w.m.o/r 28
CD with 12 p. booklet
Released 22.12.2006
Edition of 500

Josetxo Grieta
'Euskal Semea'

Castellano (Euskara en progreso)

EUROPEEAR SEMEA I - version for 20 guitars, broken glasses, 3

watering cans and voice

for Delmore Schwartz and Eduardo Haro Ibars

EUROPEEAR SEMEA II - live at MRB | AMM, Arteleku 11th August


Josetxo Anitua : voice & radio

Piji: drums

Mattin: voice & guitar












Our dear Alvaro Matilla, who runs the Brutus zine in

Barakaldo asked us to do a version of 'European Son' by

the Velvet Underground. He is preparing a tribute cd

and a concert presentation to celebrate the 40th

anniversary of the first release by the Velvet Underground:

the classic 'Banana Album'.

'European Son' was Lou Reed's particular hommage to his mentor Delmore Schwartz, poet and professor at Syracuse University.

The year before the album's release, Schwartz had died from heart

failure, most likely caused by years of alcohol and barbiturate abuse.

A poet of brutal emotional landscapes anchored in the commonplaces

of daily life, Schwartz's attention to simple vernacular

language made a lasting impression on Reed. In the words of Sterling Morrison

“Lou was closer to Delmore than I was, he was pretty hard to get close to when you think about it, but he

was a good poet. No one needs me, or Lou, to say that.

‘European son’ is dedicated to him, it’s just not on

account of content although it does talk about an

European son, so it’s like the European Jew in exile

in the United states, but that’s not really why:

Delmore despised rock and roll lyrics, he thought they

were ridiculous and awful, and ‘European son’ has

hardly any lyrics so that meant that was a song that

Delmore might like. He didn't care about the music

part of rock and roll, he just hated the lyrics, so we

wrote a song that Delmore would like: twenty seconds

of lyrics and seven minutes of noise. I think Delmore

was a good poet, but I didn’t treat him as my personal

messiah the way Lou did. Lou really liked him, but

Delmore was crazy, made worse by alcoholism, he was an

incredible juicer.�

Schwartz reportedly told Reed at one point,

"You can write-and if you ever sell out and there's a

Heaven from which you can be haunted, I'll haunt you".

You killed your European son

You spit on those under twenty-one

But now your blue car's gone

You better say so long

Hey hey, bye bye bye

You made your wallpapers green

You want to make love to the scene

Your European son is gone

You'd better say so long

Your clown's bid you goodbye

Within these cryptic lines, Lou Reed is attacking the

established power structures of the so called white

collars and aligns himself with the European

history of rebellious poets.

We brought the song to our close environment, taking advantage of the meaning of the lyrics, as well as the improvised nature of the original song, which actually is very

related to the modus operandi of Josetxo Grieta.

We decided to translate the lyrics to Euskera, which is

supposed to be the oldest living language of Europe.

That simple action brought to the table a whole new perspective on the meaning of the word ‘son’, especially if this ‘European Son’ is actually a Basque one (Euskal Semea means Basque Son).This Basque son has of course a place in the construction of Europe itself. But his position has been eluded by law makers who only contemplate him as a consumer unit dislocated from a land that has been completely sold thanks to the disregards of the ones that made him an outlaw in an occupied land between two countries.

Questions arise from the way culture is shaped towards the construction of a national identity, to the way that we as individuals are forced to define ourselves between the

dichotomy of being Basque or not. This question avoids the whole grey scale between white and black, scoring like a pinball among origins, upbringing and education today’s ultraglobalized reality, after centuries of dominion by the French and the Spanish.

We first approached the song by re-constructing the bass line and keeping the original open ending. We recorded six different improvised takes using that bass line, while applying La Monte Young’s Dream Syndicate tuning techniques (noted on Tony Conrad’s web page) to our guitars. For the seventh take we added drums and recited mixed verses from works by Schwartz and the Spanish poet Eduardo Haro Ibars, preacher of counter-culture during the later years of Franco’s dictatorship and the transition to democracy in the late seventies. Afterwards we mixed the seven takes, synchronizing them to the bass line.

In the second version a Basque asks another Basque if being hit and hitting back is the only way to learn in this mousetrap that is carefully prepared for us. Lyrics are sung in Spanish, written among the three of us, using the process of automatic writing.


