Various Artists

La Contra Ola: Synth Wave And Post Punk From Spain 1980-86
Various Artists
La Contra Ola: Synth Wave And Post Punk From Spain 1980-86
You might well ask: do I need any more cold wave / post-punk / minimal synth comps in my life? Course you don't! But if you still can't resist - and frankly the immaculate 'dos those cover girls are sporting was all it took to reel us in - you will be very handsomely rewarded by this amazing 2LP. Often with these sorts of comps you tolerate a load of half-arsed tape-music/proto-industrial filler because there's two or three un-Pop KILLERS on there that you need, but La Contra Ola has been put together not just with historical expertise but also a firm eye on quality control - steering well clear of the aforementioned noisy blah, and of the dull-as-dishwater darkwave that Spain produced no shortage of in the early-mid 80s - focussing instead on more idiosyncratic, less generic stuff, with electronics clearly foregrounded.

Whether by accident or by design, the tunes on here to me sound so much more interesting than the by-now-canonical Belgian/Dutch/French MW classix.. there's a wildness (dare I say "latin flair"?!) to the songs and the performances, the instrumentation and arrangements are is dense and weird and unpredictable but invariably PARTY-minded. I don't think it's the case that Spanish post-punk at large was better than any other country's, but the track selection here is so good that it really makes it seem that way. Sometimes it just comes down to what's under the hood: cut any act on here, even the most synth-centric or dubbed-out (check Derribos Arias's mad ricocheting percussion work-out 'A Fluor'), and they would bleed rock'n'roll...check out Zombies' nervy surf-punk curio 'Extranos Juegos' - sounds like Cramps armed with a drumbox and a Polysix. Esplendor Geometrico are the . best known act included: their well-worn but still scintillating proto-electroclash, mecha-billy banger 'Moscu Esta Holado' is a perfect, signal opener.

 

 

 

 

£25.99