Anyone setting up a label deserves respect, or sectioning; doing so in Spain even more so. Aspecto Humano have definitely hit the ground running. Their sound is bright, one that shines with an electro cleanness whilst warming with a disco touch. Theirs is a style few others are attempting in Spain, and elsewhere.
Living in Spain, I like to uncover new labels and artists from the Iberian peninsula. There’s a sort of love-hate climate here for electronics. Sunshine and sandy beaches come to many minds when they think of Spain, mix that with a DJ and the nightmare of packed Ibiza parties lance your brain. But behind this stereotyped idea, in the cities, underground clubs and record stores imaginative and interesting machine music abounds.
One such initiative recently flashed through my headphones. Aspecto Humano. Established in Barcelona, now ran between Barcelona and Madrid, the imprint was created by a new musical partnership, Anbau. The duo of Marcos López and Carlos Cardona make up this partnership. Interestingly for them there isn’t some grand mission statement, some lofty response to an esoteric need. In fact they “didn’t search to create anything, or be unique, nothing like that.” Their goal is “to support their style, to get their music out there, and maybe bring a little bit of emotion to their listeners.” They did more than that on their first endeavor of international proportions.
Flying “la Rojigualda” on the Essere EP are Synth Alien and Anbau. The latter delivers the sky-gazing glory of “Bailarina Automática.” Crisp beats a fired into beams of clean synth, with the Lugo based musician showing why he is one of the most respected in Spain. Those same drums find themselves into the electro elegance of Anbau’s “Disco Z”. The track, by the bosses, builds in the most effortless way before blooming into an absolute cracker, even a few samples are thrown in for good measure. And the record just keeps giving. A new freshened version of Das Ding’s seminal “HSTA” opens, a synth wave staple if there ever was one, before Anton Miaovvi turns his horror movie loving hand to galactic monster that is “Extraterrestrial Biological Entity.” And if that weren’t enough, Hyboid is also on hand with “Telepath Or Psychopath” for a frosted work of glittering computer music.
The owners cite Kraftwerk as a major influence, alongside a buffet of rock, wave and all in between. That lean to electro is definitely present in the second installment where Anbau are going it alone for Unkforce, (well not entirely.) Hyboid is up on remix duty but it was Franck Kartell’s remake that caught my ear. After his superb album on Bass Agenda the French artist vitrifies “Bushido.” The warmth of the original is dowsed in crystalline electro, accentuating angles and extending shadows. Lush pads and hi-hat merge for the deep and dreamy “LSD,” a track taken on by the Astro Chicken boss. Keys are lengthened, space and the stars become the focus as you journey into the skies.
As for setting up the label, Carlos and Marco are as candid as every. “We sent on tracks to labels and heard little back. We’d also heard a lot of great music that wasn’t getting picked up either.” And this is a common experience in Spain, artists not having the support to get themselves out there and heard, as is the founders experience of the electronic music scene in general. The usual hindrances are cited, “the bureaucracy, the economy, the legality, the stupidity.” But there is also a hopeful note, mentions on “new trends” and “more interest.”
Anyone setting up a label deserves respect, or sectioning; doing so in Spain even more so. Aspecto Humano have definitely hit the ground running. Their sound is bright, one that shines with an electro cleanness whilst warming with a disco touch. Theirs is a style few others are attempting in Spain, and elsewhere. “At the moment, we couldn’t be more satisfied with how things are going…” a sentiment many listeners would echo.