We´ve built up big walls Y ahora que estás muerto

As big as your prejudices y ahora que no sientes

As big as my fears te encuentras lleno de vida

I don´t know you de vida caducada

But don´t like what I see que te produce vómitos

What is it? What isn´t it? y te provoca arcadas

Don´t like what I see quieres, pero no sale nada

My eyes are blind -estás vacío-

My mind is blank quieres, no sale ni aire

I sold out my soul -no tienes alma-

And bought sunglasses Y ahora que estoy muerto

With thick black bricks y ahora que no siento

They don´t let me see me encuentro mucho mejor

I see nothing manipulado hasta los dientes

I don´t know shit desalmado, pero vivo

Just that you´re there errante, pero con sangre

And I don´t like you podrida, pero con sangre

while you don´t like me Pistoletazo de salida

And we don´t give a fuck y la carrera comienza

We´re both blind con meta en ninguna parte

We´re both clowns y es que no hay meta

We´ve lost our brains sólo una huida hacia adelante

And bought a brand new TV no mires atrás, no mires adelante

To see lots of nothing cegado por la nada

Let´s kill each other guiado por lo absurdo

Genocide is back Primer premio: fracaso


You can call the doctor Sólo ha sido un sueño

You can call the cops sólo ha sido un sueño

You can call your mom sólo ha sido un sueño

But it´s too late sólo ha sido un sueño

You better say goodbye sólo un mal sueño...

Pray if you want un sueño irreversible

Fight or you´ll crack realidad irreversible

It´s you or them vida irreversible

This is your prize miras atrás

This is your time ves que has ganado

This is your moment lo has conseguido

Show all you can do no, no has conseguido NADA,

Your day has come sino la NADA te ha conseguido

Now you´re important pero sólo ha sido éso,

Now you´re the god sólo un mal sueño más

While they´re the scum vuelves a la cama

But I don´t believe you pero ya no puedes dormir

And I don´t believe them el insomnio eterno

You mean nothing to me tu ceguera de por vida

I´m talking shit again ¿podrás vivir con ello?


Josetxo Grieta

Euskal Semea

EL Hijo De La Borrachera Del €  I - versión para 20 guitarras, cristales rotos, 3 regaderas y voz

Para Delmore Schwartz y Eduardo Haro Ibars

EL Hijo De La Borrachera Del €  II - en vivo en MRB / AMM, Arteleku el 11 de Agosto de 2006

                           Josetxo Anitua : voz y radio

                           Iñigo Eguillor : Batería

                           Mattin : voz y guitarra

€peear Semea   (435hz)

Has matado al hijo europeo                                    Europar semia hil dozu

Escupiendo sobre los jóvenes                                 gaztien gainean txistuka

No hay luces azules,¿verdad?                                 Argi azulek ez diez, ez ta?

Más te vale despedirte                                            Hobe dozu  agurtzea

Hey, hey, adiós, bye, bye                                        Hey, hey, adio, bye, bye

Has empapelado las paredes en verde con dinero  Diruz berdetu dozuz hormak

Quieres hacer el amor a la escena                          You want to make love to the scene

Más vale que te despedirte                                     Hobe agur esatea

El payaso                                                                Pailazoak

Ya te ha dicho adiós                                               Agur esan dotzu

Nuestro querido amigo Alvaro Matilla, que edita el fanzine Brutus en Baracaldo nos pidió que versioneáramos el European Son de The Velvet Underground, ya que está preparando un CD tributo del grupo y un concierto que conmemoren el 40 aniversario de la primera edición del clásico disco del plátano.

European Son fue el particular homenaje de Lou Reed a su mentor, poeta y profesor en la Universidad de Siracusa Delmore Schwartz.

Schwartz murió el año anterior a la edición del disco de un paro cardíaco, probablemente debido a años de abuso de alcohol y barbitúricos.

El lenguaje sencillo de Schwartz, poeta anclado en brutales paisajes emocionales, dejó una huella imborrable en Reed. En palabras de Sterling Morrison “Lou estaba más cerca de Delmore que yo, pensándolo ahora, era una persona difícil en las distancias cortas, pero un buen poeta. Le dedicamos European Son y aunque habla de un hijo europeo, como el hijo judío emigrante en los Estados Unidos, la dedicatoria no está tanto en el contenido como en la forma: Delmore despreciaba las letras de las canciones de Rock'n'roll, pensaba que eran ridículas y horrorosas y European Son apenas tiene letra así que pensamos que le gustaría.La música Rock no le interesaba y odiaba las letras, así que hicimos algo que pudiera gustarle: veinte segundos de letra y siete minutos de ruido.Creo que Delmore era un buen poeta, pero para mí no era un mesías como para Lou. Él realmente le adoraba, aunque Delmore estaba loco, agravado por el alcoholismo, y era un juez terrible”.

