Aventuras De Kirlian - 1986-1988

(ELE1086: 8428846210865)

This very special CD features a collection of 4-track home recordings -released for the first time ever- by AVENTURAS DE KIRLIAN, a band from San Sebastián that despite having a very short life proved to be highly influential for the development of Spanish indie pop music in subsequent years. AVENTURAS DE KIRLIAN was Jone Gabarain (vocals), Teresa Iturrioz (bass), Ibon Errazkin (guitar) and Peru Izeta (drums, guitar). Before going ahead with the story we should leave clear that these four people -plus the addition of Gorka Ochoa- would later change their band name to LE MANS and release four absolute masterpieces in Elefant Records throughout the nineties: “Le Mans”, “Entresemana”, “Saudade” and “Aquí vivía yo”, plus a handful of singles. Their sound -fragile, understated, constantly changing but always unique- made them a very well-respected band in Spain, and they managed to have their songs released in such countries as Japan, United States, Argentina, Mexico, Germany, Portugal, Poland or Greece; LE MANS became a much name-dropped reference for many pop lovers all around the world. The core of the band was formed by Ibon and Teresa, which started playing together in the summer of 1985 (as a curious fact, in the beginning they both played bass!). In February 1986 Jone and Peru joined the couple, and AVENTURAS DE KIRLIAN was officially born. From the very first moment they left clear their aim to avoid the affectation and excess of most of their contemporaries; it was mid eighties and Spanish pop music was going through quite an unpleasant phase. Many bands were born at the same time as AVENTURAS DE KIRLIAN, but nearly all of them are completely forgotten by now. AVENTURAS DE KIRLIAN was not just “another band”. In fact, everything in ADK was distinctive in the context of 1986: their influences (FELT, Tamla Motown, LOVE, MARINE GIRLS, early TALKING HEADS, Spanish band DÉCIMA VÍCTIMA), their lyrics (more descriptive than narrative; completely far from trite territories but at the same time very natural and simple), their naked, minimalistic sound reduced to the minimum (Ibon used no effects in his guitar; Peru’s drumkit had no cymbals or bass drums) and, above all, Jone’s vocals. She is probably one of the most unaffected, quiet singers in the history of pop, following the tradition of Astrud Gilberto or Maureen Tucker. From 1986 to 1988 the band records several demo tapes and plays gigs accompanied by local bands such as LA INSIDIA (which would later changed their name to FAMILY and record superb “Un soplo en el corazón” album for Elefant ) or 23 OJOS DE PEZ, a band formed by Javi Pez (later he would make dance music as PARAFUNK, and also would collaborate with Elefant’s French band SPRING in the classic “Out of time” album), a band Ibon also played with. In August 1988 Alejo Alberdi (ex DERRIBOS ARIAS, a Spanish eighties band) attends one ADK live show and offers to find them a record deal, as well as to produce their first album. As a result of this encounter, AVENTURAS DE KIRLIAN signs for DRO label and an eponymous nine song mini-album is out in 1989. The album got rave reviews in Spanish music press, but failed to gain the favours of big audiences. A year later the album was deleted and the band was searching for a new record company. Soon afterwards the name change from ADK to LE MANS would take place. And the rest, as it’s often said, is history... In spite of its relative commercial failure, “Aventuras de Kirlian” (the album) would turn out to be a very important thing for Spanish indieland: there we could already find a rough version of the main elements that would turn LE MANS into worldwide indie pop darlings some years later. We can easily trace the influence of this album in many new Spanish pop bands, though maybe most of them never got to hear songs like “Maravillas” or “Un día gris” as the album had a very short commercial life; in fact it was impossible to find during most of the nineties, till it was reissued in CD almost a decade after its initial release. What we offer you in this CD is a selection of the demo tapes AVENTURAS DE KIRLIAN recorded in the years before their album was released, between 1986 and 1988. For any LE MANS connoisseur it will be a very amazing surprise to listen any of the seventeen tracks included here and find the unmistakable guitar of Ibon Errazkin and Jone Gabarain’s delicate vocal moods, almost as we’ve always known them, but in mid-eighties recordings! Maybe the most shocking difference between these tracks and subsequent LE MANS recordings is the fast tempo of songs like “Ayer hice una casa” or “En invierno”, a pattern LE MANS would place in the back burner in favour of more slow-paced, relaxed numbers. Sometimes the songs are beatiful, less-than-one-minute-long miniatures like the delightful “Reloj de sol”. Some other times we find songs every bit as good as the ones finally included in the album such as “En tu zapato”, “Casa del queso”, “El árbol” or absolutely lovely “Canción de campamento” (“Holiday camp song”) with its highly hummable whistle arrangement. “Marnie la ladrona” is a very remarkable out-of-character thing, featuring a beatbox and weird guitars. There are also two songs that share titles with two tracks in LE MANS’ first album (“Manzanas y naranjas” and “El nuevo cantante”) but titles are the only thing in common among them. in fact none of the songs in this CD had previously been released. We must insist in the fact these are four-track home recordings. Therefore the sound quality is quite low. This said, we think this is a sound document important enough as to release it, and the quality of the songs leaves behind these sound inconveniences. All the songs had been waiting for more than a decade to be released, waiting for the right moment to come out. Now that LE MANS doesn’t exist anymore, and that their name is well-known by pop aficionados all over the world, we invite you to look back and discover the band’s prehistory. But please don’t expect a mere collection of annecdotic rare tracks, as most of the songs are top drawer pop gems of the first order.

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