Primavera Sound in Barcelona has become a regular pilgrimage for music fans, with easily one of the finest line-ups of any European festival. The main attractions on this year’s line-up include Baltimore experimentalists Animal Collective, the reformed Pulp and much-talked-about collective Odd Future. State has put together a short list of other acts that we seriously recommend checking out.
Last year’s wonderful Before Today album saw the LA-based Ariel Rosenberg take his defiantly oddball pop constructions to a whole new level. Combining pop classicism and smooth funk basslines with avant-garde influences and sublime, spaced-out future visions, it was widely hailed as one of the records of the year. He’s fairly unpredictable in the live setting, but reports from last weekend’s ATP festival were positive.
The New York experimentalists’ sound takes in tribalistic percussion, noise collages and a myriad of influences (Middle Eastern music, dub, dancehall, funk…). On top of it all are Lizzi Bougatsos’ mesmerising vocals. New album Eye Contact is their most accessible and direct yet, but retains their boundary-pushing weirdness. Not to be missed.
The ambient/drone trio have a live reputation as formidable as their extensive back catalogue. Expect hypnotic arpeggios, cosmic vibes and swirling, trance-inducing synths. Although be warned: they’re on early!
The London-based band turned heads with last year’s Lying/A Wooden Box 10″, which saw pulsating minimal techno rhythms collide with ear-splitting Mary Chain-esque squall and austere cold-wave-inspired vocals. New single ‘Real Love’ carries on in much the same vein. Their live show is blistering by all accounts: according to The Quietus, they ‘make XTRMNTR-era Primal Scream sound like Shed 7’.
A divisive band for sure, but if you regard the late ’80s/early ’90s alt-rock freak-scene as a golden age for music then Yuck’s combination of fuzzy, Mascis-inspired riffs, irresistible hooks and wistful, drowsy balladry should hit the spot. The epic guitar melt-down of ‘Rubber’ promises to be a particular highlight.
Few acts could be more suited to an early-hours-of-the-morning slot looking out over Barcelona’s skyline: Talabot (not his real name) is a native of the city who frequently collaborates with fellow locals Delorean. His sound is somewhat similar, but less hook-oriented; more focused on beat and texture, it’s characterised by blissed-out house vibes and hypnotically repetitive rhythms. The producer has also provided remixes for Teengirl Fantasy, the xx, and Glasser, while the latter lends her vocals to infectious new single ‘Families’. If (as is possible) he drops the Delorean remix of Glasser’s ‘Glad’, at least one State contributor is going to lose his shit.