DOM21-L: Fernando Gallego "Maquinismo Operatorio 1984-1986" LP
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A1. Almuerzo Desnudo
A2. Di Hola Zapato
B1. Maquinismo Operatorio
B2. España y Cuba
Solo Porqué Yo Existo (Digital Bonus Track)
Edition of 300 copies. Comes with DIN A3-sized poster printed double sided and free download code with exclusive digital bonus track. Mastered by Yves Roussel, 2014.
Fernando Gallego is not a music band which we can define as ‘common’, on the contrary. This group from Burriana, successor of Funeraria Vergara, started its history back in the early 1984, (after Juan Luis Montoliu left), and it ended in 1986 with the emergence of the project "Decúbito Supino". Their usage of some synthesizers, amongst other gadgets, keyboards and large petrol cans, was the distinctive feature as regards to their predecessor band; such an echo defined a much more industrial and electronic sound, closer to early EBM.
As it happened with Funeraria Vergara, the disconnection or isolation towards something which might be classified as ‘local scene’ or similarity, which was the most common thing, given the circumstances… Castellón, in those times, did not have many ways to let people know his music, and even less that one made by other groups similar to FG, either in style or musically speaking. This fact helped to define a unique and original identity, even more if possible, taking into account the personality and character of each of its members. FG didn’t get to publish anything at all until 2012, when one of his songs (Almuerzo Desnudo) appeared in the compilation Non Plus Ultra 1980-1987 (Domestica Records, Ref.DOM03-L.
Here you can read the interview that we made to the members of FG just before starting to prepare this record. We must say that our intention was just to gather more data for the informative text which comes together with the album… however, we found this document very interesting, as it helps to understand much better what FG was than any other biography by anyone else; for this reason we have decided to publish it as we received it, we hope you will like:
- When was Fernando Gallego active ?
- Why did you “mutate” from Funeraria Vergara to Fernando Gallego ?
Juan Luis Montoliu left the group and Funeraria Vergara ended, but the others decided to continue, despite not knowing exactly how or where to; actually, two of the songs by Fernando Gallego “Sólo Porque Yo Existo” and “España y Cuba” still keep the touch of Funeraria Vergara, since we had not began to use the analogic synthesizers which would be characteristic in the songs by Fernando Gallego; here I insert the remarks by Juanon –the real mater soul of the project– referring to the origin of Fernando Gallego:
“The former demo-tape (which cannot be considered as a demo) was recorded with a cassette deck of that time, entering through a wire connected to our homemade mixer together with our amplifiers "Sales Kit". I remember we used large empty petrol cans and a reel-to-reel where we used to record the bases of the songs. The drum machine was a Korg KPR-77, and we had two analogic synthesizers (nowadays they are jewels) the Korg MS-10 and MS-20, which with the triggers of the drum machine activated the start of the MS-10 and the MS-20 bass, as well as a polyphonic keyboard Casio (a toy). And with lots of imagination we created these songs in the mid eighties (1984-86). If only we had had the current means 25 years ago. The few live concerts that we performed… they were so funny, the stage was a sort of electronic laboratory, with Repsol petrol cans (which we picked up from a nearby place in works, before the concert…)”
In those times, Juanon –who was also our sound technician– started to experiment with the synthesizers that we had, an MS20 and a MS10; the sound was magnificient, with the possibility to interconnect them we realized that, if we linked that mixture to some powerful bases of the drum machine, which also was connected to the keyboards, something quite original and very different from what we had done until that moment might be born. We started to experiment and compose; some of the songs found in Fernando Gallego were more experimental, making use of the possibilities that both keyboards gave us, which not much later we would reuse in our next project: “Decúbito Supino”, where the composition would be far from the paths of fame, giving free rein to songs which were essentially drafts, projects, or ideas; there we included repetitive tapes which Juanon used to make up, and its lyrics were especially phonetic sounds, silly voices, etc.
- Why you chose the name "Fernando Gallego" ? Does it have anything to do with the Spanish Gothic painter ?
Yes, this is the reason, precisely. Actually, in those moments Jose Luis Ferrer “Telu” was really interested in that painter, and we decided to name the group after him. We also did it a bit ironically to create confusion, as none of the members of the group was neither called Fernando nor Gallego, and we didn’t know anyone who had this name. Perhaps to continue the joke, some songs have people’s names, such as “Santiago” or “Gerardo”, which none of us, and not even anyone close to us, had either.
- Any musical or/and artistic influence which was an inspiration in that moment ?
