In late December Black Catalans burst into our inbox with an EP that slapped and bounced and grinned and wriggled like five hyped parties in a single sack. The Barcelona duo throw down a mix of bass, UK Funky drum patterns, techno aesthetics, and deep melodic passages, and create a shiny new sound, forward looking, club ready, and full of scope to grow and grow.
We wanted to give them some shine, but felt bored of writing straight interviews, so we thought we'd try something different... We've asked the guys to give us an insider look at their home town, and here's the result (...drum roll...!!) The Black Catalans Black Spots of Barcelona - If your in Barcelona and you wanna get hold of some quality vinyl, mess around with a synth, chow on some decent tapas, or restock your library with some second hand porn, then you need this guide - get ready for the good stuff Lonely Planet won't tell you...
And, as we're here, why not follow em on Facebook, and give their latest EP a listen while you peruse the sights -
This is Discos Paradiso. Neighbours of mine, home of the finest selection of new and used dance music in the city and a well-used social hub for local producers and DJs in addition to visiting heavyweights and diggers on vacation. Live sessions and performances are held every couple of weeks. Gerard and Arnau are most welcoming patrons.
Carrer Ferlandina, 39
Everyone associates Barcelona with tapas, everyone gets it wrong. The Spanish tradition of tapas is not native to this part of the peninsula, and although there are a couple of generations of immigrants from the rest of the country, very few offer a free plate of food with your drink. One of those is El Capritxo. For a couple of euros, you can get two beers or glasses of wine with a plate of freshly fried fish.
Carrer Melcior de Palau, 62
Barcelona has two long-standing flea markets. One was recently moved into a mirrored monstrosity in the tech area of town. The other, which is more specialised in books, magazines, records, and porn is currently housed under a giant shelter over the road as renovations on the Sant Antoni market take place. Each Sunday morning, traffic is diverted as folk come and leaf through the thousands of collectables on offer.
Mercat Dominical de Sant Antoni
Carrer Compte d’Urgell, between Carrer de Tamarit and Carrer de Manso
Each Sunday 0830-1430
Most people arriving or leaving Barcelona by rail pass through Sants Station, without realising that bang next door is one of the quietest and weirdest spots to relax in the city. Built on the site of a huge factory complex closed in the 70s and turned into a park in the 80s. As a place to go on a hot day its unbeatable; with very few people, grass to lounge on and spray from the fountains in the lake to cool you down.
Next to Estacio de Sants
The neighbourhood of Gracia had a fair amount of spots like this in the past but sadly they are dissappearing fast. Bodega Marin, however, has been holding its own for over 100 years. The tiny space is stocked to the rafters with wines and spirits from all over Spain and thirsty patrons often spill out onto the street to chat and drink. You can buy wine from the barrel or take your pick from the hundreds of bottles lining the shelves. The wild boar croquettas are “de collons” (the dog’s gonads) as they say round here.
Bodega Marín, Carrer Mila i Fontanals, 72
Metro: Joanic / Fontana
For drinking wine and sampling ham, cheese and olives, theres no better block in Barcelona. You have the pick of at least four excellent places all within a minutes walk from here (wander down Carrer Parlament - just around the corner - to get the picture). The limited but excellent selection of affordable wines and the warm welcome from owner Xavi make Celler de Ronda stand out from the crowd. FN
Ronda Sant Pau, 77
Metro: Sant Antoni
This is my place of work. Its a must for all music tech-heads with a huge range of synths and other gadgets to have a tinker with.
Carrer Sepulveda, 134
Metro: Sant Antoni