CATENGESP


BLUE VELVET

(12/06/2008)

Aquest article no estÓ tradu´t al catalÓ; es mostra la seva versiˇ en anglŔs

On the new discreet but talented Catalan rock scene.

CATALONIA TODAY ľ SECTION: LONG-TERM RESIDENT - ARTICLE ONE HUNDRED AND FOUR


For reasons best known to itself a cultural association in the Barcelonan district of GrÓcia included me on the jury of its competition last week for brand new Catalan-language bands. Of the 10 groups involved, some were pretty good, others were iffy, and a couple should have been obliged by presidential decree to never pick up a musical instrument again under pain of non-liquid castration. They were, at all events, symptomatic of a wider phenomenon: the growing host of Catalan musicians who sing in their mother tongue out of personal preference, with no political intent whatsoever. Among the very best of these to have emerged in recent years are Nour, with an astonishingly powerful live set; and Sanjosex, his lyrics trickling irony ('I told you I was sorry to make myself feel better'); and Cercavins, their highly danceable rock borrowing liberally from the festival music of their home villages in Lleida; and La Brigada, whose latest album has the enviable title 'L'obligaciˇ de ser alg˙'; and Mazoni, whose lament 'No tinc temps' or whose devastating version of Dylan's 'Maggie's Farm' could hold their own with any current Anglo-American pop-rock offering you might care to name. All these highly talented people are nonetheless keeping a low profile, aware, perhaps, that ostentatious success is the Achilles' heel of Catalan rock: back in the early '90s, no sooner had it enjoyed its first huge boom than it was instantly shot down in the Spanish media, accused of being a shameless sham bankrolled lock, stock and barrel by nationalist conspirators in the Generalitat. So the new generation of Catalan-language singers have decided to tread softly, snowballing peacefully and discreetly to create what amounts to a local musical revolution, a Velvet Revolution, so to speak, both fruitful and with not a shot (yet) fired.





- Textos i contingut: Matthew Tree - Disseny i programaciˇ: Nac -