The resounding drum roll from the archive this month was Dead Cert’s reissue of Mecánica Popular’s 1984 masterpiece ¿Qué Sucede Con El Tiempo?, undoubtedly one of the pillars of Spain’s and everybody else’s history of the mechanical 1980s. Eternally brimming with good ideas and good taste, the record is the result of years of late sessions by Eugenio Muñoz and Luis Delgado, two studio engineers whose young and very skilful minds had the whole ‘paradise’ of the RCA Madrid Studios to play with. ¿Qué Sucede Con El Tiempo? finds them sampling, looping and processing their way through the night.
Expertly poised on the line between experimentalism, dance-friendly industrial and a synthy dark sickness, the record sounds today like it could have been conceived by American minimalists, Radiophonic Workshop types, or by a particularly fun-loving Groupe de Recherches Musicales. In fact though, this album belongs in the heart of the Spanish underground (it was originally issued on Aviador Dro’s DRO and later on Diseño Corbusier’s Auxilio de Cientos and on Discos Esplendor Geométrico), and it’s one of those important instances of learned experimentation taking place in a clandestine fashion, in something like a punk culture. ¿Qué Sucede Con El Tiempo? (indeed, what does happen to time? It’s been 30 years) has enjoyed plenty of subterranean fame and it’s about time it inspired a new generation. “Plenilunio”, “Máquinas y Procedimientos” and the four movements of the “Impresionistas” suite are tracks you return to, you don’t forget. Crisp, rhythmic, strange and perfectly staged electronic experimentation.