Tuesday, March 02, 2010

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Primavera Sound '09

Since PS '10 is already around the corner (cannot wait for so much goodness - Pixies, Pavement, Spoon, The Fall, King Khan, Black Lips, The XX, Jeffrey Lewis, Health... say whaaat?) I thought it was about time I posted the link to the photos I took last year for 'Sup magazine.


Sunday, April 12, 2009

Fever Ray - Album Review

Written for 'Sup Magazine

You enter a forest. It's dusk, and tall, dark trees loom over your head under a clear sky, their heartbeats clearly audible in your dreamlike state. Suddenly you hear a male voice that leads you slowly towards a clearing. You are now in the realms of the otherworldly. And then, in the middle of the clearing like an elfic princess, is Karin Dreijer Andersson. One half of the super-successful Swedish duo the Knife, the mysterious ice queen has worked her magic once again as Fever Ray, title of both project and album. Now I'm not going to say you won't find similarities between old and new (particularly in "Seven") – the voice, instantly recognizable, is there, as are the electronic sounds and the overall cryptic je-ne-sais-quoi.

But where the Knife's Silent Shout was the perfect avant-garde soundtrack to the pill-popping, new ravey 2006, Fever Ray is a more sombre and mellowed-out affair, on cue with (uh-oh, here I go) these modern times of economic recession and worldwide paranoia, when we might need stimuli of a different, more introspective kind. Think of it like an upper and a downer. The highest moment of climax comes right before the fall, and if we had new rave and 'blog-house' just a little while ago, now it's all about post-punk, back-to-the-roots lo-fi and lots of conceptual, atmospheric 'layerisms'. And this is where Fever Ray slots in - an album that transports you to its own mysterious dimension and on repeated listens lets you have a dig around.

Hence our Nordic forest. Opening track "If I Had a Heart" is its ancient gate, allowing you in to 48 minutes of exploration through its queen's subconscious and your own. In this forest there are memories of retro-futuristic landscapes, organic sounds flying around like birds, tribal drumbeats echoing in the air... and that booming male voice ("Concrete Walls/Dry and Dusty"), which turns out it’s also her through a voice transformer. There are some upbeat moments too, mind – "Triangle Walks", while not being what you’d call a 'party banger' (none of that in this record), could be like finding a Kyoto garden in bloom in the middle of the forest. Going from the cryptic to the most personal, her lyrics range from minimalistic mantras to her thoughts on motherhood or retirement: "...There’s nothing to be afraid of / ...I’m not done" ("I’m Not Done").

Suitably, "Coconut" is a fully atmospheric last track that slowly shows us the way out. Almost solely instrumental (bar the minute and a half or so of quasi-ceremonial vocals), it gradually builds up over a Blade Runner-esque synth base, taking us further inside our mind trip before fading out and leaving us with all this information and no real grasp of what the hell just happened. Or maybe it’s just me; despite my numerous attempts at coming up with a more rationalistic approach to describing this record, all my mind could do was drift back to that imaginary forest of mine, a metaphor to replace the words I couldn’t find for Fever Ray's self-titled album. This is a piece of work that invites you to daydream, to find inner worlds while listening and to make your own dark forest up.
Fever Ray's self-titled debut will be released March 24th, 2009 on Mute Records in the US.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Ladyhawke @ Razzmatazz

It was my first time shooting a gig on B&W film, the results are so noticeably better than taking pics with my usual dSLR... still, some nice images with both cameras.
more pics here.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Lovvers @ Primavera Club

Lovvers @ Primavera Club from Maria Elisa Gomez on Vimeo.

A very accidented interview with a bit of economics to finish off.

Mika Miko @ Primavera Club

Mika Miko @ Primavera Club, Barcelona from Maria Elisa Gomez on Vimeo.

LA band Mika Miko played a storming set at the last Primavera Club in Barcelona, and shared their thoughts on their quasi-namesake Mika, their ill-fated (literally) visit to Germany and spitting on someone's face.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

The Sound of Lucrecia

The Sound of Lucrecia from Maria Elisa Gomez on Vimeo.

Lucrecia is a Barcelona-based, Colombian born singer-songwriter who uses her voice, a few loop pedals and an array of music-making toys to make some really pretty stuff. You can find her
here and here.

Foals @ Razzmatazz

Foals in Barcelona from Maria Elisa Gomez on Vimeo.

A really awkward introduction, "the hair bet" and touring with Rolo Tomassi.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

No Age No Mosh

No Age @ Apolo, Barcelona from Maria Elisa Gomez on Vimeo.

Barcelona crowds are no easy feat. Unless you're a band in the major leagues, you're playing at a festival where everyone's wasted (or English) or you play metal, chances are if you play here your crowd will just nod appreciatively and every now and then a slight attempt at moshing will be done by a brave few, only to die down quietly or be killed quietly by a big bouncer.

Thank god for teenagers then. Without the small group of keen 17 year-olds that barged their way in and started pushing people around, the boring onlookers at the front of the No Age gig wouldn't have moved from their spot, despite earnest attempts by the band to make the crowd dance. In the end, it was how it should be - guitar player atop of the amps and diving into the moshpit, a crazied audience trying to jump on stage and a concerned bouncer trying to kill it all down (not so quietly).

