Posts Tagged ‘Una bèstia incontrolable’

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