When talking about tropicalia-pop band from Spain Extraperlo, we always come to the point of citing them as one of the few bands that with each release expands their own palette. As our dear Pierre once mentioned, "they’ve succeeded at admirably looking for new ways to conjure leisure-evoking melodical opulence, afrobeat-inspired guitar licks, and 80’s pad beats into truly stuttering internet-era pop songs."
With their third album upon us, "Chill Aquí" comes as a beachy and heavy-lidded respite from the anxious and comparatively busy production on their 2012 breakthrough, Delirio Específico. It’s more of their seemingly tossed-off guitar balladry, stretched-out and warbled, just more of the Extraperlo who wants to love you tender. To that end, the title track is pretty much the platonic idea of the current era, an exploration of the always tough task of decisión making and insecurities laid out on top of a slowly unspooling guitar line.
Chill Aquí drops February 5 via CANADA Editorial
El Guincho's comeback has proved just as confounding as early singles "Mis Hits" and "Roto Socu" hinted it would be. Early listens of Hiperasia reveal a kinetic, tantalizing and, indeed, hyper album that rejects the notion of a finished pop product. A move one could appropriately link with Pablo Diaz-Reixa’s intentions to capture the energy of Chinese bazaars in Madrid. But Hiperasia isn’t merely an attempt at culture shock. El Guincho actually sounds like he’s having fun with it.
In “Cómix,” the Spanish producer introduces his “Chef P” moniker and struts along to bars more Shibuya-kei than Straight Outta anywhere. Is this confidence earned? Maybe not at first. The fast food beats need a minute to dig up some substance, which unveils itself through hypnotic bursts. By the third or fourth “BUENA,” we really can’t help falling for it. Elsewhere a revitalized Mala Rodríguez pops up and barely flinches, securing the tone needed for Chef P’s closing lines: “Sé que te molesta ver / como no me cuesta / Chef P / Ch Ch Chef P / solo come Cómix.” Translation: stay mad.
Watch the CANADA-directed video above. Hiperasia arrives digitally February 12 followed by a March 11 physical release.
With its casio string arrangements and malleable time signatures, “This is I” hardly fitted in with the rest of Who Me?. Far from being boring, though, the lyrically contemplative and sonically ethereal track features a rather subdued and somber range of shades: a mixture of elegiac sadness and deep self-analysis. “This is I” is not about hopeless dejection. It’s about the public expression of existential anguish as a way to regain a grasp of one’s journey through life.
The video, directed by long-time collaborator Matthew Volz, shows Wauters – and his conscience dressed in a leather jacket – walking towards a gang of extremely vengeful (ex)novias, getting beat up real bad by said gang, and laying his head on the lap of an affectionate abuela. The punk poet’s journey through life, memory and yearning is then ended by a tie-breaking spot kick while the fantasist moog sounds of El Chavo’s theme song resonate, bringing some much needed humor and hope.
There are traces of blood on the disco ball, but this time, the blood is not our own. Songs of protest can be cheesy cornball numbers or play into exhausted victim narratives. Songs of protest can also defy any expectations of what a protest song can mean as is the case in Blood Orange's tribute to Sandra Bland. Songs of protest can slay.
Alex Anwandter- our Prince of Pop- is back. With a vengeance. Alex Anwandter is going after the totality of power (explicitly and flagrantly), calling for the total destruction of our present reality. Alex is not having it with the tyranny of work. He’s over the Church condemning him to hell or the $tate pathologizing his queerness. But in this epoch, it doesn't suffice to merely signal at the sources of our miserable subjugation. Alex wants to set something on fire. The religious and the political establishment seem like obvious targets on this fervent yet elegant (luxuriate in that string section) dance floor: “Si quiero prenderle fuego a algo / que sea la iglesia y el congreso.” The fact that “Siempre Es Viernes En Mi Corazón” is a collaboration with Ale Sergi and Juliana Gattas (of Miranda!) is a bittersweet nostalgia (2004 puberty, coming to terms with queerness, discovering that radio pop could sound 'weird').
The first taste of Amiga (due April 8) is disco house retribution, evocative of a militancy unseen since the 1970s when disco and liberation movements (Black, Brown, queer, trans) coalesced. If "¿Cómo Puedes Vivir Contigo Mismo?" was a tribute to Paris Is Burning (admittedly a whitewashed film that attempted to showcase Black & Brown ball culture in NYC), "Siempre Es Viernes En Mi Corazón" channels the energy that catalyzed the Stonewall Riots. “Siempre Es Viernes En Mi Corazón” is seductive and seditious- a quintessential record for the ongoing #PopInsurrection. It is an ode to our eternal mutiny in the discotheque and in the streets.
Two years after the release of his debut solo LP, material. – and several months following the launch of his dance <3 EP under his Cheap Talk moniker as well as the ambient/drone Use Your Delusion I and II under Cristo plus the online posting of his take on the overplayed “Hotline Bling” (a reconstruction by memory!) – the prolific and unpredictable Memo Guerra is back as Memo, his songwriter alias. “Que Es Lo Que Siento,” first single off of his upcoming album Moon Phase, is a strong and coherent amalgam of little bit of all Guerra’s influences and exposes his openness and impressive musical background. With its lush arrangements, “QELQS” goes much deeper than a gratifying accessibility. Built on a progressive musical structure and layers of synths, Memo throws in Wurlitzer, programming, bass, guitars, oscillator and samples. The distorted, skipping and hypnotically driving track makes for an overstimulating sensorial experience. Memo is broadening the spectrum of technique, pushing the limits of the instrument and favoring a profusion of ideas and sonic textures. Singing “Que es lo que siento. Cando es un incendio. Voy desvaneciendo. Que es lo que siento, desapareciendo,” Memo raises lucid questions about the mechanical and the limits of love, while causing us to become aware of our own wave-particle nature. The all-in-glitch-video, designed by Logan Owlbeemoth and shot by Akkia Neko, draws on that same altered-textured aesthetic revealing Memo and his pasito de baile in a surreal pixelated landscape. The result is quite enthralling!
Moon Phase will be released February 6, via Abstrakt Muzak.