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

GIRLCORE article in Neo2

An article I wrote about Girlcore was published in the October issue of Neo2 Magazine. Here's the text in English:

A lot has been said about GIRLCORE. That boys are not allowed in. That we’re all dykes. That we featured in that Hustler video. That we’re like a hen-night on acid. That we’re feminists. Well, this is not the place for denials, they all have a bit of truth and a bit of lie. What’s actually true is that what started as a simple joke to exclude boys from our after-party has become – in this humble and subjective scribe’s opinion – in one of the best and most fun excuses, no, obligations, to go out on a Thursday night. And one of Shoreditch’s club hits to boot.

Chaotic, decadent and DIY, at the GIRLCORE parties, apart from an en exclusively female line-up (except in our annual Dragcore night), there’s a place for everything. Pansexual weddings, beauty pageants, drag queens, hula-hula shows, Oscar evenings, breakdance, rehab, freakshows, homages to Lisa “Left-Eye” Lopez... We’re 10 girls – from countries such as Colombia, Argentina, France, US, Holland and England – that dedicate ourselves to make for a different party each month and to ensure that anyone who comes to GIRLCORE has an amazing time, leaves their cool pose at the door and ends up covered head-to-toe in glitter.

Apart from our monthly nights, we’ve started expanding the GIRLCORE empire with collaborations and external events, including a short filmed in situ for the female film festival Bird’s Eye View at the Whitechapel Gallery, a radio show at Bestival, the dance tent at the Offset Festival, the Girlcore Olympic Games at Bar Music Hall and parties all around the globe in cities Duch as NY, Moscow, Berlin, Milan and Paris.

What about Girlcore Spain? Plans are in motion. So get prepared, because the next time you hear anything about GIRLCORE it will probably be true.

Club Cobra Launch

published in Urban Junkies:

The hip young things (us included, of course) gathered at Apolo on Thursday night to attend the launch of Club Cobra, the newest party to settle home at La [2].

A joint effort by the creators of the Boombox and Globo nights, it didn't disappoint: lots of fashionistas, dirty ghettotech and electro-pop hits and lots of hands up in the air. Highlight of the night though: an all-out battle between the diva-like promoter (a little worse for wear) and the crowd who ended up booing her offstage.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Something Fun

So I went to see The Mae Shi play at Razzmatazz on Saturday. Looking back on it without the booze-induced euphoria, I can honestly say it was one of the craziest audience reactions I've seen at Razz. Did they all know who this band were? Not to underestimate the Spanish music public but it would actually surprise me. Nevertheless, people were dancing - no, jumping and kicking about like maniacs - throughout the entire set as if it was The Sex Pistols (circa 1977, not the washed-out indie bashers I saw them be at Summercase).
Except for an incident that involved me pushing and punching a guy in the back of the head for grabbing my ass, it was exactly how I expected it to be - amazing.

Friday, July 11, 2008

A year ago...

I was dancing onstage with Iggy Pop in front of thousands of people. WTF.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

A tribute to Garfield

When I was a child, I remember having arguments with my sister about who was better: Garfield or Snoopy. My dad was a Hagar The Horrible kind of guy ("Olafo El Amargado" in spanish) and I guess my mom would've preferred Mafalda (the one who inspired me to call my pet tortoise "Bureaucracy"). I rooted for Snoopy and his philosophic ways and always found Garfield quite boring...
Here's a few videos for my sister from the peeps at LasagnaCat. Gabriela, I hope you're watching.

Monday, June 09, 2008

"Everybody comes to Squallywood..."

weknowwhatyoudidlastnight.com - click to view more

This is a fraction of the people who are currently living in my old house, Squallyoaks. The photo was taken at the last *GIRLCORE* night, where the theme was "Girlcore Goes To Hollywood", and they are each holding a letter that makes up the word "Squallywood". Love it. Despite being quite happy living with three people instead of thirteen, this is the sort of thing I miss about my old household. Yes, it is a dirty, messy, mental asylum from hell (you can read some of the Squallyoaks stories in Karley's blog) but all in all, how many people can say they lived in places where walls are destroyed on demand, a fire extinguisher doubles as pet, rooms change from dance studios to photography backdrops to rehearsal studios to hostels for Romanian families to dining rooms to bedrooms all over again and all this with the unsuspecting agreement from the landlord A.K.A. "The Man"... I'd say not many, probably just the 20-odd people who have at one time or another lived at Squallyoaks.

Some Squallyoaks photos taken before my camera broke

Saturday, June 07, 2008

Folk bit

Bon Iver is Justin Vernon. After breaking up with his old band, he decided to move to a cabin in the middle of nowhere (the Wisconsin mountains, to be more exact) and spent three months quietly crafting his amazing contribution to the folk landscape. This is the video for "The Wolves Act I and II", from his album For Emma, forever ago.

Friday, June 06, 2008

Pop bit

Solange Knowles - "I Decided"
this might be a good one for summer...

(what's Che Guevara doing there though? I wonder what he'd think.)