DOOUX – A.u.l.d.e. (Magic Room Records, 2021)
It is always surprising to find a new band in Spain that dares to tread the dark paths of alternative music, given the overwhelming and dominant tastes in the music scene. But there are some, and perhaps the reason for this is the desire to explore and bring together different styles.
This is the case of DOOUX, a recent project from Barcelona formed by Toni P. (vocals, lyrics, music) and Bárbara G. (music). After listening to their new EP A.u.l.d.e., the most obvious thing is to pigeonhole them in synthpop; but according to them, they are dedicated to combining electronica with pop/rock, adding drops of darkwave, coldwave and synthpop itself.
DOOUX has a first EP (IgnoraLa99Mirada, 2019), which has been published in cassette format. They have also participated in the two compilations of the Barcelona webzine Other Voices, as well as in the compilation Monotemas #03 by La Nada Colectiva; all of them, also released on cassette.
An intimate EP to listen and dance to
A.u.l.d.e. features a total of six tracks, two of which can only be heard on the cassette edition or after purchasing the digital album. Toni’s soft, whispery voice dominates the EP, backed by synthesised keyboards, drum machine and electric guitars that are very well integrated into the whole. Toni has a voice that fits the pop sensibility of such well-known spanish bands as OBK, tinged with a melancholy and introspection more present than in the aforementioned band. The lyrics, in Spanish, speak with a poetic and intimate tone about memories and dreams, about the fall into madness and more cryptic and fantastic matters.
Personally, I am left with the melodies and rhythms of all the instruments, of a very enjoyable taste and care. We are not going to find compositions that surprise, but we will find themes in which the bass and percussion seduce from the first moment, accompanied by guitars and keyboards with the precise presence, whether in the foreground or background; nothing crushing or energetic, but rather sophisticated and balanced, with the necessary impulse to dance to it.
A un lado del Edén stands out as one of the most danceable tracks, while in Donde escupiste fuego there is a slower cadence in which some very cool synthesised keyboards emerge. H (2021), the first bonus track, plays with successively yielding the protagonism, first to the guitar, then to the keyboards and finally to the vocals, to then bring it all together in a melancholic and danceable whole. Closing the EP and with an equally enigmatic title, R.S.2., is almost instrumental and offers ethereal stringed instruments, a very thick and insistent bass, and Toni’s voice in the background as an additional support.
Thanks to its balance, A.u.l.d.e. is an album you can enjoy both at home and as part of a hypothetical pub or disco session. And I certainly wouldn’t miss it live. Time and opportunity will tell… In the meantime, you can purchase the cassette from both the band and Magic Room Records.