The Newest Funky Brutalizm

Some blah-blah coming on, feel free to skip the rambling and scroll down to the beat.

I had the fortune to spend 3-4 months during 1998 in Barcelona, by then the focal spot for urban travelers (and students) in Europe, a petite metropolis without a lot of problems usually associated with such. Supported by their rich heritage, a strong economy and a weird anarcho- nationalistic concept, Catalans lived their life rather easily and in full. 'Downtown' there were lots of bars and clubs where every rising star of the European scene to the last punk was about to visit, supporting a strong and variable local scene as well (especially regarding city's size). Of course, in direct contrast to Berlin's tanz monocultural tendencies, the key word was 'crossover' and bands and DJs alike preffered to mix stuff, each for their own ends (punk + folk, disco + techno, coke + hash, etc.)
Regarding electronic dance music their main influences were the US and France, though by that time Germany had established a strong foothold and the Barcelona-Berlin axis was working overtime (Tresor ruled). As to dance joints I remember Dot and Moog, where everybody passed by from time to time. Musically, Spain thrived on hip hop, house, funk, '80s pop and disco, while electro and techno beats were revered by a specialized Barcelona crowd. Most of the here presented DJs and producers come from this background, so it's no weird thing the way they mix all those elements you'll hear. The city's hedonistic lifestyle combined to their cut & blend aesthetics produced rough diamonds that maybe didn't have the state-of-the-art productions of the northeners or the French, still they had the one thing important to have fun: the Funk.
I stayed until June for the Sonar Festival and got rewarded by seeing for the first time Kraftwerk (well, 2 out of 4), Hell at 7.00AM, Coldcut, Fr. Kevorkian, Aux 88, Jimi Tenor and a lot lot more and I danced my ass off and had a wonderful time in this successful gathering. Which naturally got so big so quickly that a few years later when I visited it again even I was frustrated (though happy in a way that it grew) just from the sheer mass of it, while the locals were keeping away and organized anti-Sonar parties, etc.
Few souvenirs I brought from there back then, I was seriously broke. Some Mills stuff, first Speichers and a few CDs from local labels as So Dens (that released the Sonar compilations), Cosmos and Minifunk. Never regretted the money I spent for these, I played so much some of that stuff for the next years my CDs went off and I had to buy them again. Cosmos Records goes to a housey direction, while Minifunk tries some harder paths.

This one came out a year later and gives a good overview of the Barcelona style of dance music, late '90s era. Foreigners that released in Minifunk (most of them participating here) are Gemini, Tim Baker, Pacou, 20:20 Vision, Mark Ambrose, Steve Bug & Vincenzo as The Discocowboys and my personal favorites Glory B (I have to post their album...). Local stars included are An Der Beat, Loe, Angel Molina, Alex Martin, Groof and a lot more. Check and pick your favorite. This is just the tip of the iceberg.

VA - 1999 The Newest Funky Brutalizm
CD1: Part 1 - Part 2
CD2: Part 1 - Part 2
Info here.

Haven't been to BCN since 2002, I just know it got more and more expensive to live in. By then these labels were rather off, some dropped off, some moved to Berlin and the market focused there.

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