Schwartz en una ocasión dijo a Reed:”sabes escribir, pero si algún día te vendes y existe un cielo desde el cual pueda venir a por ti, no dudes de que lo haré”.

You killed your European son

You spit on those under twenty-one

But now your blue car's gone

You better say so long

Hey hey, bye bye bye

You made your wallpapers green

You want to make love to the scene

Your European son is gone

You'd better say so long

Your clown's bid you goodbye

Con estas líneas crípticas Lou Reed ataca a las estructuras del poder establecido, los llamados “white collars”, y se alínea con la tradición europea de poetas rebeldes.

Nosotros acercamos la canción a nuestro entorno, aprovechando el significado de la letra, así como la naturaleza improvisada del original, muy relacionada con el modus operandi de Josetxo Grieta.

Decidimos adaptar la letra al Euskera, que se supone que es la lengua viviente más antigua de Europa.

Esa simple acción puso sobre la mesa toda una nueva perspectiva del sujeto de la canción, ese Hijo, especialmente si ese Hijo Europeo es en realidad el Hijo Vasco (Euskal Semea en Euskera).

Este Hijo Vasco tiene por supuesto un sitio en la construcción de Europa, pero su posición ha sido eludida por los legisladores que sólo lo contemplan como una unidad de consumo dislocada de una tierra absolutamente vendida, ninguneado por aquellos que han hecho de él un forajido en una tierra ocupada por dos países.

Van surgiendo preguntas, desde la manera en que se da forma a la cultura hacia la construcción de una identidad nacional hasta cómo nosotros como individuos somos forzados a definirnos en la dicotomía de vascos o no vascos, como blanco o negro, eludiendo toda una paleta de grises producto de unos orígenes,  crianza y educación, después de siglos de dominio de los españoles y franceses, en esta realidad ultraglobalizada de hoy.

Musicalmente, nuestra primera aproximación a la canción vino por la reconstrucción de la línea de bajos, manteniendo el final abierto original. Grabamos seis tomas diferentes, improvisadas sobre esta línea de bajos, utilizando para nuestras guitarras las técnicas de afinación del Dream Syndicate de La Monte Young (tal como aparecen en la página web de Tony Conrad).Para la séptima toma añadimos batería y recitamos versos de obras de Schwartz y del poeta español Eduardo Haro Ibars, abanderado de la contracultura en los últimos años de la dictadura franquista y durante la transición. Después mezclamos las siete tomas sincronizándolas con la línea de bajos.

En la segunda versión un vasco pregunta a otro si ser golpeado y golpear es la única manera de aprender en esta ratonera tan cuidadosamente preparada para nosotros.

En esta ocasión cantamos en castellano, con una letra escrita entre nosotros tres usando el método de escritura automática.


Hemos levantado grandes muros And now that you´re dead

Tan grandes como tus prejuicios, and now you don´t feel

Tan grandes como mis miedos you find yourself full of life

No te conozco of expired life

Pero no me gusta lo que veo that makes you vomit

¿Qué es? ¿Qué no es? And provokes you retches

No me gusta lo que veo you want, but nothing comes out

Mis ojos están cegados -you´re empty-

Mi mente está en blanco you want, but not even air

He vendido mi alma -you have no soul-

Y he comprado unas gafas de sol And now that I´m dead

De gruesos ladrillos negros And now I don´t feel

Que no me dejan ver feel myself much better

No veo nada manipulated ´til my bones

No sé una mierda souless, but alive

Sólo que estás ahí wandering, but with blood

Y no me gustas rotten, but with blood

Como yo no te gusto starting shot

Pero nos importa un carajo and the race is on

Estamos ambos ciegos with the finish nowhere

Ambos somos payasos cause there´s no finish

Hemos perdido la cabeza just a getaway

Para comprar una tele nueva don´t look back, don´t look forward

y ver montones de nada blinded by nothing

Matémonos entre nosotros guided by the absurd

El genocidio ha vuelto First Prize: failure


puedes ir al médico it´s been just a dream

puedes llamar a los maderos it´s been just a dream

puedes llamar a mamá it´s been just a dream

pero ya es demasiado tarde it´s been just a dream

más vale que te despidas just another nitemare

reza si quieres an irreversible dream

pelea o te estamparás irreversible reality

eres tú o ellos irreversible life

este es tu premio you look back

este es tu turno and see you´ve won

este es tu momento you´ve got it

muestra todo lo que sabes no, you have got NOTHING

ha llegado tu día but NOTHING has got you

ahora eres importante but it´s been just that

ahora eres el dios just another nitemare

y ellos la escoria you come back to bed

pero no te creo but can´t sleep anymore

y no les creo the eternal insomnia

para mí, no eres nada your blindness for life

sólo digo hostiadas Could you live with it?


