L-KAN has been one of those bands that spread so quickly through word of mouth among all those fans of the toughest and most iconic techno-pop. Their four discs, in addition to that collaboration with EL AVIADOR DRO and LA MONJA ENANA called “¡Qué mutada!” are objects of worship for those daring, nocturnal spirits, so much so that their songs have even been released in México, Francia and Perú. But the moment arrived to “settle down”, and Luis and Belén (of course, huge activists of the Madrid night-life, responsible for clubs like Ocho y Medio and Elástico. Luis is also a respected photographer, responsible for photo sessions for groups like EL AVIADOR DRO, LA BIEN QUERIDA and LA CASA AZUL among others), have decided to begin a new parallel project, a little calmer, but with more care in the arrangements and melodies, and geared toward a more organic sound with slightly sharper lyrics. That's how BLA was born, and how we now have “La Mejor Enfermedad”, an album that oozes excitement and vitality, with melancholy touches like on “Mira Lo Que Se Oye Cuando Estamos Callados”, utilizing a greater range of instruments (among the highlights are the drums of Gabriel Marijuan, and the ukulele of Luis), though without letting go of the programming. As they explain themselves, “in BLA we talk about love, about the good and the regular, about the small inconveniences that can destroy you in the day to day, how to go back to places you no longer feel at home in, about failure and the blind stubbornness to get over it, about those moments of euphoria in which nothing else matters. BLA could be a pleasant head cold, a quarantine in order to spend some time alone, a piece of gum you saved and chewed again later. BLA could be a Hawaiian group, an indie pop group in the most Swedish sense of the word, a group of robbers of sounds from the 60s…”. The result is an ample palette of colors, of moods, of styles and sounds, showing us that “La Mejor Enfermedad” represents the need of two great composers to feel freedom in writing, to try whatever appeals to them. And the only illness these two protagonists suffer from is the inability to remain still.
And so “Tú Fijate” gives us poses of ASTRUD and LOS FRESONES REBELDES, while “Te Espío Y Te Archivo” finds an original formula, adding that identifiable ukulele and Beatles-esque organ to the previous ingredients, resulting in one of the most surprising secret-love songs of recent years. The album's title track plays with a sample that could just as easily be from URSULA 1000 or LE HAMMOND INFERNO, and “Cómo Seremos” reveals that maturity that Belén plays with, with such youthful joy, blanketed by melodies that reminds us of the imagery included in EL NIÑO GUSANO's “El Escarabajo Mas Grande Del Mundo”. “Yo Soy Como Portugal” is an example of the best electronic pop made here, halfway between FAMILY and CARLOS BERLANGA, wrapped in precious synthetic strings. Strings that also appear on “La Lluvia, El Viento, Los Contratiempos”, probably one of the best songs on the album, one of the most melancholy songs, with marvelous harmonic changes. “Los Exnovios” is like the missing link between L-KAN and BLA, with more acerbic, fun and sarcastic lyrics, like Belén singing, “Mis ex novios cuelgan detrás de mi cabeza olvidados, me recuerdan a aquellos trapos que conservo en el armario. Yo jamás me los pondría, pero no los tiraría..." (“My ex-boyfriends hang forgotten in the back of my head, like those old clothes in my closet. I'd never wear them, but I'm not ready to throw them out…”). We had already given the award for most introspective song to “Mira Lo Que Se Oye Cuando Estamos Callados”, which seems, at times, like something from “Popemas” (NOSOTRASH), but the sadness only lasts until the sampler from OS MUTANTES saying “A minha menina” that opens “El Señor de Ese Bar” begins to play. “Siempre Hay Una Más” is a concession to the sound that saw them grow as musicians, with a fondness for CHICO Y CHICA, STEREO TOTAL and electroclash, and is one of the clearest singles on the disc. And to wrap things up, “La Cancion Que Nunca Llegó a Serlo”, with such funny, clever and original lyrics, is an out-of-this-world finale to a solid disc.
This is definitely a nuanced, diverse album, with an enjoyable, agile listening (what else could it be, coming from who it comes from), and that opens the doors to one of the most interesting and original Spanish-sung pop groups. Everyone will be talking about BLA.
1. Tú fíjate
2. Te espío y te archivo
3. La mejor enfermedad
4. Cómo seremos
5. Yo soy como Portugal
6. La lluvia, el viento, los contratiempos
7. Los ex-novios
8. Mira lo que se oye cuando estamos callados
9. El señor de ese bar
10. Siempre hay una más
11. La canción que no llegó a serlo