“From somewhere high above the old hills of our home, the love will come to conquer”
Hey ho everybody! Welcome to a post that will change your life… Am I exaggerating? Well, probably. But give me time. Read, listen and dive into Crystal Fighters‘ universe. And I am pretty sure you will be as captivated as me.
This is my first post, so let me introduce myself. I am Agnès, always looking for new music, danceable beats and unique voices. I judge a group after checking out their acoustic or live performances, and from now on I will share my must-hear bands with you!
So let’s focus, I am really excited to present you Crystal Fighters. Formed in London in 2007, Crystal Fighters are Sebastian Pringle (vocalist, guitar), Gilbert Vierich (guitar, electronics, txalaparta, percussions) and Graham Dickinson (guitar, txalaparta). Originally, Mimi Borrelli and Laure Stockley (vocals) were also actively involved in the project. But later, only the three of them were touring as a band, so they incorporated Ellie Fletcher (vocal) and Andrea Marongiu (drums) in order to improve the live shows.
Trying to simplify their work, they present themselves making fast dance music with Basque instruments, synthesizers and their voices. However, their songs mix a great variety of genres (pop, electro, dubstep, techno, drum’n’bass, folk, and so on). There is also such an interesting story behind their origin, and who better than them to explain it. Have a look at the short documentary below to find out what inspired and still influences them, as well as to hear some of their tracks on both acoustic and electronic format.
On the whole, they are really interested in the Basque culture (and the unknown history around its bewitched traditions) and they combine the natural and organic sound of traditional Basque instruments (such as txalaparta or txistu) with contemporary electronic dance.
After lots of gigs in London, they released several singles like I Love London, Xtatic Truth, In the Summer and Plage with the French stable Kitsuné. I discovered them in 2010, while they were playing in the BAM (Barcelona Acció Musical). After joking about their quirky image, the sweeping surround sound was astonishing. Shortly after, their debut album Star Of Love (acronym of SOL, which means sun in Spanish) came out. Based on this sort of unfinished opera, a blend of confusing melodies were developed. But just relisten. From sick I do this everyday and eclecticSwallow to sweet At Home and catchy Plage, the whole compilation is bursting with energy.
Last spring the album was released in Canada and the US. You can listen to it on Soundcloud (down here) and Spotify, and this american release included a new song (Earth Island) as well as Fiesta (a cover of Fiesta de los Maniquíes from Golpes Bajos).
But their strength lies in their live shows. The lyrics of Star of Love concern big themes (existence, love, death, life…) and combined with folk percussion and electronics the whole set is inspiring. With a dramatic staging, the fast rhythms and danceable melodies create a wicked performance. Their music is pure sun energy (I am not kidding!). They transmit force on every note and guarantee a memorable concert. Take a look at the video and feel the Crystal Fighters’ overwhelming sound!
Otherwise, if you are in a more peaceful beat-mood don’t miss the Live in The Woods or the acoustic Star of Love EP. Besides you will find all the official videos, lyric videos, other interviews and acoustic sessions on their Youtube channel.
Every song sounds quite different if you listen to the original album, the acoustic covers or the live remixes.Personally, I am sure that if you add some of their songs to your playlist, you will keep on listening and adding new ones. Sometimes the clear and natural acoustics to chill, sometimes the vibrant versions to motivate yourself even on foggy days.
They are currently working on their second album, which will probably be released in spring 2013, and will be followed by an European Tour (first confirmed dates in Amsterdam, Paris, Brussels, London, Berlin and Warsaw). They announce special plans for friends in Spain and the Basque Country (atentos!) as well as USA and Canada. You can follow them on Facebook or join the mailing list to receive their newsletter.
Meanwhile, their last release is a collaboration with Feed Me. The song, Love Is All I Got, is once again energetic and radiates vitality. And with this track I end this post. You can hear their message down here; wake your soul with love in the morning, feed your soul with love to the evening, expand your soul with love on the weekend, ’cause love is all I got.