Antoine Chessex Blog 14. 1. 2007 Berlin

Euskal Semea

w.m.o/r 28 CD

Josetxo Grieta is the triangle composed by Josetxo Anitua (voice & radio), Inigo Eguillor (drums) and Mattin (voice & guitar).

Epeear Semea I ( version for 20 guitars, broken glass, 3 watering cans and voice)

Epeear Semea II (with drums and vocals)

"Euskal Semea" is the Basque redefinition of "European Son" ( Lou Reed's particular homage to his mentor Delmore Schwartz, poet and professor at Syracuse University).
Those two tracks are a punch in the face and a brillant exemple of creative music coming out from Bilbao.
"Epeear Semea I" starts with a gentle field recording (the audience waiting for chaos?) till a low end aquatic drone enters. Things are getting fucked up from here: abrupt soundscapes growing and making you loose the sense of orientation progressively.
"Epeear Semea II" features repetitive and nicely broken drums with flashes of insane vocals and guitar building into a very intense freak out before slowly going away. when the music stops it makes you realize that this is a live recording, while people clapping hands politely after such a sonic storm.
The artwork is beautifull: a big size glossy paper 12 pages booklet (with a nice bloody banana on the cover) featuring texts (partly in english) including lyrics, creative comments about the recordings and some clues about the perception of a so called national identity by Basque artists.

                                           VITAL WEEKLY
                                           number   560
                                           week      3

Not being the greatest fan of the Velvet Underground, I could easily forget that the banana cover record was released forty years ago. Josetxo Grieta (that is a band, rather than a person, mind you) from the basque country was asked by Alvaro Matilla of the Brutus zine to record a version of 'European Son' and here they are. It's both a tribute to Velvet Underground as well as the man subject in the lyrics, Delmore Schwarz, a poet and mentor of Lou Reed. One
piece is live with voice and guitar (played by Mattin), Inigo Eguillor on drums and Josexto Anitua on voice and radio. It's a rather chaotic version of ever forward pounding drums, but especially the guitar and voice are quite dope-related: in that sense it seems to be capturing the original Velvet atmosphere quite well. Nice alright, but the studio version is nicer. Here it mounts up to twenty years layered plus the sound of broken glasses, three watering cans and voice. A highly psychedelic piece with sound swirling in
 and out of the mix, but at the very same time also a noisy piece of music, almost like a violent piece of drone music. This is a great piece and one of the best I heard with involvement that is non-noise related (or at least to some extent)
by Mattin. (FdW)

Brutus Zine

JOSETXO GRIETA "Euskal Semea". W.M.O/R.
2 extensísimas (casi ¡50 minutos!, entre ambas) y particulares recreaciones, ambas en directo, del clásico tema de la Velvet Underground  "European Son", rebautizadas aquí como "Euro Peear Semea, I y II" ("el hijo de la meada del Euro"). En la primera, el protagonismo lo acapara un Josetxo Anitua que canta en euskera bajo una tormenta de "loops" de guitarras (versión que dedican a Delmore Schwartz y a  Eduardo Haro Ibars), siendo "Mattín", bajo la tortura percusiva a la que le somete Iñigo Eguillor, el que centra la atención, vociferando en castellano una letra "automática", en esa segunda relectura de casi ¡media hora de duración!, en un lanzamiento en el que también resulta de justicia destacar los poemas y notas manuscritas que esconde su libreto interior. Un LUJO.

