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World Music Features

The Pinker Tones

By Marty Lipp
Published June 5, 2008

On the strength of their second studio album The Million Colour Revolution, which was first released in 2006, the duo toured for two years and built a strong following. It didn’t take long for their upbeat, devil-may-care delivery to catch fire in the U.S. and other countries around the world, thus setting the stage for their latest album, Wild Animals.

Madrid might be the cultural capital of Spain, but the feisty, iconoclastic city of Barcelona has long been home to a bubbling stew of inventive new music. One of the scene’s biggest exports is a group whose catchy, dancefloor-ready electronic sound is not at all what one would expect from Spain—especially considering that their songs are often sung in English and laced with a sweet, infectious silliness.

The “group” is actually two friends—Mister Furia (Salvador Rey) and Professor Manso (Alex Llovet)—and they call themselves The Pinker Tones.

“There was this wild energy loading up during those two years of touring,” Furia says, explaining the rationale behind the album title. “Once we got into the studio for a few days, it was like a huge discharge of energy. We always have a tendency to go in different directions once we have done something, so the aim is always to reinvent ourselves as artists. It’s fun as well. This time I think we’ve created a more direct album. The last album was like utopia—the way we’d like things to be—but this is more of a description of the world we live in.”

Furia and Manso first met in college, but went their separate ways until years later, when they kept running into each other during a three-day stretch in Barcelona. Furia was working on the music for a television series, and asked Manso to collaborate. They immediately got very excited about their synergy.

“The first thing we noticed was that it was relatively easy to work together,” Furia recalls, stressing the fact that although the two work well as a team, they are contrasting personalities. “I’m the analog guy, and Manso is more the digital high-tech person. He’s really rhythmic, and I’m really harmonic. He’s the computer drum, and I’m a tube amp. It’s a bit of a yin-yang story, but we could spend a lot of hours together without fighting too much.”

More about partying than arguing or pontificating, Wild Animals opens, startlingly enough, with an almost Beach Boys-like a cappella chorus singing the lyrics to “Hold On.” A funky electronic beat soon kicks in, and the album is