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En el cementerio peligroso
Lidia Damunt is one of the great names in music. And when I say great, I don’t just mean one of the great names in Spain – I mean one of the great names, full stop.
We Spaniards may find it hard to believe that a composer from the beach town of La Manga del Mar Menor has earned the right to rub artistic shoulders with some of the supposedly unapproachable giants of the international scene, but the vertigo we experience when we listen to her songs leaves no room for doubt. Is it really possible that someone like this grew up in our own backyard? With her remarkable debut album En la isla de las Bufandas, Lidia found a unique niche halfway between Nashville (the cradle of country music) and Olympia (the pop capital of DIY culture). Now, with En el cementerio peligroso, she has taken another giant leap forward and made things a bit more difficult for us.
Lidia Damunt writes the songs others wish they could compose, presents the albums others wish they could record, and gives the concerts others wish they could give. So small that she can barely see us. So great because, for a moment, we can barely see anything but her. Roberto Herreros
GRABBA GRABBA TAPE
(Gssh! Gssh! Records)
GRABBA GRABBA TAPE are the electronic duo from Madrid, comprising Lol-oh-vot on vocals and percussion and Gros-oh-vot on keyboards and vocals.
They have been called the Iberian equivalent of Daft Punk (with a Moranco twist) and their music is simply fantastic: they come on stage dressed like pink snowmen and make music with robotic voices. They have already toured all of Europe several times and their albums have been released in the USA.
The duo were the torchbearers of the new batch of fresh, irreverent bands in Madrid that revolutionised the underground scene.
MONTAÑAS MONTAÑAS (7'')
Montañas is a new Asturian group that has us worked up to a fever pitch of excitement. Their first live performances have already elicited comparisons to Beat Happening, The Feelies and Bananas. In their press release, they say that “in Montañas, we express what we like and what we don’t like about Asturias”. Quite a statement of intent.
On a carefully designed MySpace page, the list of highlighted friends can also furnish important clues about the band’s identity. On the Montañas page, these include Thelemáticos, Anticonceptivas, Chiquita y Chatarra, Grande-Marlaska and Le Mot, to name a few. It is curious to note that many of these bands have at least one member who lives outside Asturias; this may be a reflection of an Asturian generation forced into a diaspora which, in some cases, has served to strengthen ties of friendship and collaboration within bands despite the distance. In the case of Montañas, it has inspired the private jokes used in the song titles. Just explaining the titles would require a whole other entry. For example, the title of the song appearing in the first video, “Yo conduzco, ella me guía” [I Drive, She Guides Me], is taken from a bumper sticker that can be seen on thousands of cars in Asturias and refers to Our Lady of Covadonga (!). Montañas has not yet recorded any tracks other than the 30-second song posted on their MySpace page, but they should – the sooner the better. Iván Conte (La increíble verdad)