Leeds quartet Far Caspian habitually move with style and panache while their latest effort “Blue” is no different. Oscillating between dream-pop and post-punk undertones, the group brings their infectious sonic resonance into a halcyon soundscape worth spending time in. Warm and soul-comforting, Far Caspian’s brand of dreamy rock is polyrhythmic, displaying the band’s sharpness and skills once again.
Girls Names found themselves in an impasse that almost lead to them never releasing a new album, with a drummer gone, an unsatisfying mix of their new tracks and a stress level impossible to manage. They gave up and got back to their full-time jobs, setting music aside to find solace in a more regular life.
Regaining the peace of mind they were missing while working on the first version of ‘Stains On Silence’ eventually led to the Belfast band revisiting the eight songs found here. They started experimenting with techniques they never used before, playing with cut-ups and self-editing, and finally giving the record the shape they were looking for – a dark and gloomy one, so it’s not as if Girls Names have completely changed tack.
Aiming to cut an album fitting the post-punk norm of 30 minutes, the 38 that make up ‘Stains On Silence’ are a disquieting trip into new-wave inspired sounds. Bauhaus are the first influence to come to mind, but Girls Names sound is mellower and more sophisticated, without losing that signature dark shadow.
In Spiritualized’s music three states of matter exist in harmony: the foundations of his songs are as hard as silex and his arrangements pour out, flow and fill spaces like a liquid. The fact that from this combination comes a music that rises gas-like to the skies is a mystery that only Jason Pierce himself holds the key to. With both Spacemen 3 and Spiritualized, Jason has been the guardian of an alchemical secret that transforms noise into gospel, traditional blues into futuristic avant-garde music and psychedelic garage into chamber music.
Now after the stellar show with an orchestra and choir in the Auditori del Fòrum at the recent edition of Primavera Sound, Spiritualized are coming back to perform live in Barcelona, this time with a classical formation to present the songs from their recently announced eighth album, And Nothing Hurt, after 6 years of studio silence. An album composed and recorded solo by Jason Pierce, on which bedroom folk sounds like a sonic Big Bang Theory. With them, neither the number of musicians on stage nor how the tracks were originally recorded count: what is important is the matter (and its three states) which constitute their songs. Tonight at Razzmatazz.
The lost paradise of Latin music pre-bogaloo and pre-salsa is the dancehalls of Havana and New York in the 50s and 60s. Orquesta Akokán, twelve outstanding Cuban musicians of different generations led by the singer José “Pepito” Gómez, in their debut recover the styles that swept through those dance temples like a Caribbean hurricane: mambo, chachacha, Latin-jazz… Their desire to recover those sounds, as old as a well-matured rum, is an injection of traditionalism that is not so different from the impulse which drives the most traditional Americana artists. But reproducing the sound (long live variety!) of those Latin big bands is much more demanding: you have to have experience, to sing like a star, to have a special rapport, and basically you have to give it your everything. Well, Orquestra Akokán is the sort of band that puts its heart into every note it plays. Because in Yoruba that is what Akokán means: heart. This next friday in concert at Sala Apolo, Primavera Club.
Desire’s self-titled debut is a smouldering ache — saturnine synthesized pop about heartbreak & infinite longing, late nights by the telephone & break-up letters smeared by tears.
Johnny Jewel discovered singer Megan Louise performing at a club in Montreal. So transfixed was he by her voice that he elected to mirror his Portland Suite 304 studio and create a second recording room in Quebec. With the addition of Jewel’s longtime collaborator Nat Walker (Chromatics, Symmetry) on drums & synthesizer, the part-American, part-French Canadian band was born.
Desire is melancholic pop grandeur — the soundtrack to new love that feels like the end of the world. Desire, just one of the many italo-leaning dream pop acts featured on Johnny Jewel’s Italians Do It Better label, have shared ‘Tears From Heaven’, their first new single in nine years.
Puma Blue is Jacob Allen – a musician from South London who is busy taking classic sounds and moods and adding his unique vocal essence into the mix. Puma Blue the musician, the band, sounds wonderfully fragile on record and especially on stage. Think of Jeff Buckley baring his damaged soul while Chet Baker emotes smoky jazz vibes underneath.
If jazz is undergoing a sweet resurgence it is thanks to names like Kamaal Williams, the artistic name of Londoner Henry Wu. The keyboard player and producer has had a meteoric career in the last few years, a career that includes the album Black Focus in 2016 together with Yussef Dayes. 2018 sees the confirmation of his talent with the brilliant solo album The Return,an album of visionary jazz with snippets of urban London music, with the textures, sounds and the traffic signals of the busy streets of of his hometown.
Critically acclaimed and praised for its combination of timeless R&B, cosmic soul and bubbly psychedelia, The Return is the soundtrack for a retro futuristic, foggy London where every corner hides a secret. Kamaal Williams will come to present this album to us on the stage of La  de Apolo de Barcelona on tonight.