Baile de Magos, Joe Crepúsculo
Mushroom Pillow, Spain
The punk troubadour, as we used to know Joe Crepúsculo back when he started doing music solo, comes back with an album that is clearly inspired by the Spanish techno of the ’90s. Thus he completes the slow transition from his first lo-fi punk recordings as an outcast songwriter into these more deeply ironic canned techno rhythms as a satirical disco commentator. Composed and recorded in Mallorca, Baile de magos has a subtle Balearic taste expressed in very pushy synthetic progressions, sometimes mixed with a slight touch of free jazz and house sounds, but never abandoning the jokey, somewhat cryptic and rather philosophical tone of his lyrics and the scratchy, unprocessed voice.
It’s difficult to say whether this is nostalgia or just a jokey experimental trip, it seems to me that it is more of an homage to ’90s Spanish electronic music, an epic appropriation of its sound, but in an estranged way, as the treatment of the voice track shows. As for the lyrics, Joe Crepúsculo keeps writing about life and death, relationships, drinking coffee, saints and robots, even about dancing in the bathroom. But, if we could just leave the texts behind and focus on the sound itself, we could see that this album is not like the five previous ones.
Baile de magos is about dancing in every way, starting with the reminiscences of the bakalao club culture and even the references to popular music and cumbia, like in “Hoy no me quiero levantar,” continuing with the structure of the songs, all of them having a strong climax that pushes us to dance (or at least to move our head back and forth), and ending with the epic lyrics of songs. “Nuevo Amanecer” describes a new awakening, “Mi fábrica de baile” presents Crepúsculo’s unstoppable dance factory, “Batalla de robots” tries to wake up the robot in us, and “Leyenda” (featuring Russian Red), with all its references to swords and fights, is the most epic track. Just don’t listen to this record in the office; it may be too awkward for your coworkers.