Barcelona’s Professor Manso (Alex Llovet) and Mister Furia (Salvador Rey) are the electro-pop neo-lounge lizards known as the Pinker Tones. They’ve played everywhere from Las Vegas to Moscow’s Red Square, but it’s their show under the first-ever electronic music tent at this week’s Vans Warped Tour that has them poised to make some history.
Festival founder Kevin Lyman first saw the Pinker Tones – along with their onstage conspirator DJ Niño – perform at last year’s SXSW music festival in Austin, Tex. Taken by their kaleidoscopic cocktail, he invited them to Warped, where he hopes to remind audiences that the true essence of punk is the subversion of status quo. If that means including a genre-mashing act that serves up everything from breakbeat and retro-funk spliced and diced with samples of Jimmy Page to space-age bossa novas bent on Esquivel-like atmospherics, then that’s pretty punk.
“The new generation of young people have grown up with iPod, listening to many different types of music,” says Manso backstage in May before a gig at the TransAtlantic Festival in Miami Beach. “So in that sense I think it’s very wise of `Lyman` to open up his horizons.”
Besides that, says Mister Furia, punk music is the granddaddy of DIY: “Of being able to say, ‘No, I don’t need a grand studio, I don’t need a big record company that would cause me a series of limitations.’”
Since first joining forces to produce a television documentary score, Manso and Furia’s music-making approach has been unencumbered by the kind of industry minutiae that would strangle their iconoclastic forays. In 2003, they crafted their first album, Pink Connection, in a tiny rooftop studio in the center of Barcelona and released it under their own label. In 2006, the pair signed with Latin indie imprint Nacional Records to drop The Million Colour Revolution. For their latest sonic buffet, Wild Animals, the provocateurs have assembled a batch of dance-floor–friendly tunes. If the Pinker Tones’ Miami Beach show is any indication, dance music stands to be vindicated by the same rock audience that once called for its obliteration. In fact, Manso claims the two should coexist nicely.
“We lean toward electronica during our live sets, but it doesn’t preclude us from having a rock & roll attitude.”
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