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La Ciudad Secreta Jaime Gonzalo La Ciudad Secreta Macromassa La Ciudad Secreta Eduardo Polonio Suck Electronic La Ciudad Secreta Umbnweb La Ciudad Secreta
  • La Ciudad Secreta. Sounds of Barcelona 1971-1991 (3lp (+ 12 page booklet))-1 La Ciudad Secreta. Sounds of Barcelona 1971-1991 (3lp (+ 12 page booklet))-2 La Ciudad Secreta. Sounds of Barcelona 1971-1991 (3lp (+ 12 page booklet))-3 La Ciudad Secreta. Sounds of Barcelona 1971-1991 (3lp (+ 12 page booklet))-4 La Ciudad Secreta. Sounds of Barcelona 1971-1991 (3lp (+ 12 page booklet))-5
    3LP + 12p. booklet
    MR 347
    37,00€ NOT AVAILABLE

At the end of the 1960s, perhaps due to its proximity to Paris, Barcelona had come to become the forefront of the avant-garde and the entryway in Spain of new forms of cultural expression from Europe and the United States. Musically, that characteristic resulted in a middle-class underground that would play the part of a late local counterculture and which gave birth to the so-called barcelonés progressive rock of 1969-1973. It featured bands like Máquina!, Om, Música Dispersa and so on. Material from that period would take decades to be reappreciated and get the same reissue treatment as Barcelona's jazz-rock scene, its continuation, and punk, its executioner, the latter two being particularly prolific genres in Barcelona in the late 70s and 80s. Concurrent with progressive rock, the trigger for another explosion of creativity - still more prolific and experimental and, consequently, more obscure and marginal - was developing in the underground of the city. This movement, breaking away from free jazz, branched out throughout two decades into electronic, punk, industrial, improvisation, noise music, art rock and even singer-songwriter.

It wasn't so much a scene, technically speaking, as it was an eclectic series of individuals and circumstances which we have the privilege of compiling here in the interest of recovering a lost legacy. It's a legacy that collectively we could and should value as something as stimulating and multi-faceted as that of krautrock, the Canterbury scene or Rock in Opposition. That eclectic experimental eruption also encouraged the first known independent record labels in Spain and likewise served as a laboratory for new technologies, rethinking formats and declaring strategies. It also posed quite a few challenges to commercial logic. The audacity of these projects, the impenetrable character and self-sufficiency of musicians that didn't pursue popular recognition, institutional disinterest and public disaffection condemned them to ostracism. They have languished in obscurity until now, despite the fact that they constitute the most imaginative, groundbreaking and daring group of artists in Barcelona's recent cultural heritage.

This period frames a political canvas depicting the change from Franco to the democratic transition and then to neoliberalism of the left and right, making a strange stop in an anarchic phase, that of the Jornadas Libertarias Internacionales of 1977 - the last anarchist congress in history, Barcelona having been so closely tied to anarchism in the past. The artists of the experimental frontline collected here make up a dynamic melting pot that's still surprising in its color and its idiosyncrasies, in its innovative sounds and in its capacity for survival in a hostile environment. It organized on its own and at its own risk, forging its own circuit that lives on today in the LEM festival, despite the devastation wrought by the economic "crisis" on the alternative cultural industry.

It's rather ironic that all this activity had greater repercussions internationally than in its own city, establishing valuable connections in France and England and taking part in a fruitful exchange with networks like mail art, the International Cassette Network and independent radio, in particular the local station Radio PICA, where many of the musicians gathered in Barcelona had their own programs. Some of the keys to that ubiquity were self-management and self-released recordings, cooperativism and DIY ethics. This included the invention of a set of technologies that produced signal generators, oscillators, synthesizers and other homemade devices. Still, you would need an entire book - there is one in fact, published only in Spanish - to get the whole picture of this intrepid adventure. It is, like all adventures, not exempt from darkness and disappointment, and its exploration will provide the curious listener a sensation like the one experienced by an archeologist when they discover an unknown civilization. The 29 songs compiled here, all remastered, mostly unreleased and nearly impossible to find, give testimony of that adventure, about its existence and its timelessness.