LA CAMORRA: Songs for an asphalt summer

By Ángel F. Herrera, La Camorra | Intro: Teresa de Andrés. July 27, 2012


La Camorra is a mobster criminal design studio from Madrid –metaphorically understood– that plays to teach that rules are made to be broken, cities to be lined with paper, and cold water to be poured over the easy and boring discourse.

They’ve made wonders for El Ranchito art and research project within El Matadero and for that rowdy god that is Daniel Johnston (with Munster Records). They have drawn the universe in black and white for the 4th edition of the Spanish Independent Music Awards and have dressed up those other Madrilenian nights, gathered spasmodic inside four walls by two (and a half) honouring Fellini. Since the day they started they have aligned themselves with music and the plastic and paper that wraps it up; that is why we have asked them to add a soundtrack to this wasteland of Madrid, also known as "asphalt summer".

The Clash “Train in Vain”

This is my favourite song by The Clash. I really like it when The Clash get all romantic and they sound more like a pop band. And I especially like it when it's Mick Jones who sings: all you have to do is listen to all the backing vocals while Joe Strummer is singing to realize that good old Mick should have been the lead singer. You could dance to “Train in Vain” in a nightclub or in a squatter camp and that makes it even greater. Also there is an interesting story behind this song, check the Wikipedia.

Talking Heads “This Must Be a Place”

It's in my genes to be impatient and have zero tolerance with songs that take too long to start, some sort of ramones syndrome for immediacy and eagerness to get to the chorus. Well, I can throw all that out of the window when Talking Heads take on a one-minute intro with 5839349 million nuances and I wish it never ended. This is the true classy nightclub music and this is what I picture in my head when I’m flirting dancing, so romantic.

Gabinete Caligari “Olor a Carne Quemada”

Although now Urrutia seems to give us the shivers, there was a time when he was a classy guy. This is a tremendous tune in all its meanings.

Eskorbuto “Las más macabras de las vidas”

Eskorbuto is the most HONEST band in the world and it kept me company throughout my entire adolescence. And it still does, because I’m still stunned by their albums. I especially like this one. Iosu Expósito was a great fan of The Who and tried to, in some way, get closer to rock opera and in particular to The Who’s Tommy, to emulate his admired idols. But of course, think about the different contexts that surround each band and which in the end make Las más macabras de las vidas BRILLIANT to no end.

Derribos Arias “Aprenda Alemán en 7 días”

Derribos would be the only band that could face up to Eskorbuto in a battle for the most honest band in the whole world. Favourites of La Camorra, we really can’t find a band that's even slightly similar. There is no one like Poch.

So Cow “Greetings”

Although we are disappointed with the poor concert they gave in Madrid a month ago, we still think that Sow Cow creates tiny songs that make us feel very happy: "Greetings" is one of those songs.

Devo “Gut Feeling”

If before I was telling you about the one-minute intro by Talking Heads, now I double the bet and it’s two minutes what Devo need to tense a song until it bursts. It could well be Devo’s best song, being bold. Special mention to the OST of Wes Anderson’s The Life Aquatic.

Davila 666 “Sabes que quiero”

Davila have managed to end once and for all with the language barriers and the primacy of English to be part of an important label (In The Red) and have also achieved recognition beyond Spanish speaking countries, what I mean is that they break an important new ground. In addition to this, they create complete songs: they are not creating anything new, but they take care of not being a photocopy doing the same as everybody. “Sabes que quiero” is excellent.

Johnny Cash “Sunday Morning Coming Down”

It's HIM.

Los Sobraos “Quiero Verte”

The thing about Spotify telling you how many times you listen to a song and its monthly top-twenty, makes you feel ashamed of one or two weak spots. That’s the case with Los Sobraos and their “Quiero verte”, but far from feeling ashamed I want to admit that I love this shitty song; and what is more, all of us at La Camorra love it. So, there, I’ve said it. Start clapping!

Los Claveles “Estafas”

At La Camorra we all agree that of all the Spanish bands today, Los Claveles is the one we like the most. They have something special multiplied by a thousand and they have charisma, the most important thing to be eternal, charisma. This song opens their latest album and with all the shit we are going through I’m sure you will identify with it, but watch out because they will NOT FUCK US UP, it’s our warning...

The Go-Betweens “Karen”

I think that if somebody wants to make us happy, a client or anybody who wants to butter us up, he or she could come here with a vinyl of the Go-Betweens’ first recordings for us. So delightful.

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