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Signature kraut-pop, brimming with black humour as well as obscure historical references to be unravelled (…)

Cristina Arroyo and JC Peña, also known for a decade as El relevo alemán, form Pandan-Lagl. The duo, whose name comes from some unbeatable comic strips by Franquin, debuted in 2017 with a first album of the same name, which is now followed by this new music. With it, the duo from Madrid also anticipates their next full-length, as, belonging to the same recording sessions in Brazil (Madrid, with Javier Ortiz), Pandan-Lagl delivers us both this first EP, entitled ‘Tréveris’, and the future album that will see the light of day next year.

With a dark tone, sharp textures and at times experimental (some tracks were even finished in the studio, something unusual for Cristina and JC), this first release includes five eminently melodic songs, with thick basses and juicy guitars that have been built from old drum machines, Casios and other heavy industry. All of them, like signature kraut-pop, brimming with black humour as well as obscure historical references to be unravelled by the audience, as the listens progress.

Because although nothing that we can advance in the following lines comes even close to the enjoyable subjective background that Pandan-Lagl makes us participate in with his texts, it is also true that from the first bars of ‘El resto de Europa’ it is impossible not to think about the rapture of Europe (without mythological allusion), that is to say, in the current geopolitical context and how depressing it is to repeat the past… Then it’s time for a cynical yet heartfelt and humble homage to Antonio Escohotado, who had indeed let slip more than once that <<I would have liked to live in the 19th century (El siglo XIX)>>. Then, inspired by Polanski’s bloody version of the witches of Macbeth, comes what is surely the most gothic and at the same time the most pop song of the whole EP: the marvellous ‘Trueno, relámpago, lluvia’. Finally, the tracklist closes with the EP’s title track, which connects with the photo of the Porta Nigra on the cover and is by far the longest and most spellbinding song on the phonogram. A monolithic jewel in which we let ourselves be carried away to be driven in the middle of a storm, through the arcades and zigzagging streets of the German city… Let it go, sublimate.