Outer Space Gamelan


Josetxo Grieta - Euskal Semea (w.m.o/recordings CD)

Last of the recordings Mattin sent my way is from the Josetxo Grieta trio, which features Mattin as well as Josetxo Anitua and Inigo Eguillor. The premise for "Euskal Semea" is that the group were invited to do a reinterpretation of the Velvet Underground's "European Son" in tribute to the VU's legendary self-titled album on which the song in question can be found. The title of Grieta's version is derived by translating "European Son" into the Basque language Euskera and the literal translation then turns back into "Basque Son", thus giving the new piece a decidedly personal ramification for all musicians involved.
Presented here are two different versions of "€peear Semea", one for (supposedly) 20 guitars, three watering cans and voice and the other for drums, voice, radio and guitar. In the first version, seven different takes on the song are edited together to form a deliriously swirling din that only really resembles "European Son" in terms of anarchistic aesthetic. Apparently the original bassline is retained and worked around but even that is a challenge to dig out (although it really is there throughout all 22 minutes). I can't confirm for you if that many guitars and watering cans were actually used but with all the overdubbing taking place here, who knows for sure. What does come across is a slow-lurching blackened sun drone, akin to taking a bath in an oil can during a thunderstorm. Digital-sounding blips and whirrs are puked out every so often and quickly re-ingested like a hurricane simultaneously sucking in and tossing out everything it comes into contact with. The result is impressive, if not overly long, and maybe even something that Lou Reed himself could've come to grips with, though I doubt it. Also noteworthy is the fact that all guitars were tuned to La Monte Young's "just intonation" technique. Hmmmmm... "€peear Semea II" is described in the booklet as "a Basque [asking] another Basque if being hit and hitting back is the only way to learn in this mousetrap that is carefully prepared for us". I'm of no qualification to answer that so I'll just stick to the music (which I'm still of no qualification to talk about but hey, you've gotten this far, you might as well finish reading!). This 28-minute piece is largely percussion oriented, with Eguillor delivering thundering, hypnotic, and downright lively rhythms from the drum kit, an impressive feat of stamina in that he's able to keep the energy level up for a good 20 minutes. Other sounds accompanying him are Mattin and Anitua's treated guitars and voices, both shouting lyrics in Spanish and churning out malevolent bolts from their strings. The last nine minutes are a sort of post-apocalyptic coda to the proceedings, all three sounding down and out and letting out final gasps from their instruments and/or throats before the sounds finally collapse on themselves. I probably liked "II" better but that's also because it was better at immediately holding my attention. With more listenings I'm sure I'll be able to appreciate the intricate workings of the first version just as well.
I don't know if it bears repeating anymore but like all Mattin/w.m.o/r product, you can obtain the tracks here for free on Mattin's website, along with all pertinent liner note information. A lot of people say a lot of things about Mattin but what strikes me most is the attention to detail given to each one of the releases, despite the fact that anybody can go grab them off his website at will. They all come with (or in) thick, glossy booklets or fold-outs with text and photos and various epherma. I encourage you to at least investigate his website and send some cash his way if you like what you hear. I can think of less deserving parties!
posted by Outer Space Gamelan at 11:51 PM 0 comments


The sleeve of Euskal Semea by Josetxo Grieta (w.m.o/r 28), one of the projects Mattin is involved in, sports the picture of a partially peeled banana, broken in half and looking as if it’s been stuck in the vagina of a woman having her periods. Sorry to put it that way, but that’s what it looks like (see further on, down this page, for yourself). The (elaborate) linernotes refer to the Velvet Undergound’s classic “Banana Album”, which might explain the banana picture. According to those same linernotes Euskal Semea is centered around “European Son”, one of the tracks on the Velvet Underground-album. Euskal Semea btw means Basque Son. The linernotes further on decribe in depth what techniques were applied to come to the original song and theme, like translating it into Euskera and applying “La Monte Young’s Dream syndicate tuning techniques (noted on Tony Conrad’s webpage)” to the band’s guitars - But I’m not going into all that. Briefly put: the first track is quite good, indeed bearing some striking simularities with the original version of “European Son” (up to the sound of the breaking glass) when you put both of them next to each other. A muffled metronome ticks the beat away, much in the same way as the monotome drumming at the beginning of European son, and much the same bassline is present. Around these two all kinds of sounds and frequencies emerge, and some shrieking feedback spices things up. The track is some 22 minutes long (the original Velvet-track lasts some 6 minutes), so plenty of time to get sucked into the track in a Metal Machine Music way. The second track is a live recording, and the link with European son is (at least to me) a bit less obvious. It’s a furious jam-session sporting some repetitive and frantic drumming, punklike shoutings and lotsa feedback. As such it reminds me a bit of some things I’ve seen at the two “F**k you too”-festivals in Geel [review of the second edition]. And as a side-note: the CD is pressed at the Dual Plover-plant [website] in Australia (Cheers Lucas!) - the place to be to have your noise CD’s pressed at cheapo-prices!
Oh, fyi: all tracks of the releases reviewed above, including the sleeves, can be dowloaded at Mattin’s site [check it out] - Anti-copyright!

