Every time I come across some unknown but interesting music on the Internet, I can’t help but wondering how small the range of my musical taste would be without it...
Despite the misuse of the Internet and the strong –many times negative– impact of social networking sites in our social behavior, their contribution in spreading music globally is undoubtedly not only important, but enormous. By the means available today, any musician or band can share their work with thousands of people around the world, with just a few clicks. This is how Horda 130 sent us their work, and I’m really glad they did so.
Horda 130 are from Portugal and their members are Marisa Ramos, Hugo Silva and Pedro Vieira. As mentioned in their bio, the two of them have known each other for several years playing music together. Still, their band was formed just this year, and they have already released a four-track EP entitled “The Big Mall”.
While listening to Horda 130’s debut EP, I immediately noticed four things I liked. The first one was the dreamy –in several parts dark– atmosphere sent forth by their music. The other one was the simplicity of their musical approach, based on solid basslines, very fittingly enriched by nice guitars and synth, which gives them an old-fashioned, nostalgic, 80's style. The next thing I spotted at first hearing was the smooth but capturing vocals by Marisa Ramos, which suit perfectly the band’s atmospheric, dreamlike mood. The last thing that intrigued me was that their music is difficult to categorize. Of course, this can sometimes be a commercial drawback, but it shows an open mind and an acute musical approach; something I personally like and value a lot.
Although they describe their music as alternative rock –and from a general view this is quite right, since this is usually a term for bands with a more alternative and experimental orientation–, I think that this characterization doesn’t do them much justice. The alternative element is definitely there and it’s quite strong in Horda 130’s music, but their influences ranging from post punk, pop to trip hop and gothic, are the reason why the word "alternative" seems a bit vague.
The most straightforward and commercial side of “The Big Mall” –and one of its best moments–, is the first song, “Trees” which strongly reminds us of post punk bands like The Cure, Joy Division and New Order. The next one, “Monkey”, has a more trip hop atmosphere that brings to mind Massive Attack. Both videos of these tracks are quite well-made. “Pink” takes a gothic rock path, while “Incomplete”, the last song in the EP, is its darkest moment, with the electronic elements giving a sick, industrial ambience.
“The Big Mall”’s cover –a graffiti by Daniel Padure in Barcelona–, completely matches the album’s title and style with its biting view of today’s greedy consumer society.
Horda 130’s first EP is a promising start, showing their drive and ideas for good music. “The Big Mall” has made a very good impression on me and has left me waiting for the next step. The horde of Horda 130 has been unleashed...
The Big Mall, by Horda 130
Music genre: Alternative/Post punk/Pop
Translation: Afroditi Tsakiri