Curated by Roc Jiménez de Cisneros
The second instalment of the monographic dedicated to Victor Nubla offers a musical selection of his works from 1976 until 2008.
When Victor Nubla and Juan Crek founded Macromassa in 1976, they began more than just a simple duo. To many people, this Barcelona group is the touchstone of independence in Spanish music: the first fanzines, the first self-produced record in the country and a musical attitude that lies somewhere between the destructive and the surreal positioned Macromassa at the point of convergence between many influences —futurism, punk, industrial, free jazz, Borges— that had barely permeated the "desert" of late seventies Spanish culture. But in spite of the lack of precedents, training or institutional support, Crek and Nubla’s personal immersion in the world of free improvisation and sound experimentation allowed them to clear a path for themselves and for future generations.
Even so, Macromassa is by no means all there is to say about Victor Nubla. His vast, indefinable career, both solo and as part of many other lineups (Dedo, Aixònoéspànic, Leónidas, Massa Fosca, European Experimental Composers Orchestra, Secreto Metro and more), forms a complex puzzle that initially seems as hard to put together as the found pieces of jigsaws that Nubla has been collecting and rigorously cataloguing since 1984.
To solve this impossible puzzle, which consists of Nubla's discography (with dozens of releases), his bibliography (in and out of his publishing company Misántropos) and other activities (his crucial cultural management work with Gràcia Territori Sonor, for example) from the mid-seventies onwards, we have to accept the post-avant-garde (anti-avant-garde?) attitude of a born cultural agitator who believes the most important aspect of his work is its popular nature.
Experimental music born in the streets, not the academy, and reinvented a thousand times over on those same streets, in everyday life, in the surreal, in food, in the neighbourhood, in coincidence, in literature, in new and old global networks and in dozens of instruments. Because one of the most obvious distinguishing features of Nubla's extensive career is undoubtedly his radical evolution in his choice of tools for each of his artistic incarnations.
From clarinet to voice, voice to radio, radio to sampler, sampler to computer, with effect pedals as more than just an ornamental flourish: a non-linear progression that indirectly tells the story of some of the changes that have taken place in music technology over the last few decades. The changes that have allowed this musician and die-hard resident of the Gracia neighbourhood in Barcelona, to fully develop his eternal semi-random search, while at the same time filling the stave of his imagination with ideas, memories, methodologies, metaphors and, above all, sounds that question formal certainties.