Ruta 66 (Abril 2007, Barcelona)


The Sound Projector (by Ed Pinsent 11th April 2007)

Josetxo Grieta is here with Euskal Semea (w.m.o/r 28), which on the face of it comprises two lengthy cover versions of ‘European Son’ by The Velvet Underground, and printed texts in the package intellectualising and contextualising the decision (even filling in some historical background on Delmore Schwartz, the poet and English teacher at Lou Reed’s University). Josetxo’s text asks pointed questions about national identity, particularly as it obtains in 21st century Europe. Mattin forms part of this deconstructionist trio, adding guitar and voice to the radio work of Josetxo Anitua, and the drums of Inigo Eguillor. Actually this record could turn out to be a very rewarding slab of noise, and more than just ‘cover versions’, perhaps an interesting commentary of sorts on the music of The VU and their status in musical history. The high-impact cover art is a witty pastiche of the first VU LP, except this Basque banana is peeled, bitten, and dipped in some vile red sauce; the strands of banana peel fall in odd patterns and make it resemble a yellow and black stick insect.

Mondo Sonoro (May 2007)

The Sound Projector (London)

A very odd one indeed...Josetxo Grieta is an ad-hoc group, comprising
Josetxo Anitua on voice and radio, Inigo Eguillor on drums, and our old
Basque friend Mattin on voice and guitar. They were commissioned to
record a version of 'European Son' by The Velvet Underground, as part of
the project by the editor of music zine Brutus to stage an event in
honour of the 40th anniversary of that famous LP. The CD contains two
very long pieces of brutal noised-up versions, now retitled '€PEEAR
SEMEA I' and II, of which the second version was recorded live and the
first version is a radical re-interpretation of the original, reworked
for 20 guitars, watering cans, broken glasses and voice...both are
simply splendid assaults of powerful avant-rock noise, compelling and
remorseless in equal measure, paying particular attention to that
brutalist, primitive rhythm to propel the songs; both remain totally
true to the real spirit of The Velvets. On strength of what you hear
alone, many progressive listeners will find this hard to resist.
But stay! Josetxo Grieta also have an underlying concept to the release,
explained in detail in the pamphlet enclosure of which the cover art is
a sickening satire version of the famous banana LP cover by Andy Warhol.
Jesetxo's riposte to that iconic image is his photograph of an old,
browning banana of which the top has been bitten off and dipped in a
vile red sauce. It looks repellent. Inside, a concise paragraph of
research reminds us that the original 'European Son' was dedicated to
Delmore Schwartz, who (as all VU fanatics already know) was the poet and
professor at Syracuse, and Lou Reed's personal mentor. He's remembered
to this day as a crazy man, an alcoholic and drug addict, and a violent
enemy of rock music, especially what he regarded as the banality of its
lyrics. In fact the band attempted to curry favour with him by recording
'European Son', a song that comprises only 20 seconds of lyrics, and
seven minutes of noise.
Analysing the scant ten lines of the 'European Son' lyric, Josetxo
Grieta conclude from it that 'Lou Reed is attacking the established
power structures of the so-called white collars, and aligns himself with
the European history of rebellious poets'. Inspired with agitational
zeal, the band decided to make their version of the song into a critical
statement, attacking modern culture and politics. They translated the
lyrics into Euserka, an archaic European language which is allegedly the
oldest living tongue in the continent. In the process, the European son
suddenly changed into 'Euskal Semea', meaning a Basque Son. In depicting
the plight of the Basque ('an outlaw in a land occupied between two
countries’), this leaves our critical trio free to explore ideas of
oppressive law-makers, consumerism, globalisation, and the work of the
Spanish poet Eduardo Haro Ibars, an icon of counter-culture in Spain
during the Franco years. Like all good Marxist-inspired thinkers, our
libertarians can't forget the weight of history, and continue to
complain bitterly about 'centuries of dominion by the French and the
Spanish'. It's not all politics thankfully, as the trio used their anger
to create new lyrics for their recordings, generated using automatic
writing, and sung in Spanish; these lyrics depict a simple morality play
exposing the folly of internecine violence, and hope to expose the
'mousetrap that is carefully prepared for us'.
Accordingly, their version of 'European Son' is now dedicated to two
poets, Schwartz and Ibars, and (even if you don't dig the political
angles) this gives a satisfying conceptual coherence to their statement.
ED PINSENT 29/07/2007

