Archibrazo 4th September
This was the first of a kind of siamese gig, with Azur playing the same place, same time the next day but with Los Siquicos Litoraleños. Unfortunately I missed the latter, but thankfully not this one.
Weathering the shifting forms of the groups that surround them Azur remain solid after more than four years of playing and recording their dreamy soundscapes.
Gabi Coll plays keyboards and synth, Ale Coll generally picks away at his guitar, Mambo Sandoval is the meditative bassist while Nico Valiente gets his laptop whirring.
In Nico's absence the three found their sound without the computer, which tends to give the music its hypnotic packaging, and this removal of the comfort blanket revealed a sturdy unit of musicians, locked into their own groove but in definite unison.
Gabi's poppy keyboard sequences are pushed out of the speakers with a sinister tinge, filtered through loops and pedals, where they intertwine with Ale's adept guitar and mandolin twiddlings. It's always easy to fall back on delay pedals to get that distant electronic sound, but here there's an avoidance of the obvious, a weaving of the strange and beautiful, and then the simple. The bass is nothing complicated, but a point of relaxation for the ear, at a good slow pace, a tonic.
Charly Zaragoza couldn´t have anything but stage presence, this time with a cherry on top with his red t-shirt and Santa´s Helper hat. La Octava Sagrada is his solo project after ÜL, Klub der Klang, Virgin Vapor... where his astute aural fiddlings are irreplaceable. He plays strange shaped guitars, roll-up toy keyboard, Kaos pad plus numerous pedals and devices, and some normal instruments too! The best part of his set was an accordian sample doing some very visceral things over modified sounds and sputters. He plays layering, building on loops and organic blips, and shows us what it is to do the ¨noise¨ thing all alone. Long live La Octava Sagrada!