Barcelona has no rest after a loaded summer filled with festivals, gatherings and all manner of cultural activities. As the heatwave comes to an end, the busy agenda continues for a diverse range of music, and lucky us: there’s also room on the schedule for exquisite events like a West Mineral showcase in an idyllic (new) venue on a Sunday evening.
Casa Montjuïc is a new project located next to Montjuïc, the hill that is denoted as the birthplace of Barcelona. A concert and theatre venue adjoined to a wine bar, already enriching the cultural scene hosting no less than Huerco S and his colleagues from West Mineral: Pontiac Streator and Mr Water Wet. Local talent Nueen started the night and unfortunately we missed it, but we’ve witnessed his introspective sonic waves when he opened for Loscil back in February, in another show organized by Laut, a name that’s also tied with Casa Montjuic.
In this space the offering is dedicated for the listening experience: wooden floors, a respectable sound system, the option of having a comfortable seat or to just sit or lay on the floor, and an audience that’s there for the ride. We found ourselves in total darkness as we entered right at the beginning of Pontiac Streator, and got immersed in his performance that started with processed vocals as melodic motifs, and took us through different stages of daydreaming experiences. Crackles, atmospheric pads and hints of rhythm towards the end served as an essential first step in the sonic voyage that had no pauses between sets.
If Philadelphia’s Pontiac Streator explored different moods through ambiance and deepness, Kansas City’s Iggy Romeu, known as Mr Water Wet, did so in moving around rhythm and texture, starting with a sonic landscape depiction where field recordings and different percussive elements would emerge. Processed trumpets as ethereal harmonics over free jazz-like drum programming. A delight.
Label founder Huerco S closed the night with a superb DJ set that started vaporous and reminiscent of a sonic decay in slow motion, with all its twists and turns to start taking us places. A refined selector, he provided a masterclass of mixing that, no matter how eclectic, remained cohesive, organic, and stood out as a new form of sound not only defined by the tracks that he played in such a smooth way. Hailing from Kansas but based in Germany, Brian Leeds has been a favourite of ours since his trademark release ‘For Those Of You Who Have Never (And Also Those Who Have)’, and he has the not so common skill of being both an acclaimed producer and an impressive dj, impregnating his sessions with an almost studio atmosphere due to his elegant technique.
Article by A. Sixta & Paranoid
West Mineral’s tour across Europe still has shows soon in Norway, Germany, Netherlands and Denmark. You can find the dates here.