Autsaider Magazine (Ukraine, May 2007)

Euskal Semea
CD, w.m.o/r, 2007

Josetxo Grieta – це тріо баскських музикантів Маттіна, Хосетхо Анітуа та Ініґо Еквіллора. Проект, створений народити на світ Божий чергового культурного монстра. В цьому випадку монстром виступає перекладена на баскську мову присвята Лу Ріда своєму наставнику Делмору Шварцу, викладачу університету м. Сіракузи і поету. Десь зовсім поряд блукає привид Velvet Underground: цей диск фактично замовили Маттіну як інтерпретацію їхньої пісні “European Son” (вона ж присвята Шварцу) зі славнозвісного „бананового” альбому. Звичайно, на баскську перекладено й назву пісні, але в перекладеній версії вона стала звучати як „Сини басків”.

Маттін явно захоплюється грою в культурні посилання, навертаючи павутиння змістів, які напряму виводять до проблеми, до якої він весь час повертається в інших своїх роботах, – баскської незалежності. Диск напрочуд адекватний – і як свіже явище в європейському авангарді (який досі марить строгістю форм, відкидаючи психоделію як метод), і як формальне вираження того ступеня абстракції, до якого не дотяглися свого часу Velvet Underground і Ніко, і як нове прочитання присвяти одного похмурого типа іншому – Ріда Шварцу. Справа в тім, що Шварц був важкою людиною, одержимим демонами алкоголіком, але він був справжнім поетом – його вірші переборювали його одержимість.

Музика на диску важка, вайлувата, невесела, вона рухається вперед навалом, не розбираючи дороги й щохвилини втрачаючи напрямок руху. Проте не можна сказати, що вона незграбна чи неповоротка – навпаки, вона викликає враження живого тіла, яке – попри те, що воно спотикається на кожному кроці, що від нього весь час відвалюються шматки – готове в будь-яку мить спурхнути і полетіти у нас над головами. Цей альбом – безсоромне вираження культурної свободи в самому центрі світу, в центрі, охопленому постколоніальними настроями. Він – образ Країни басків, землі, оточеної та здушеної з усіх боків агресивною європейською нав’язливістю, землі, в повітрі якої досі відчувається запах свободи.

Я нічого не знаю про Країну басків, я ніколи там не був, я ніколи не дихав її повітрям. Але Маттін та його тріо все про неї знають, і вже через це диск є цінним. Так, ніби нам дали вдихнути цього повітря, і ми самі раптом почали уболівати за долю досі незломлених басків, за долю одержимих демонами поетів і – врешті-решт – за історію вільної музики, за звільнення її від тиску культурного авторитету Старого Світу.

Денис Колокол



Euskal Semea

CD, w.m.o/r, 2007

Josetxo Grieta is a trio of Basque musicians Mattin, Josetxo Anitua and Inigo Eguillor. It’s a project designed to give birth to another cultural monster. In this particular case, a Basque translation of Lou Reed’s homage to his teacher Delmore Schwartz, a professor in the University of Syracuse and a poet, is the monster. A ghost of the Velvet Underground is wandering somewhere around: Mattin was actually ordered to produce this disc as an interpretation of their song “European Son (To Delmore Schwarz)” from the famous “banana” album. Of course, the title is translated into Basque too, but the translation changed it to “Basque Sons.”

Mattin is obviously fascinated with playing with cultural references weaving a web of senses that directly point at the problem which he constantly adverts to in his other works – Basque independence. This disc is surprisingly to the point as a fresh phenomenon in European avant-garde (which still goes after rigidity of forms and throws away psychedelia as a method), as a formal expression of the extent of abstraction the Velvet Underground and Nico failed to achieve in their time, and as a new perusal of one gloomy guy’s homage to another, Reed to Schwartz. The fact is that Schwartz was a tough guy, an alcoholic possessed with demons but he was a true poet, his verse transcended his possession.

The music of this record is massive, heavy-footed, joyless; it recklessly goes ahead over hedge and ditch and minutely loses the direction of movement. However, one can’t say that it’s awkward or cumbersome, on the contrary it produces the impression of a lively thing which despite the fact that it tumbles over its every step, its chunks falling off all the time, is ready to take off and fly over our heads. This album is a shameless expression of cultural freedom right in the centre of the world, in the centre abuzz with post-colonial sentiments. It is an image of the Basque country, the land surrounded and suppressed by aggressive European officiousness, the land in the air of which one can still scent freedom.

