This week my spirit is in the Basque Country, following the cycling tour of the same name. I should, of course, be there following the race as I’ve done many times in the past……..maybe, next year! I’ve heard plenty of Basque music on my various trips there and thought I’d share some with you.
Berri Txarrak (Bad News) is a Basque rock power trio whose songs are sung in Basque. It was founded in 1994 in Lekunberri, as a parallel project of Gorka Urbizu (vocals and guitar) and Aitor Goikoetxea (drums). In 1997 they began to focus fully on the band, which acquired two new members: Mikel López (bass) and Aitor Oreja (guitar).
After releasing a six-track demo, the band landed several awards which allowed them to record their eponymous album, released in autumn 1997. According to the band’s members, that album was a step forward for their music and it became the base for their later works.
In 1999, the band released their second album Ikasten (Learning), swiftly followed in 2001 by Eskuak/Ukabilak (Hands/Fists) which earned them the Gaztea Saria (Best Newcomer) award for best song of the year. With this album, the band garnered the attention of public and press from outside the Basque Country.
2003 was the year in which the band released their fourth album, Libre ©, (Free) to critical acclaim, earning them their first European tour. The album won the best Spanish album of the year award from the magazine Rock Sound and Euskadi Gaztea.
After a long tour, the guitarist Aitor Oreja walked out. In 2005, Gorka, Aitor G and Mikel decided to carry on as a three-member band and focused on what would be Berri Txarrak’s fifth album, Jaio.Musika.Hil (Birth, Music, Death). The band went on to tour north and south America to promote the album.
In January 2011, Berri Txarrak was nominated for the 10th Annual Independent Music Awards for Best Punk Song for their song Folklore. A further album Haria (The Thread) followed in February 2012. Above is the official video of Albo-Kalteak (Collateral Damage), the first track released from Haria.
The band continues tour but largely in the Iberian peninsula and has released further albums Denbora Da Poligrafo Bakarra (2014 – Time is the only True Measure) and Infrasoinuak (2017 – Infrasounds).