'I was a ‘darks’ and I am a ‘darks’...', by Borja Prieto (Part I)

By Borja Prieto. January 4, 2013

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Above all else, Borja Prieto is a big FAN. He is passionate about music, the underground and mainstream cultures that have been shaking up life in Madrid for years. An expert in the music industry after working at several small and large companies, he was part of MySpace Spain, the website Herzio and has recently joined the team at crowdfunding site MyMajorCompany. Known too for being 'the-guy-who-played-at-Paulina Rubio's-wedding', he also manages the agency Club Social which supports artists such as Javiera Mena or Pegasvs, writes for the magazine ‘Cuore’ and contributes weekly to a radio programme called Está pasando. He's only come here to talk about his dark past though.


Hello everyone, when I was younger I dressed onion-style. Layers were my game. I was a goth, that tribe that in the Spanish-speaking world recently became known as "darks" thanks to YouTube. Like a good adolescent, I was a dark through and through. I always wore black, back-combed my hair and even wore eye make-up. I took it very seriously. Over time my appearance changed but my dark music totems never left me. I love Rozz Williams the most, I think The Cure is one of the top three bands in history, I keep playing Bauhaus all the time and still think Siouxsie is the best front woman ever. That dark sense of music doesn't just disappear, maybe because behind all that façade there are massive hits, amazing groups that are worshipped and hymns for yesterday, today and forever. Here is a list of my favourite dark hits from the past, present and future, a collection of top tunes that have always been by my side and others that I’ve discovered recently.
 

'Incubus Sucubus' - Xmal Deutschland

Pop music is songs and its singers. Once you're crazy about hits and the singers too, that's when fanaticism begins. I loved Anja, the beautiful singer in Xmal Deutschland. They were a great band that signed up to 4AD and could have been huge. Their first three records are must-haves and they are one of the most aesthetically perfect groups of all time.
 


 


'Romeo's Distress' - Christian Death


Have you ever been obsessed with a group? Have you bought all of its records? Have you ever spent all your savings on a book because it featured two unpublished photos? I have, with Christian Death. I still own 38 vinyl records by the group and I'm still crazy about its first singer, Rozz Williams. This hit is from their first and best record, Only Theatre of Pain, dark postpunk from 1982. I've got five different versions.
 



'All she ever wanted was everything' - Bauhaus


Nothing they produced has aged badly. Their look continues to be copied, new versions of their songs keep coming out and people are still buying their records. Just as The Who is to the mod movement, and Iron Maiden is to heavy metal, Bauhaus is a symbol, a trademark, something that is enduring. Over 20 years, this song has made an appearance on all of my lists.
 




'Charlotte Sometimes' - The Cure


Seventeen Seconds
(1980), Faith (1981) and Pornography (1982) are three records that become totems once you're fully immersed in the dark lifestyle. At some point, between those three records, The Cure recorded this marvel which is available on 12” and the compilation record, Standing on the Beach. Their cheesy 80's video is still one of my all-time favourites.
 




'Mirage' - Siouxsie and the Banshees


For me, Siouxsie is the bee's knees. When I thought about which songs to include on this list, I put Mirage on, immediately started waving my arms around and sang it from start to finish. My youngest son looked at me astonished and started copying me straight away. You can get hooked on Siouxsie and this song arouses that unique sensation that can only be provoked by your favourite music: an incomparable orgy of endorphins.
 




'The Condos' - Iron Curtain


Dark music has always been marginal. The good thing about marginal movements is that there are lots of groups who never see the light of day, bands who live underground, who produce their own records and, in time, disappear. The goth movement really took off in the US and moved in very underground circles. Now, thanks to millions of inquisitive people, that whole effervescent underground scene is coming alive again through luxurious covers. I discovered Iron Curtain two years ago and they're from 1984; I've loved them ever since. I played this hit on a loop for a whole week on my iPod. Everything they produced is a complete must-have.
 


 

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