SINGLE is the personal project of Teresa Iturrioz, bass player and brilliant lyricist in such seminal bands of spanish independent pop music as AVENTURAS DE KIRLIAN and LE MANS.
Her musical career started with AVENTURAS DE KIRLIAN, the band she formed in 1986 in her native San Sebastian, along with Ibon Errazkin, Peru Izeta and Jone Gabarain. They were influenced by YOUNG MARBLE GIANTS, the bands on Cherry Red, the early TALKING HEADS, Tamla Motown and some selected psychedelic bands from the 60's.
In the summer of 1988, Alejo Alberdi (a member of DERRIBOS ARIAS, legendary lo-fi pioneers in Spain) came to one of their shows, and shortly after he got them a record contract with DRO, then the biggest independent label in the country. After the album was released,
AVENTURAS would change their name to LE MANS, and a new member, Gorka Ochoa, came in. By the end of 2001, Elefant released "1986-1988", a compilation of the first demos by AVENTURAS DE KIRLIAN featuring 17 previously unreleased songs, all of them recorded prior to the official record on DRO.
LE MANS' debut album was released at the end of 1993, and shortly after they recorded "Entresemana", and album that shows much better the concept of the band at that moment in time. These records, as happens with the rest of the LE MANS discography, are currently being re-released in remastered versions on Elefant Records, so their full discography is available again to the fans in deluxe editions, completed with the compilation "Catástrofe nº17", released in 2003 and featuring all the band's singles and most B-sides.
After "Entresemana", the band started showing an increasing interest in dance music, with TRICKY, HOWIE B, LA FUNK MOB and PORTISHEAD among their favourites at the moment when the next record was recorded, their mini-CD "Zerbina": a surprising electronic remixes album with a risky and cosmopolitan sound concept. "Saudade", their next effort, was the most difficult and austere record in their career. The japanese edition of the album features as well the instrumental track "Jonathan Jeremiah", a touching combination of the atmosphere in "Saudade" and the hedonistic beats of "Zerbina". Besides their japanese success, LE MANS released their albums in the USA, via Grimsey Records, and in Argentina, with a compilation of their entire career released by the label Índice Virgen.
"Aquí vivía yo" was LE MANS' last record. Preceded by two splendid maxi-singles, "Mi novela autobiográfica" and "Yin Yang", both featuring three extra tracks each, this album's release coincides with the band's announcement of their disbandment.
Now Teresa comes back to the front row with her own project, SINGLE, a new musical adventure of her own. A journalist once said LE MANS suggested "an image of Claudine Longet fronting STEREOLAB". Classicism and a fragile voice, fronting leftfield experimentation and sonic avant-garde: a definition which can perfectly fit the new songs by SINGLE. Teresa works once again with Ibon, who appears here in the roles of composer, producer and musician (as well as providing some of the musicians he usually works with on his own solo records, like Antonio from PARADE or Murky from PATRULLERO MANCUSO and GRIMORIO).
There's three excellent tracks temas on this debut EP by SINGLE, that comes wrapped in a wonderful and beautiful cover artwork by spanish top designer Javier Aramburu: "Honey" draws us back to the spirit of "Zerbina" and "Jonathan Jeremiah"; "Ven, ven, ven" reminds you of Joe Meek's space age productions and "Cabeza Cuadrada" is a cover version of the original song by obscure spanish pop cult act TERRY IV, arranged in a broken reggae stylee.
In October 2005 comes out "Su recuerdo", the second single after that wonderful surprise that was "Honey". Three new songs featuring intelligent lyrics and a leftfield production, full of imagination, in a pop context. In our opinion, the top of the pop lists everywhere should be full with songs like "El amor en fuga", an inspired combination of electronic and acoustic pieces that wrap the most elegant melody we have heard this year. The songs is a cover version of the original theme written by Alain Souchon and Laurent Voulzy for the movie by François Truffaut (“L’amour en fuite" (Love on the run), 1979), but SINGLE has made it her own with an approach that seems unthinkable in other pop crooners that don't have her taste and her lack of prejudices. Her version is done over the instrumental backing taken from the song "Triumph", a single by the WU-TANG CLAN from '97, and most of the instruments that can be heard have also been sampled from here and there. Noone would say this is a sound collage, though, because it is much more than that: it's modern pop music.
The two fantastic songs that follow on this single ("Llévame a dormir" and "Su recuerdo") are halfway between country and pop, always with SINGLE's personal seal. "Llévame a dormir" reminds of Phil Ochs' recordings on the A&M label and, in "Su recuerdo" (the song that closes the record, besides giving it its title), the piano played by Antonio Galvañ from Spanish band PARADE is specially outstanding, along with the country pop melody in the best Bobbie Gentry style.
Ibon Errazkin is still supervising all from the back, as a musician, producer and composer, and the precious artwork is once more conceived by Spanish cult designer Javier Aramburu, who has collaborated with Teresa and Ibon in all their projects since LE MANS.
“Su recuerdo” is the song chosen for her new, beautiful videoclip, which as it happened with the videos by LE MANS, is directed by Gabe Ibáñez (from creative collective User T38).
