Exploring the Spanish Garage Rock Scene and Dr Explosion’s New Single ‘Insatisfacciòn’ Video Premiere – God Is In The TV

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Dissatisfaction is the hypnotic, driving and rhythmic new single from the Spanish garage gods Doctor Blast. In their own words; No one remembers when Doctor Explosion started, not even them. Yet everyone in Spain knows they’ve been doing their Garage Rock thing for over thirty years..” They “combine wild hooliganism with the utmost professionalism like no other”. Mention Dr Explosion’s name to anyone of a certain age who loves his music in Spain and who knows Jorge Explosion (Jorge Muñoz-Cobo), the enigmatic, incredibly talented and energetic leader who propelled the band through three decades of world tours, eight albums and some line-up changes. I tested it thoroughly!

In recent years there have been some well-deserved bands from Spain in the English/British musical atmosphere – Fandango Fuel, Rosalia…. hinds were probably the band that introduced most people to an indie scene they didn’t know before. Hinds 2014 album Leave me alone found audiences around the world seeking to understand the sweaty, powerful performances and the bands that gravitated around them.

The scene was not new. In the late 1970s and throughout the 1980s, Spain’s underground punk and rock movement roared with uncontrollable energy and dynamism and multiplied rapidly (fueled in part by The Madrid Movida – part of the cultural renaissance of Madrid and the country after Francoism). The concerts took place in cramped rehearsal spaces, and in every possible space with bands like The Pleasure Fuckers and sex museum ready with names to shock and also fit into the sexual revolution that the country was undergoing. At that time, Spain was not on the map of international bands on tour.

By the 90s, however, that had begun to change, as had the indie/DIY scene, as an unmistakably Spanish “garajero” sound emerged from these musical experiments and jubilation. Garage is popular in pockets of art scenes across Europe, but Spain’s craving was unknowable. The Spanish genre was a loaded, varied, slightly nostalgic version, encapsulating everything from lo-fi to psychedelia to surfer rock. So passionate were the followers of these bands, so dedicated were the musicians and the network of small regional DIY labels that ran and still run the scene (Subterfuge, Bankrobber, BCore, FOLCetc) and the shows were so loud it’s hard to remember it was and still is the underground, the ring road.

One band that came out of this exciting time was 90s garage band Dr. Explosion. The music is garage but with a dirty pulse. Jorge Explosion is the heartbeat and an exceptional performer. One of the most popular garage festivals in Spain is Tarragona Bule Bule Toga Festdemanding that all performers perform in togas and the photos of their performances there capture so much life.

A side project to Dr. Explosion is Las Munjitas Del Fuzz (The Nuns of Fuzz), where, you guessed it, Jorge performs dressed as a nun. They still perform from time to time in Spain, so watch out for their next gig.

Their signature raw garage sound is Jorge’s trademark – he also leads his famous Circo Perrotti recording studios, where many established artists such as Childish Billy, Holly Golightly, Skin tones, and many others have made records. Its studios are renowned for being analog and the records made there are beautiful creations on tape. In the November/December 2014 issue of TapeOp, he spoke to Peter Zaremba about his production philosophy.

After a wildly successful Latin American tour just before Covid hit us all in suspended animation, Dr. Explosion is back with his new single and has just finished mastering the album that will follow.

Jorge Explosion told me over a drink in one of his favorite bars in his home town of Gijon that Dissatisfaction “is a song about contradictions, about the inability to make decisions, but also about the feeling of alienation. Alienated by our decisions but also our differences.“It can perhaps be seen as a metaphor for garage music itself finding a place in Spain, or for people and young people in particular who need garage or DIY music in Spain to express themselves. The alienation they felt through difference needed an outlet just like Victor Guillet, Jorge’s alter ego in the song needs to spring into action. The video also features Nacho Álvarez (bassist of manta ray) and the recently deceased radio journalist/lead singer, Miguel Escalada, and to whom it is dedicated.

If we zoom out to see where Dr Explosion and Hinds land in Spain’s once again thriving garage landscape, people are talking about a revival right now. David Simpson from The Guardian describes the Madrid indie scene; “The queue for The club La Vía Láctea (the Milky Way) stretches along the street. Some 500 bands have passed through Pandora’s Vox rehearsal space since it opened in 2012, and a significant number make some sort of garage-inspired racket.

If you want to experience the passion and energy of it all, I can’t recommend some of the fantastic garage festivals that take place every year, such as Fuzzville, Funtastic Dracula Carnival (both in Benidorm) and Motorbeach.

I’ve also created an introductory Spanish Garage playlist for you to enjoy and explore beyond, to use as a starting point.