Spain, 1974, Euskal Kantagintza Berria, singer-songwriter
Mikel Laboa – Bat-Hiru: Apparently this one some kind of experimental take on Basque music, and thus the second disc of this three-disc work was banned. Hence the name Bat-Hiru, meaning “one-three”, because the second disc was missing for a while. I really like the instrumentation—or rather lack thereof—on this album. There’s a bit here and there, like a lazy accordion, but mostly it’s just a single voice and a delicate acoustic guitar, not necessarily aiming for a strong melody but rather going for a more evocative expression. There are some avant-garde moments, however, not only with the manipulation of the electric guitar sounds but also the crazy vocals on the last track, a 12-minute meandering. About the genre: “Euskal Kantagintza Berria was a cultural movement born in the Basque Country during the 1960s inspired by Nova cançó and Chanson. At a time when the Basque culture was oppressed, traditional songs were disguised in new musical forms, and political and social issues were subtly introduced to wake up the Basque people” (RYM).