Monday, April 4, 2016

Fangoria // Canciones para robots románticos

Teatro Barceló (Madrid) []
Monday, April 4 + Tuesday, April 5
Thursday, April 7 + Friday, April 8

Friday, April 22 + Saturday, April 23

Fangoria, the duo of Alaska and Nacho Canut have been making music together for nearly 40 years. Their first bands together were Kaka De Luxe, Alaska y Los Pegamoides and most importantly, Alaska y Dinarama. They shared the core of Dinarama with Carlos Berlanga. After Dinarama split, Alaska and Nacho created their present band, Fangoria. Often when you narrow down band members, key players or decision makers, you begin purification. What results is a less distilled version of your vision. This is certainly true of Fangoria. A great parallel of this is the relationship of The Creatures to Siouxsie & The Banshees. There is a total freedom that comes from a mutually fulfilling and understanding artistic relationship. 

It’s very exciting to be living in Barcelona for a new Fangoria album release. Their 12th album, Canciones para robots románticos was released on February 15th. Always thought provoking, the album argues in favor of the superiority of robots. What do we have that they don’t? Feelings. Humans bear this blessing and curse. We get distracted, impassioned and impatient easily. We lose sight of the task at hand. Robots retain their focus without our frailties. They are consistent and deliver. We humans seek reason and purpose for everything. We have some things to learn looking to them. What if there was a romantic robot? Wouldn’t that complete us both?

Canciones para robots románticos was produced by Guille Milkway and former Banshee Jon Klein. Guille produced the first, brighter songs and Klein worked on the dark end. You can hear his distinctive guitar style on those. The opener is the fantastic “Disco Sally, ” an ode to the famed octogenarian Studio 54 Dancer. The balance is struck in this song that can be heavy and light all at the same time. The beautiful backing vocals of the faithful Rafa “Spunky,” blend perfectly with the distinctively deep voice of Alaska. In the first single, “Geometría Polisentimental,” they evolve from the colors of their last album (Cuatricromía, 2013) to focus on shapes and the function of love. “Fiesta En El Infierno,” is a modern danceable meditation on the invention and shortcomings of love. Nacho’s spoken-word delivery proclaims love to be a medieval invention.  “La Nostalgia Es Una Droga,” is so true. Had they rested on and/or obsessed over their history, these two would not be able to deliver music like this. The most interesting artists tread forward personally and creatively.

My favorite is “Mentiras De Folletín.” The dark dance track pays tribute to figures such as Barbara Cartland. This can only be one of Alaska’s tacky fascinations. It forced me to seek out Cartland’s Album of Love Songs from 1978. The romance novelist sings accompanied by the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra. How else could I have found this gem? Fangoria have unknowingly been my Spanish tutors. Their clever lyrics have often had me looking to translations and dictionaries. I let them know of this detail at their record signing on February 16 at FNAC El Triangle (Barcelona).