Raul Q. De Orte is a Spanish songwriter and producer who has released gothy, isolationist dirges under the moniker Paralelo for the last five years. He recently announced the first vinyl pressing of his work, an album titled Corazón Roto Por Siempre y Orgulloso, out via Barcelona’s Cønjuntø Vacíø imprint. The project is full of decadent coldwave and darkwave – a style he has been slowly polishing to perfection. De Orte moves around pieces of many genres, borrowing from post-rock, post-punk, neo-folk, and minimal synth. It has led him to produce intoxicating and danceable odes to sadness and loneliness. As the album title proclaims, there are some who celebrate a permanently broken heart.
Paralelo stands out from copycat acts that pull from these genres. Whether it’s his command over the synth arrangement or his thoughtfully penned lyrics, we feel his unique presence throughout this project.
While most of Corazón Roto Por Siempre y Orgulloso is a darker synth pop album, it constantly reconfigures itself. “Tu Altar Preparado” is a glittery and woozy dance track that paints a somber picture of a lover drinking himself into oblivion; “La Puerta” actually sounds like it was recorded in that drunken condition.
If you are new to Paralelo’s style, one thing should be clear: De Orte is unwilling to make stylistic or aesthetic compromises. All of his songs are performed in a deadpan and stern baritone accompanied by catchy AF hooks worthy of any 80’s dance night. “En Tu Coche” is probably the best example of this, as well as the endearingly clunky opening track “Soga o Espada.” As a side note, the cover of the album alludes to this last track in what has to be one of best album covers this year. De Orte stands shirtless wearing a long black wig, holding a noose in one and a sword in the other, standing in front of his instruments. Both earnest and tongue-in-cheek, we are invited to listen to this man’s complete arsenal.
De Orte wavers between humor and intensity, creating an almost hero-like aura that pulls equally from the ennui of Ian Curtis and the tragically dramatic laments of Camilo Sesto. On the eighth track, he actually covers Sesto’s “Algo De Mí” and turns it into a leg-lifting, high-octane dance song. Paralelo has found an outlet to be true to himself and the things that feel life-affirming, all the while creating something that’s both familiar and completely new. ¡Larga vida a Paralelo!