Local Scenes: JANSKY (Mallorca)

Once upon a time there was a genie named Janksy – a physicist and radio engineer passionated by sounds from an unknown source somewhere in our galaxy. History repeats itself. The work of the radio master is the inspiration for the nowadays fascination of a Mallorcan electro music-duo. Their ingenious rolemodel might have made a turn in his grave this week: the so-called band Jansky just released an album: Un big bang a la gibrella. Although they used to play together before, the official kick-off of this creative collaboration was in 2011 with the introduction of Laia’s awarded poetry book with an electro-organic set by her and Jaume. Armed with a recorder they nowadays chase the wetlands of the Spanish island for extraordinary birds and other sources of sounds. The wailing song of the so called Burhinus Oedicnemus is Jansky’s favorite. “This largely nocturnal bird sings loud at sunset, in a melancholic, dramatic tone.” The magic happens at home as well. “In 2010, we shared a cottage, where the wind would blow so strong as to throw the doors and windows open in the middle of the night; where a storm would leak through the ceiling in several rhythms; where the fireplace would crack as in an unknown language.” The admirable application of their abstract collection of natural noises is a matter of musical expertness and a close connection to the exotic side of Mallorca’s geography.

Read beneath more about the music scene of Mallorca.

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How would you describe Mallorca in 3 words?
Handly, unpredictable, kitch.

How is the local artist scene?
It is super healthy and too underground. Unfortunately, both concepts seem to work very well together! There’s a lot going on, but it never gets the attention of institutions or the general public: it’s not even promoted for tourists. But then again, it lets us stay free when creating, which is what we really want in the end.

How is life as an artist in Mallorca?
Exciting today, frustrating tomorrow. It seems very difficult to find the real cultural intention of Mallorca, but once you do, you see artists from different disciplines support each other’s initiatives. That dissipates the feeling of loneliness and isolation you sometimes have.

What would you change if you were on the throne of the country?
The environmental policies, the tourist-focused goverment and the disrespect for our own language and culture. We have very dumb, narrow-minded politicians.

How could we recognize your Mallorcan roots in your work?
There’s a lot of water, emptiness and movement in our songs that come from our fascination for the submarine world. Plus a permanent obsession for knowing what’s beyond the sky, beyond the sea, beyond the island, beyond us.

Please share some local wisdom.
The real value of oral tradition. In the Balearic Islands, the “glosadors” (a kind of troubador) play a vital role in updating the language with their “gloses” (satirical verses sang in a specific tune that talk about local news). You can forbid printing in a certain language, or certain contents, but it’s far more difficult to control what is said and how.

Where should we go to experience the local alternative music scene in Mallorca?
Jarana Club in Palma: a two-story pub that opened only a year ago but has turned the musical scene upside down, by giving a chance to underestimated local bands. It is also inviting interesting artists from all over Europe to perform.

Neotokyo, Centremàtic and Exposono festivals: to find out more about experimental electronic music in Mallorca: they’ve been feeding the scene through years. Also visit saposessio.com, website of a unique venue that organizes all kind of artistic happenings.

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