Fatamorgana: Terra Alta 12"

Fatamorgana: Terra Alta 12"

Tags: · 10s · post-punk · recommended · Spain · synth-pop · synth-punk
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Formed in Barcelona in the summer of 2017, Fatamorgana sprang to life from the hearts and minds of Patrycja Anna Proniewska and Louis Harding. What began as a bedroom project of sorts (monophonic synthesisers, 4-track cassette recordings) the project soon blossomed into a functional live unit. Following a self-released cassette single at the start of the year, the pair spent the latter part of 2018 touring continental Europe and the west coast of North America.

Recorded at Holyrook Estudio in Barcelona, Terra Alta is the group’s first full-length effort. The verse-chorus songwriting, the raw set-up of 2-synths-and-a-beat, and the primal rhythms nod to the duo’s background in punk. But Terra Alta has a pensive and mesmeric quality, provided in part by an outstanding production job (Studio AS One, Warsaw), but also by lyrics concerning themselves with themes of love, time travel, reflections on the future, the power of imagination and the mysteries of the natural world. If pressed for musical references the band could be pin-pointed somewhere between early DEPECHE MODE, YOUNG MARBLE GIANTS, THE HUMAN LEAGUE and a rounder around the edges BORGHESIA.

Dreamlike synthesisers and echoed voices circle around danceable rhythms, inviting you to simultaneously contemplate and move your body. Allow yourself to be teleported from the majesty of Nature, to the glow of the discotheque.

Our take: Debut vinyl from this Barcelona synth-pop duo composed of Louis from Good Throb / No / Shitty Limits / a million other bands and Patrycja from Barcelona. While both members come from a punk background, you won't find any of that here… this is full-on synth-pop played entirely on synths and drum machines (well, except for the vocals). When music like this is poorly executed it can sound cold, synthetic, and/or flat, but Fatamorgana have none of those problems. The sound is lush and layered, with snappy drums and deep bass. The overall vibe reminds me of a more human, organic-sounding version of early Human League with a dash of Boy Harsher’s noir-tinged futurism, while the songs themselves get buried in your head just as a good pop song should. If you dabble in both punk rock and synth-pop, I can’t recommend this enough.