Since we’re always on the look out for new talent and communities to spotlight, who better to give us the local rundown than the scene-dwellers themselves. In this installment of Best & Brightest, we turn to Spain, where Jordi Puy of Sound Diplomacy is helping to shape the scene as a cultural promoter. Formerly of the Catalan! Arts satellite in the UK, and also an arts management guest lecturer in numerous universities, such as la Universidad de Antioquia (Colombia) and ITESO (Mexico), here Jordi shares his top 15 for where to look next for boundary-pushing music.
This is the band with arguably the best live act in Spain at the moment– well, they’re my favorite live act, anyway. They’ve collected international media acclaim and have performed in some leading festivals across EU and America such as Vive Latino, Sziget Festival, Pahoda, Exit, Primavera Sound… but they are still a treasure that’s yet to be appreciated by the big audiences. You love them or you hate them. Nothing in between. I LOVE them with passion.
Beautifully crazy duet that combines guitar, electronic [production], and drums in a vibrant, experimental way. Their live set is also something to be seen before you die.
Triángulo de Amor Bizarro
This is one of the leading noise bands in Spain, and part of the Galician scene that’s produced so many great bands in recent years. Signed to Mushroom Pillow, they’re a must if you want to stay in touch with what’s going on in Spain. They have extensively toured Spain, and also Mexico and Chile.
Silvia Pérez Cruz & Raül Fernández 'Refree'
Sílvia’s vocal texture and singing skills are simply magical. Her terrific talent combined with the Refree’s guitarist give me goosebumps. And live, they’re even more impressive.
La Banda Municipal del Polo Norte
Now on their third album, this band has made a space of it’s own in the Spanish indie scene. They take the Spanish independent pop heritage from the ’80s on with pride to produce absolute bangers like “Bailando Mal,” which has been released by new Spanish label Discos Flotantes.
This October, Discos Flotantes also released this mysterious new band’s first album. They say that they are a band comprised of four numbers and nine and a half songs. The band members are: 46 (the Human Chromosomes), 7 (The Celestial Bodies), 1000 (The System) and π (the infinite progression)…something tells me this may be one of the big surprises of 2014’s last quarter.
Beach Beach are one of the greatest up and coming bands in Spain. This young crew from Mallorca have created a power pop gem in their new album The Sea, which deserves all your attention if Magic Numbers, Real Estate, or Supergrass are your cup of tea. I can’t stop listening to their “Just Like Before.”
Super talented singer-songwriter and producer Joan Colomo is someone you definitely should pay attention to if you like sharp, fun songwriting. I love this artist and his intrinsic irony.
Having signed with El Segell del Primavera, and CODA for international bookings, it’s just a matter of time that their powerful atmospheric sound travels from their Mediterranean island to the world.
This is the biggest success story in the Spanish electronic scene after El Guincho. John Talabot demands praise and admiration across the world with his own cutting edge compositions and his legendary remixes of The xx and many other international electronic acts. His works are released by Hivern Discs, which is one of my top references for electronic in the country.
If John Talabot is already at the top, Vallès’s profile is a growing one, together with the label that releases his work: Neonized. His 2014 release St. Lucía is a fantastic funk-disco album. You won’t be able to stop moving your feet.
This deep house DJ and composer is also a rising star of the electronic scene in Spain. His track ‘Twilight Room” featuring Bleu Renee was picked up by Norwegian label Bogotá records and remixed by JT Donaldson, Chuck Love, and Slammer.
This caustic and satirical band is the best example of an underground wave that is a growing force in the country. Using humor, a non-politically correct attitude, and super-Low Fi production, it’s a well deserved punch to the face of the Spanish establishment.
This singer/song-writer is also part of the thoughtful, sound-searching group of acts that I like to listen to regularly. You can appreciate his outstanding live skills in this gig recorded on a boat in the heart of Catalonia.
This is a true classic of the Spanish electro-pop scene, described by some as electronic art-rock. They have been key influencers in their flied for the last two decades. Here you can check out their own re-mix of one of their tracks, “Hidroboy.”