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The alt sounds of Barcelona Acció Musical take over Rambla del Raval

[ 22.09.17 ]

 As usual, the Barcelona Acció Musical Festival returns to La Mercè, filling the city with alt music sounds from September 22 to 25. And this year a new site is added to the regular BAM venues: Rambla del Raval.

Besides this new space, Plaça de Joan Coromines, Plaça dels Àngels and the Antiga Fàbrica Estrella Damm will also host BAM festival shows once more. This year, moreover, the spotlight falls on music from Reykjavík, the guest city at La Mercè, and on Portugal, which reveals its most modern face at the minifestival Portugal Alive.

The BAM programme features 45 concerts, with music ranging from the electronic pop of the British artist Anna Meredith to the contemporary sounds of Chassol. From the US come Endless Boogie with their take on krautrock, while the UK sends Ray BLK, whose mixture of hip-hop and R&B has led some to call her the English Lauryn Hill.

Turning to more exotic climes, the festival also includes music based on traditional sounds from the Middle East, such as A-Wa, a trio of Israelis with Yemenite roots, the jazz funk of the Ethiopian musician Hailu Mergia, the electronic dance music of the Korean band Idiotape and the fusion of electronica and eastern sounds that is served up by the French group Acid Arab.

Iceland, this year’s guest of honour, brings the hip-hop of MC Emmsjé Gauti, accompanied by a huge female crew: the Reykjavíkurdætur. BAM also showcases Icelandic pop in its different forms, as served up by the likes of Glowie, Ólöf Arnalds, JFDR and the Samaris, as well as the post-punk of Grísalappalísa and the minimalist electronic sounds of the duo Kiasmos.

Then, if you want to get up to speed with the latest on the Portuguese alt music scene, then you have the chance to sample three bands on one day and at one venue (September 23, Plaça de Joan Coromines). The acts appearing are: Pega Monstro, guitar and drums fusing punk and dream pop; prog-rockers Sensible Soccers; and Gala Drop, who perform a mixture of psychedelic sounds and krautrock.

But the programme also includes eagerly-awaited shows by plenty of Catalan and Spanish artists. For example, Oso Leone, from the Balearic Islands, playing tracks from their new album; the Majorcan Joana Gomila, presenting tunes from Folk Souvenir; and Afro-pop outfit Zulu Zulu… Not forgetting Renaldo & Clara, Pau Vallvé (this time around in the shape of an electric four-piece band) and a Catalan-Chilean group, The Zephir Bones. Want Barcelonan pop? Try Kou Keri Kou.

Galicia’s own Bala will bring their punk, grunge and stoner-rock to the party, while the Asturians Pablo und Destruktion will also get us up on our feet. From Murcia come, not only the experimental pop rock of Crudo Pimento, but also the psychedelic sounds of Alien Tango.

Finally, remember that, this year, the BAM programme features an extra attraction at the Fabra i Coats Art Factory site. This is BAM-Cultura Viva [BAM-Living Culture], a venue for meeting and for experimentation in live music. Come and enjoy the work of artists at a self-managed festival where the programme includes workshops, a non-stop sound system, paella served with music by Compartir Dóna Gustet… and live music by Alacanto, Esperit!, Hans Laguna, Las Víctimas Civiles, Lu Rois, Macedònia Balcànica and Meconio, among others.