First Listen: Crystal Fighters – "Spanish Pop Mix"

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There’s definitely something fascinating yet almost nostalgic about this mixtape, like the foundations of this band. We were recently introduced to the UK-based, folky synthpop group Crystal Fighters. Though, this band is not necessarily a new. They’ve been making noise in their homebase and throughout Europe since their highly acclaimed debut, Star of Love (SOL), in 2010.

They recently signed to Atlantic Records and made their US debut this past April introducing a new track to the record. You may ask why this exclusive feature isn’t in our Borderline Latin, or Your Mix Fix column. Well it could’ve, but we felt it worthy as a standalone feature (ok, I wanted dibs on it). As the story goes, the mentioned album drew inspirations by the band’s original, Basque singer Laure Stockley, who took her grandfather’s journal, an unfinished opera which he penned during his last months of insanity, eventually leading to the debut’s composition.

Currently composed of Sebastian Pringle, Gilbert Vierich, Graham Dickson, Eleanor Fletcher, who mostly are London-based, all embrace and have strong ties to Basque culture and mix its rich folkloric music, like for example using the txalaparta — a cool looking and century old type of xylophone, which the indigenous used to communicate from hill to hill back in the day.

But as for this “Spanish Pop Mix,” which highlights the Golden Era of ’80s Spanish pop, and their first mixtape en español, it shows the band’s eclectic, sexy, and Latin rooted musical inspirations, which featuring classics by Miguel Bosé, Olé Olé, and Golpes Bajos, among others.

When I asked Co-founder, multi-instrumentalist Gilbert about this mix, he says that women were the inspiration behind this. Of course! He continues, “We met Spanish people, and friends of ours–mainly women–who educated us about this great music from the ’80s and ’90s by these big anthems…It’s really to show off our love for the anti-toga movement, the punk movement in Spain of the ’80s. Doing [this mixtape] was sort of our way of bringing that back to life.” Disfruten!

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North American Tour 2012

5/31 – Vancouver, BC @ Fortune Sound Club
6/1 – Seattle, WA @ Neumos
6/2 – Portland, OR @ Wonder Ballroom
6/4 – San Francisco, CA @ The Independent
6/5 – Los Angeles, CA @ Echoplex
6/6 – San Diego, CA @ Porter’s Club