I know nothing about the Basque country, I’ve never been there, and I’ve never breathed its air. But Mattin and his trio know all about it, and that’s the very reason why this disc is so valuable. It feels as if we were allowed to breathe this air, and we suddenly started to care about the destiny of the Basque people still unbroken, of the destiny of poets possessed with demons, and finally of the history of free music, started to support its liberation from oppression of the Old World’s authority.

Denis Kolokol

Tranzistor (by Nicolas Absurd, Athens)

the trinity's holiday makes you change your habits and moving hours...
having as a target a nice breakfast in one of my favest places i start a
small derive around the city with the exception of some coffe shops that
also sell sandwiches and pies that didn't fancy make me go on.. at
thermopylwn st. my beloved bougatsa shop 'i nea anoixi' is closed... kinda
walk i walk to adrianoupolews st but marina as well with her beautiful
russian recipies and the lovely potato piroskas is also closed. am thinkin'
of sitting at 'nostimia' but i change my mind and leave. i end to 'nea
ellas' one of my favest pastry shops in town, unfortunately no baked rice
pudding so i fancy a lovely piece of a substantial walnut pie... some of my
beloved coffee shops are closed. stucked of whether i should sit for a
coffee in a coffe shop in the city's main square or not. i am walking down
platonos st, ali memet oglou's coffee shop is open, in the background of
the shop i can hear the voice of the muezzin coming from a radio, nearby
'new art' has a delivery of dresses for young muslim girls. i stop at
'spanidis' bookstore and watch the books that are displayed in the
showcases, i realize that 'estia' has published in greek the book of
vryonis around the events of '55 in instabul and i recall that a week ago
there was the book's presentation in thrace. i walk more enjoying my last
hours in the city, stucked in my discman is euskal semea the insane tribute
of josexto grieta to the european son of vu (the title in basque means
'european son') done on the ocasion of the 40th anniversary of the
'banana''s issue. 2 pieces, one for 20 guitrars, broken glass, etc the 2nd
a live one togehter w/ mattin (in a stellar sound/contribution) and iatigo
eguilor. rotten, dirty, sick, fuckin' amazing, torn, freepunknoiserock in
its bloodiest best moments. intense sounds that fit perfect to my last walk
in town.

jacknapier.blogspot (Italy)

Euskal Semea

Può essere considerato come un omaggio a quell'immenso album che fu (anzi, che è) Velvet Underground & Nico, questo del gruppo basco Josetxo Grieta. Euskal Semea, infatti, tradotto in lingua basca vuol dire "European Son", una delle 11 perle del primo album dei figliocci di Warhol. La cover ha ben poco in comune con l'originale, si tratta di una specie di drone, ottenuto sovrapponendo le chitarre che eseguono la canzone dei velvet, un saggio rumoristico, un tentativo apprezzabile di distruggerci le orecchie.
A dire il vero le cover sono due, la prima è in studio, la seconda è registrata dal vivo. Ed è proprio la seconda traccia la più interessante... urla, rumori assordanti, battiti, cacofonia insomma... comincia con una calma inquietante che pare preannunciare il casino che verrà. Comincia a battere sui timpani il batterista e comincia l'uragano che durerà per 25 minuti circa. La quiete dopo la tempesta ci darà la sensazione di essere rimasti sordi, dopo l'esplosione di un ordigno nelle vicinanze... un'esperienza senza dubbio interessante (e devastante).

L'album non è coperto da copyright e può essere scaricato legalmente da qui
un ringraziamento a Gigiriva di Ondarock per avermelo fatto conoscere.


Diskunion (Japan)

マッティンがギターとヴォーカルを務めるノイズ・ユニット。ライヴ録音のようだが、徐々にパワーを増すエレクトロニック・ノイズが土石流のように全てを飲 み込む。1曲目はスピード感というよりズッシリとした重さに比重を置いたど迫力のヘヴィ・ノイズであるが、2曲目では絶叫と反復リズムを中心としたバン ド・スタイルになっている。マッティンが敬愛する非常階段へのオマージュとも言える好内容である。どうやらヴェルヴェット・アンダーグラウンドの 「ヨーロピアン・サン」 のカヴァーのもよう。なるほど!! 凝ったジャケ仕様。