Saturday, April 26, 2008

Alternative/Indie: La Casa Azul, El Guincho, Los Punsetes, Sr. Chinarro

Spain has a very vibrant indie rock scene, many artists quickly gain an underground audience by performing a lot and networking through MySpace. There's much talent to be discovered: check out only four examples below!

La Casa Azul Revolucion Sexual Eurovision Barcelona Spanish Indie Disco Pop Latin Music
La Casa Azul is one of the more mainstream indie bands. Specialized in catchy discopop, the Barceloneans even tried their luck in the pan-European camp fest Eurovision. "La Revolución Sexual" can only be enjoyed with attributes like an afro wig, a white costume, huge sunglasses, and a smile from ear to ear. The delicate rock touch in the chorus, and the beautiful piano intermezzo, separates them from other, more clichéd feelgood disco acts (Miranda) . As you all know by now, the Spanish public decided La Casa Azul doesn't match up to übercamp like Ireland's Dustin The Turkey, so they decided to send the already infamous Rodolfo Chikilicuatre. For which I'm kinda glad - La Casa Azul deserves an audience that truly appreciates their sexy grooves, not a YouTube hype based on superficial traits.

La Casa Azul - La Revolución Sexual mp3 myspace buy@iTunes buy@Amazon

El Guincho Alegranza Palmitos Park Barcelona Spanish Indie Percussion Afro Pop Latin Music
Talking of hypes, Barcelona indie producer El Guincho recently racked up a bunch of new fans in the US thanks to a raving Pitchfork review of his 2007 debut Alegranza!. Pablo Díaz-Reixa (his real name) makes rhytmical collages of repetitive tropical sounds, drowned in unintelligible chants and harmonies. Not really an easy accessible concept, right? This really is a hate-it-or-love-it type of music, and though I love the afrobeat-meets-sambadrum percussion, I'm having a real hard time with the repetitive character. But surely you'll have to decide for yourself! Listen to "Palmitos Park" below, it's the opening track of Alegranza!, and one of the more easily digestible songs.

El Guincho - Palmitos Park mp3 myspace buy@Amazon

Los Punsetes LP Fondo De Armario Madrid Spanish Indie Power Pop Alternative Rock Music
Los Punsetes are from Madrid, and combine powerful feminine vocals with psychidelic guitars. The two-minute explosion "Fondo de Armario" first builds up the tension with tight drums borrowed from Bloc Party, and then derails completely in a wall of distortion while Adriana sings (or rather, yells) about the perversity of today's spoiled teens. This young band could benefit from some polishing up production-wise, but their raw and energetic self-titled debut LP promises a lot for the future - some are already comparing them to Spain's most legendary indie act, Los Planetas. Oh yeah, the entire album is freely downloadable on the Los Punsetes website!

Los Punsetes - Fondo de Armario mp3 myspace download album

Sr. Chinarro Ronroneando Timidos Sevilla Spanish Indie Pop Rock Country Latin Music
Sevillan artist Sr. Chinarro (born Antonio Luque) is another long-time indie darling. His latest album Ronroneando was released with rave reviews in his home country. Sr Chinarro's brand of indie pop is more comparable with the American or British indie scene: delicate guitar arpeggio's with the occasional greasy riff, and a serene voice telling tales of desolation. "Timidos" could even be on the radio, if the Spanish ondas radiales weren't such a corrupt business. If you're into country-infused poprock, be sure to check out the rest of the album too.

Sr. Chinarro - Timidos mp3 myspace buy@Amazon


Carlos Reyes said...

I've been a fan from hell of La Casa Azul since their first album was released. And as usual the people that loved the band at that time now hate it. I still adore it, pure fun.

And Alegranza! is one of my favorite albums of the year.

Thanks for sharing that song "Timidos"


Chapín said...

Hey Carlos, you've been writing a lot since I last saw Club Fonograma, and I must say that is one quality blog! Great review on Alegranza!. Expect some links soon ;)

Has La Casa Azul's music changed that much over the years, that they lost the fans from the beginning? I only know their recent work...

Supernova said...

Heya! Gud stuff u have here. I wasnt much in latino music earlier but hooked after i heared dis song by a group called Pacifika
This song

You have some other songs by them?

Chapín said...

Thanks supernova! :) As a matter of fact I'm writing a review of their full album "Asunción", and by the end of the week you'll find some songs on La Onda! Your link seems to be broken though. But I guess you're talking about the single, "Me Caí"?

Supernova said...

O damn my computer skills! here is the link for the video i was talking abt..i guess its the same...n i'll be waiting to read dat review :)