Music Reviews

Mar 06 2013
Artist: Grupo Q
Title: Back Up
Format: 12"
Label: Atemporal Records
Rated: *****
The story of Grupo Q (the original name was Q but the record label added Grupo as a sign of distinction), is deeply linked to the story of Fernando Carmona. It started in 1974 when he, his brother Jesus, Carlos Nieto and Juan Falero, formed Khorus, a progressive rock band which lasted three years and recorded only a demo that have been reissued in 2011 by the label Arabiand Rock. In 1979, Fernando and Jesus decided to leave and to form a duo called Bola. They where the first band in Spain to use "new technologies" as analog sequencers and drum machines along with keyboards, guitars and vocals. They lasted for three years and did their first gig at the Teatro Lope de Vega in Seville on September the 24th of the same year and then Jerez and several provinces of Andalusia and Madrid followed. The duo disbanded the year after and Fernando with Alberto Guerra, Mario Canovas and Francisco Canovas formed Grupo Q. Active during the 1982-1986 period, Grupo Q recorded a 7" for Ariola ("La Nueva Generacion" b/w "Cuenta Atras") as a band and when Ariola tried to force them to have a female singer for their first LP they disbanded. A couple of years later Panoleta Records released four tracks recorded by Fernando alone (the tracks on this one were "Cine De Miedo", "Nada Nos Parara", "Dejame Ahora Dormir" and "Muneca Cibernetica"). Grupo Q sound was based on analog gear such as Roland Jupiter 4, Yamaha CS-20M, Korg X-911, Roland SH-2, Roland TR-808, Roland CSQ-600, Solina String Ensemble, Ibanez Digital Delay AD-190 and maybe for this reason, sometimes you can hear echoes of O.M.D. on some tracks. Thanks to Atemporal Records we are able to check the band's sound with twelve unreleased demo tracks. On these ones we can enjoy the peculiar techno pop style of the band where nice analogue bleeps and sounds paint joyful fresh atmospheres. For the people who's not keen about early 80s, these sounds could seem thin and kinda fragile but I assure you that the songs are melodically strong and catchy. Sometimes we also have ska uptempo rhythms, like on "Contra La Bisa" or on the particular mix of dark experimental electronic atmospheres and clean guitar of "Conexion Con XT-72". Also, check the only English sung song "Houses Of Glass" and you'll experience a time travel at the time when the radio was airing O.M.D.'s "Electricity", Depeche Mode's "New Life", Thomas Leer's "Contradictions" and Robert Rental's "Double Heart". Too bad we weren't aware of Grupo Q back then!

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