The video has been filmed in Teatro Diéguez in Colmenar de la Oreja, one of the oldest and most beautiful theaters in the Madrid region. The nostalgic lyrics of the song are performed with elegance by young actress Maite Gete, in a perfect combination of music and image. Again, Gabe Ibáñez succeeds in illustrating with perfection the music written by the tandem formed by Teresa and producer/composer Ibon Errazkin.
This second EP by SINGLE climbs up to the top selling singles list in Spain, and stays there for more than four weeks.
"Su recuerdo" (the song) is chosen among the best Spanish songs from 2005 according to the polls published by influential Spanish magazine Rockdelux. "El amor en fuga" is also chosen by the same magazine readers' poll as one of the best songs in 2005, and it is featured on the CD compilation released by the mag.
Finally, on November 14th comes out "Pío Pío", the debut album by SINGLE. On this unbeatable album, Teresa and Ibon reinvent pop music's language by choosing the best from the most diverse origins: reggae and country-pop, R&B, synth-pop and hip-hop, picking up the thread (and going much further beyond) where LE MANS had left it with their fabulous farewell trilogy.
Fifteen beautiful and mysterious songs, produced by Ibon Errazkin and written (except for a cover version of an original by flamenco-prog couple Lole y Manuel) by Teresa and Ibon.
The cover artwork, as usual, is a new beautiful illustration by Javier Aramburu, which comes to join the small but great collection of covers, pictures and illustrations he's done for SINGLE since the debut EP.
The impact and originalty of "Pío Pío" is immediately reflected in all the best-of-year lists: Go Mag, Mondosonoro and Rockdelux place it among the best albums of the year in Spain, and the latter magazine chose the song "Pío Pío" as best song of the year.
On radio show "Disco Grande" (Radio 3) the listeners voted the song "Tu perrito librepensador" as the best song of the year.
"Tu perrito librepensador", one of the catchiest and more danceable songs in "Pío Pío", is chosen for a videoclip directed by American photographer and filmmaker Patrick Trefz, who has collaborated before with Tommy Guerrero.
On January we finally see images of the title song of the cd that has meant the definite return of Teresa Iturrioz and Ibon Errazkin after making history in Spanish pop with LE MANS. "Pío Pío" is one of the best songs out lately and the UserT38 video gives it justice, wrapping it up with mysterious and very elegant images. The video transmits an unreal sensation from the beginning with recorded applauses which resonate in the empty space of the video set and a timeless sensation which impedes you in knowing if it’s set in the 40’s, 50’s, 70’s or directly in the imaginative future. Teresa Iturrioz is beautiful, elegant and distant like an Iranian woman. Throughout the instrumental part (the surprising and hit sampling symphony idea of Ibon Errazkin) she maintains inscrutable like an Egyptian sphinx, up until she starts to sing the wonderful lyrics of the song. Without losing her serenity, of course! The scenery is austere and could be seen as a black and white video if it was not for the colourful crest of a parrot. The video "Pío Pío" is fabulous and hypnotic and you will need to watch it again and again. Despite the apparent scarcity, one can discover new and suggestive ideas in each and every viewing.
On January SINGLE comes out a new EP “Pianístico” deepens even more the unexplored grounds which we caught glimpses of in the first two EP's and her fabulous debut album. The song which opens up the new EP is a strong statement of intent which inspired the name of the album "Pío Pío." A sampling symphony with Bollywood styles floating about, forming a multicolored collage from reshaping and mixing together a little bit of reggae, country, easy listening, including a brief reference of KRAFTWERK, creating impossible melodies and completely new rhythms. Along with the chirping of the piano of the star song, there are another three songs on this splendid CD-Single. "Té chino" is practically a lyrical tour de force and is a playful waltz between Teresa and her habitual collaborator on the piano, Rafael Guillermo (POP TOPS), "Cantiga para pedir dos tostoes," a cover of a song of the 70's by the Portuguese singer, José Mário Branco. The frenetic and psychedelic version counts on the collaboration of Rafael Guillermo, again on the piano, and ANTI on background vocals. Finally, “Los Muebles” is a poetic and an aggressive song, as well; experimental, showing the endless restlessness and curiosity of this one and only musical project: it shows a Teresa converted into an Iberian Yoko Ono whaling out poems of the Argentinean writer, Julio Cortazar, with the counterpart of the serene and warm voice of Jose Anitua (ex CANCER MOON), who collaborated on “Sic Transit Gloria Mundi,” the last song on the last album of LE MANS.
And we still haven't touched on the cover art, the spectacular photography where Teresa's image is displayed as a bird-woman, a princess of disappeared civilizations that lived in trees and dominated with the skill of silver work. Once again, the photo, as well as the helmet that Teresa has on is the master work of Javier Aramburu.
We had to wait for the “Pio Pio” tour (just as we had to wait in general for the Teresa and Ibon concerts – twelve years without knowing if we would ever get to see them on stage!), but it turned out to work in their favor, considering the success of the concerts they’ve given so far. The official live debut of SINGLE is in the Actual festival in Logroño, on January 5th.
