Brought up in Barcelona’s industrial belt, the duo The Suicide Of Western Culture has, over the years, become one of the most outstanding electronic music projects on our scene.
Their origins, in the outskirts of a city with an important music scene, have totally moulded both the philosophy and the sound of the duo: ethical principles close to those of radical Basque rock bands, textures and melodies that are influenced by early 90s IDM, structures and sounds that bring them close to the post rock of bands such as Godspeed You! Black Emperor, Mogwai and Explosions in the Sky and a visual universe that brings their referential images (death, the Civil War of ’36, myste- ries and desolate places, religion and retro futurism) together with an impressively effective artistic and conceptual compo- nent. And what’s more they produce their music with an absolute minimum of high-tech. Others call it lo-fi and play on expen- sive amps bought by their parents and pedals brought over from the USA that they still manage to make sound like shit, whilst Juanjo and Miqui have gradually built their studio with trips to Cash Converters, swaps and cheap DIY, far removed from the analogical-vintage stance and working with the most affordable 90s synths. This is how they made their first two albums that have put them amongst the best of Spanish electronic music and have led them to play on an international scene, with concerts at some of the most outstanding festivals of the moment (Primavera Sound, SXSW, FYF in Los Angeles and Sónar). “Long Live Death! Down With Intelligence!” is the band’s third album and, as a teaser, earlier this year the 12” “Still Breathing But Already Dead” was released, an epic record from El Segell that includes 2 reworks by the Swedish producer The Field (one of their references) and Hugo Capablanca, the Berlin-based Spanish DJ. The track also has a video, an incredible crea- tion by Pau Teixidor filmed in Chatarras Palace, a suburban-Barcelona version of “Fight Club”.
The Suicide of Western Culture’s new album is their best so far. Everything that they have been developing over the past few years has been perfectly encapsulated here. “Amor de Madre” opens the album and contains all the duo’s trademarks: drones that turn into dreamy melodies, those grand drums that are full of punch and a sound that is somewhere between dark and epic. It also defines the rhythm and sound of the album, although the 11 tracks do leave room for surprises. “Drugs Bring Me Closer To You” and “Dysplasia” are the closest the band has got to the dance floor so far, whilst maintaining their idiosyncra- sies. On “Headless Saints” the rhythmic bassline comes close to industrial sounds and on “Return To My Parents Hometown in Andalucia” and “Beware Of The Fifth Column” their poppier facet comes to light, thanks in part to vocals from Animic’s Louise Sansom on the latter. And that is not the only collaborative track, Pau from Za! plays trumpet on “La Muerte No Es El Final”.