. It was easy, it was cheap, go and do it! The medium may very well have been tedium but it’s changing fast. So if you can understand, go and join a band. Now it’s your turn”. That’s how Desperate Bicycles put it on the sleeve of their second single. It was an invitation to action, to form a group and just do it. Desperate Bicycles formed for the sole purpose of showing how easy it was: their first practice produced their first songs and a first single. It wasEngland, March 1977. The seed of punk sprouted lots of groups wanting to function on the fringes of the industry for vital and political as well as aesthetic reasons.

Self-management as a concept is older than the acronym DIY and is its basis: the anarchist idea of society that becomes aware and starts to construct its future, transforming the productive structure and managing it collectively with the participation of all of its constituent individuals. In disc form, this means taking part as a group, making your own decisions in all parts of the process, taking control of your art and what surrounds it, because the medium is also the message.


When the CCCB contacted us, we immediately knew what we wanted: to use this invitation to put on a concert that would be difficult to organize in any other way and try to show something of the music that brings together Sidewalk Bookings and Los Cuatro Cocos in a new context for groups and for us. Since BCNmp7 bases its sessions on themes, in our case it would be “the uncontrollable music” that unites us.

The first thing we did was find points of connection—an artist that either of us might programme—and organize the session around them. We also knew that we wanted something special which, above all, had to reflect our way of doing things, even in an unusual context like the Centre de Cultura Contemporània de Barcelona. All the options that came to mind were, in music terms, fairly aggressive, and all of them went with Una Bestia Incontrolable.

Una Bestia Incontrolable often play in Barcelona, but it’s not easy to get to see them as they’re an autonomous group on the fringes of the festival and venue circuits, with roots in a very specific scene though stylistically free. They started out from punk to expand and burn beyond punk or hardcore. It was they who suggested Pharmakon and Coàgul to share a session and collaborate with them: two projects with which they share roots but not necessarily a style. These roots go around the world, because the punk circuit is not a closed room. Collective management or mutual assistance stretches its tentacles far beyond the grey buildings of any given city. We’re talking about punk, but not just that. We (Los Cuatro Cocos and Sidewalk Bookings) try to function autonomously, not as a stylistic hallmark (indie), but as an attitude to life, a certain way of doing things. As Desperate Bicycles said, go and do it. There’s no merit in it.

Una bèstia incontrolable


This is what “An uncontrollable music” is about: music that is born free, united by an attitude to life and a sensibility that doesn’t impose a style. On 6 March, you’ll hear an overwhelming live set, aggressive music that aims to shake you without telling you what to do. We hope it will be a gateway for you to a different, betterBarcelona than the one we’re shown every day. That’s what it is for us.


Like a Lucio Fulci film, says Marc O’Callaghan, aka Coàgul, of the two songs on his cassette Janitor, “their music aspires to open the gates of heaven and hell”. And even though, as with the Italian horror film director, you might think it has more to do with hell than with heaven, he is right to a degree. To continue with the cinematographic similes, this Catalan’s songs could be the soundtrack for the wildest works of Shinya Tsukamoto; like the films of the father of cinematographic cyberpunk, Coàgul is art of noise, electronic and industrial sounds of demolition, and reflections from the beyond of a viscerality that explodes in your face. In short, O’Callaghan puts the soundtrack to the everyday lives we live in a dehumanized industrial and technological society. And it manages to be a furious, highly personal warning cry to awaken us all from lethargy.

Marc O’Callaghan (Coàgul) © Joan Teixidor

Una Bèstia Incontrolable

Una Bèstia Incontrolable are one of those groups that cross borders, both mental and physical. They’ve already toured in the US, where they’re hailed as heroes of the rawest, most primitive punk. But actually, that’s the least of it; the Catalans are just as good on either side of the pond. On this shore, we get to see them in squats, social centres and venues that have seen fit to weather their sonic storms. Storms that crystallized a few months back with the release of their first official disc, Observant com el món es destrueix, an album full of fury, rage and noise, like their concerts, comprising nine songs that deliver a kick to the gut. Not the kind of kick that leaves you doubled over, the kind that is a call to action, to do something in this world that seems to be on its way to hell in a hand basket. The intellectual and musical discourse of Una Bèstia Incontrolable is not cryptic, and after the initial overdose of decibels and the shock it may occasion in those unfamiliar with the sound, it should open the minds of all those listeners who think that the most furious and freethinking atavistic DIY punk and hardcore are not their thing.


Closing the session is Pharmakon, the noise-neurotic project of Margaret Chardiet, a New Yorker who’s just 23 years old and already has a fair few years’ experience on the stage. She started out as Pharmakon in 2007 when she self-released her first CD-R. The child of punks and one of the figures who helped to build the multi-task space and mecca of contemporary experimentation, Red Light District (in Far Rockaway), Margaret Chardiet grew up going to punk concerts at DIY venues like ABC No Rio and C Squat, as well as going to house shows every week. Well connected with the avant-garde scene and centring on noise/improv experimentation, Margaret came into this world on the extreme edge, in terms both of music and content. Pharmakon has a supernatural stage presence and she herself describes her performances as an exorcism as she casts out her demons to confront the audience with uncomfortable feelings. We can expect an amazing, harrowing live set with invocations and diabolic cries.


The first #BCNmp7 session, An uncontrollable music, is on Thursday 6 March from 21:00 to 00:00 in the Teatre del CCCB

More information at CCCB web and @CCCBmusica Twitter account


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