Ibon and Teresa are accompanied by two close friends (Tito Pintado and Joan Vich, the former ex PENELOPE TRIP and currently ANTI, and the latter THE FRANKENBOOTIES and PATRULLERO MANCUSO, and currently also with JONSTON). They perform in Madrid, Valencia, Murcia, Barcelona and Palma de Mallorca; the long wait has been totally worth it. The album’s official live presentation in the club El Sol in Madrid completely filled the house and was an incredible concert – Teresa shone like never before, accompanied by Ibon’s guitar, Tito’s voice and Joan’s keyboards. There were classics from their repertoire, new versions of already known songs, B-sides and, above all, smiles, both in the audience and on stage. SINGLE play their first concert outside Spanish borders on Sunday, May 18th in the Nouveau Casino in Paris; they introduced themselves to the French audience in a concert that many had been waiting for, for a long time. There’s a reason that SINGLE have a lot of followers there since the LE MANS era, and even more, in this new period, since the prestigious magazine Magic gave them the whole cover (and a ten page article!) to announce the news of the album release there.
In the summer they play in the International Benicassim Festival.
On November 22nd, SINGLE go to Berlin to play in one the famous parties organized by the designer and musician Jim Avignon. The concert takes place in the Sala Neurotitan, a bookstore and art gallery in the center of Mitte, the most central neighborhood in Berlin.
The single "Pianístico" is the single of the year on the annual best of lists according to Rockdelux; the group is also very well placed on the list of best live shows.
February 7th they perform in Alicante on the lineup in the Camon space in the Cultura de la CAM / Obra Social de Caja Mediterráneo.
In June they release "Mr. Shoji", a song in which SINGLE rides a contagious wave of synthetic rhythm that blends Jamaica with Chicago. Raggamuffin and blues meet in an incredibly natural union that is heightened by the pop spirit that always runs through their productions. In the best Jamaican tradition, the B-side of this vinyl single (pop’s original format, which compliments songs and pays tribute to sound systems) is a dub version of the title song. SINGLE asked the one and only Mr. Shoji to make them a video-clip for the song. Mr. Shoji is none other than Japanese DJ Rootsseker, who has been settled in Spain for several years and has previously worked with the group on the version of "Honey" included in "Pío Pío", and with Ibon on the selection of reggae songs entitled "Spanish Trojan Sound Box", released by PIAS en 2003. The video-clip is made of photographs snapped here and there by Mr. Shoji himself. We would also like to make a special mention of the new and fabulous work of Javier Aramburu on the cover of 7”. Aramburu keeps giving us the best of his art in his designs for SINGLE. This time it’s not a photo of Teresa on the cover but, as it was on the album, a perfectly executed sketch that is both fun and beautiful. Just like SINGLE’s music, really.
"Pío Pío" is chosen as the best album of the last ten years by Rockdelux magazine.
"Mr. Shoji" is chosen as the best song of 2009 by Rockdelux magazine.
In October comes out "Monólogo interior", their second album. Anyone who knows the cult-following they had fronting LE MANS will find some clues on this disc that connect this mythical past to the splendorous future that has opened up before them with this new project. If “Pío pío”, SINGLE’s first album, was a collecting of songs written over a period of years, experimenting with new formats, rhythms and programs, and forging a new path with their untiring curiosity, “Monólogo interior” is a more classic and compact album, without a conceptual story but definitely with a more intimate focus, even introspective on occasions. The album has an abundance of images that evoke feelings of loss and nostalgia and it is less decidedly rhythmic.
And what can be said about the austere and beautiful work by Javier Aramburu, that continues to surprise on every album cover for the group, finding new and ever more precious ways to portray Teresa. The cover of “Monólogo interior” is like a lost Vermeer painting, full of serene and mysterious beauty. With a cover like this, there is a special pleasure in the moment you take the disc out of the case, put it in the player and wait for the sound of the equally beautiful, serene and mysterious music.
“Monologo interior” has reached, on its own merit, the highest spots on the “Best of” lists for 2010 in the majority of the music magazines and specialized media. Their concerts have become an extension of that shocking personality and that unique universe; in fact Rockdelux placed their live show as the second best in the country on their 2010 “Best of” list and they explain: “SINGLE’s concerts are infrequent, but greater in number than they were two years ago. They are also varied, talented and, not only now but starting ages ago, theatrical. Teresa sings better and better all the time and her wardrobe changes…” They concluded with by proclaiming them “A national treasure”. Those wardrobe changes have a proper name, and it is Carlos Díez Díez, one of the most important, radical and alternative fashion designers in our country. Carlos has become, and has been for some time now, a crucial part of the group’s image, and he is also an important protagonist, along with Miguel Gutiérrez, in the group’s new audiovisual adventure, their new video “Fotos”.
In September they release "Noi Pomodori", a limited-edition, tomato-red 7”. A tribute to "Io Pomodoro", the album that actress Lucía Bosé recorded in 1981 with classical composer Gregorio Paniagua.
In October, the band presents the clip of "Dime Quién Eres, Desconocido Vecino". Miguel Gutiérrez and Carlos Díez Díez are in charge of directing and producing SINGLE’s new video, putting images to Ibon and Teresa’s cover version.
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