Tracklist: Calamata, Unicorn embolat, Avantguarda (la tia carmen), No hacen uno, Miratge, Penya-segat
It’s exceedingly common to hear certain music referred to as “a trip.” This “trip” could mean the music seems to take the listener places, or that it’s redolent of certain psychoactive mind-altering substances. But this new LP from SanIsidro, aka Isidro Rubio de Valencia (formerly of VENEREANS and garage legends WAU y los ARRRGHS!!!) is both of those things to an almost shockingly large degree. Depending on your state of mind when you listen to it, you might feel like browsing at a surreal bazaar in Morocco or Tunisia, or walking into the Last Chance Saloon with tumbleweeds tumbling behind you. Or perhaps you’re on the Balearic Islands watching the waves rush in. Then the next thing you know, you’re having your mind rearranged by the music and light show at a San Francisco ballroom circa 1967. Cinematic elements evocative of Nino Rota, Angelo Badalamenti and Gustavo Santaolalla also come to mind, as do the deeply progressive “New Flamenco” manifestos of Lole y Manuel. This could be considered quite a stretch coming from an artist whose main influence is the traditional folk music of the Mediterranean, with its tales of the woes of shepherds and farmers, or concern with the psychological development of a child’s mind.
These songs seem to magically materialize out of the ether, or rise like a charmed snake. They all seem to come fully-formed as the product of the same spontaneous psychedelic fever-dream, but they were actually developed sporadically over a period of several years (2014-2016) before being recorded and finalized over the course of six months in 2018. Its recent vintage doesn’t prevent it from strongly evoking material that could have been recorded during the original psych era, yet it exists in its own temporal sphere, both timeless and cutting-edge. It ties in with a lengthy tradition of the people’s music of Spain (and elsewhere), and still somehow manages to keep it all simple, basic and accessible. This is some of the heaviest new psychedelic music made in quite some time, and it is gonna blow some minds.
– Greg Caz