May 07, 2012 5:05PM

Oyster #98: Barcelona

Catalan music: an animated and slightly bizarre mix.

Catalonia, a small and proud corner of Spain, is a curious mix of nationalities, languages, the traditional and the non-traditional. These four artists represent my perception of Catalan music: an animated and slightly bizarre mix that might largely be the result of an outsider attempting to infiltrate a foreign music scene.

El Guincho (above)
Barcelona's El Guincho is known for his looping, sample-heavy, electro-tropical wall of sound — and for one of the best music videos of all time ('Bombay'). For his most recent album, Pop Negro, he researched hit singles from the late seventies through to the early nineties, basing the prodution on the aesthetics of that golden era of music — think Luther Vandross, Mariah Carey's 'Fantasy', and Quincy Jones-era MJ.

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Joe Crepusculo
Joe Crepusculo describes his music better than we can — and in the third person, no less: "His music could be defined as easygoing singalong pop. He has a peculiar voice and his sonfs have a tendency to Spanish medieval customs, something like traditional love songs." Wikipedia also tell us Crepusculo publishes his music under a Creative Commons licence, so you can "hang them on your website for free enjoyment."

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Pegasvs
Pegasvs' musical references come from krautrock, specifically bands like Le Dusseldorf, Neu! and Faust — but they're not averse to a bit of good old pop from time to time. The mysterious Sergio and Luciana tell me they particularly like Italian avant-garde singer Franco Battiato and take inspiration from "the Patagonian Steppe, the sea and natural phenomenon in general."

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Extraperlo
Extraperlo is a band from Barcelona, formed by Aleix Clavera, Cacho Salvador, Borha Rosal and Alba Blasi. Born of guitars, bass, synthesisers and rhythm boxes, it reflects the group's biggest influences: Fleetwood Mac, Roxy Music, Prefab Sprout and The Pale Fountains. The result is sunny, happy music, full of personality — one of the songs is called 'Las Palmeras del Amor' (literally 'The Palms of Love').

Photography for El Guincho, Joe Crepusculo and Pegasvs: Robbie Whitehead
Photography for Extraperlo: Coke Bartrina
Words: Robbie Whitehead