We used to like SPK, from who we borrowed the idea of the petrol large cans; also as a reference, The Residents, who began to be heard over here; we got impressed when we saw them in the programme “La Edad de Oro”, with Paloma Chamorro; or for instance, the German/Spanish DAF, Tuxedomoon, Cabaret Voltaire, Psychic TV, Einstürzende Neubauten, Kraftwerk and of course the other influences which we felt identified with when we were in Funeraria Vergara; Joy División, Bauhaus, The Fall, Dead Can Dance, Décima Víctima, Aviador Dro, Los Iniciados, La Caída de la Casa Usher, Derribos Arias, Parálisis Permanente, Agrimensor K, etc, etc. In brief, all the sinister and experimental wave of the times.
- Where did you rehearse ?
The rehearsals were in different places, in Juanon’s or in Telu’s home, in the Grao de la Uburriana, where we had the large cans downstairs, in the Street; through our headphones and by a wave radio system set by Juanon, the one who played the large can, and could hear the rest of the group, who were upstairs; in Juanon’s home, in his workplace, everything was like a sort of scientific laboratory; it was full of wires, nails, pegs, and all sorts of mechanic and electric gadgets which Juanon was in charge of joining, trying and making it burst (on some occasions) but always with his characteristic wisdom and wit. There he interconnected the MS20 and MS10, the drum machine and the old reel-to-reel where we recorded the songs and which was also used as their base. Our former place of rehearsal -where we used to rehearse with Funeraria Vergara- was called ‘La Base’ (the base), but due to the amount of gadgets and material that we needed for Fernando Gallego, we moved to Juanon's home, where he had everything necessary and available whenever. Later, he came up with the idea to rehearse with headphones, due to annoying neighbours who bothered us with their gastroenteritis; sometimes we used to take our instruments to the Grao de Uburriana, a house in front of the sea belonging to “Telu” -in winter- when there were a few people, to rehearse there.
- Do you remember what Fernando Gallego's 'role' was within the local and national music framework? Were you in touch with other groups, music trademarks... ?
It was rather precarious, we continued attending the radio programme “Extraños en la Noche” and left our demo tapes to Miguel Ángel Villanueva, member of “Los Auténticos” from Castellón, who was the person in charge of the programme; he was also the promoter of the recording N-340, which contained the theme “El Difunto” by Funeraria Vergara. He may have been the one who showed most widely all which was made in Castellón and its surroundings.
- Did you offer concerts ? Do you remember any anecdote related ?
We played some concerts in Uburriana, in summer festivals organized by Ayto, together with other groups of the region. In one of them, where a group of rockers were also playing, the motorbike riders amongst the audience who were following them began to untie and jumped up enjoying our music and performance on the stage; having seen such a commotion, one of the members of the group, Hector Marco, took the microphone and began to read some parragraphs of a parochial piece of paper which we had found between the instruments -which we might have forgotten there when we used it in the concerts of Funeraria Vergara; the roudy ones had such a tremendous surprise that they remained, finally, in silence. We also played in some villages from the same province, (Peñíscola, Benicarlo, Vila-Real, Vall d’Uixó), the furthest we performed was in Amposta (Tarragona). In Benicarló we were lucky because we played in a hangout just next to some buildings under construction, so that time we didn't take long looking for a place to perform; and, as it was a big site in works, we could even chose the can-drums that we would use in the concert; after the concert, we put it back to its original place with some extra dents which would undoubtlessly be unnoticed on the following Monday, when the workers came back...
-Any other thing which comes to your mind...
We must say that we keep very good memories of the period Fernando Gallego, and we regret not having had more occasions to offer more performances and enjoy more of the band's sound; but we really had fun just meeting all of us to compound new themes and experiment with all the instruments available, which was so original for us. Juanon, who we called “The Great Genious”, was the one who made the most of all those gadgets we had; he was always experimenting with the synthesizers, the drum machine and the reel-to-reel, and he surprised us in every rehearsal with a new rhythm or sound that he had made up, which we quickly introduced in the songs which were being created. He was also in charge of solving loads of connection problems and other electronic failures which occured both in the rehearsals and instants before some live performances; he was also responsible for demos recording, apart from carrying out all the settings before concerts.
Fernando Gallego, November 2014
José Luís Ferrer "Telu": Voice & Chorus.
Juan Vicente Vernia "Juanon": Synthesizers, Bass, Drum & Programming, Guitar.
Héctor Marco: Guitar & Synthesizers.
Hilario Traver: Synthesizers, Drum, Voice & Chorus.
Release date: January 12, 2015
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