"Music for 08001 is more than entertainment. It's an exchange of energy, it's something to do with energy, force and spirit" - Julian Urigoitia
Any quick foray into Wikipedia will tell you all about the ethos behind 08001. An ever evolving and revolving roster of about a dozen musicians and producers, taking on the pseudonym in order to create... whatever is they want to create. True world music.
Running out of Barcelona, the rather odd name 08001 is taken from the area code in which the project started (also, it's where the spiritual "home" and recording studio of the band is). Mixing together blends of techno, electronic and ethnic music, No Pain No Gain is the latest album to grace our earbuds following on from 'Children Rise', the lead single from the release.
And it's with 'Children Rise' that No Pain No Gain rather groovily begins. The track has subdued energy from the outset and just oozes cool. With the main focus being on the the effortless r&b vocals, the melodic and driving rhythm is the star of the song for me and from the first cymbal crash and snare hit, it's all aboard the vibe train.
We continue to ride the metaphorical vibe train into the more upbeat 'Red Rose', mixing some seriously enticing bass hooks into the mix. In-fact, I think it's fair to say that each song on the album has a specific element that really stands out. This is of course without detracting from the rest of the instrumentation, but I defy anybody to listen to the bass on this song and not find it breezy as hell.
As I mentioned, I don't think it's unfair to say that each song does have it's own identity and it really lends well to the 'world music' vision that 08001 try to create. Title track 'No Pain No Gain' mixes in some heavy synth with industrial guitar that leads into an angelic, almost prog outro with it's piano and half time shuffle and washy, delayed guitar. This leads straight into SONG NAME with it's absolute focus on vocals, stripping out everything bar drums until just after the chorus hook, adding only minimalist guitar.
This approach to song writing can seem a little bit sporadic and schizophrenic to begin with but after a few listens through, it definitely begins to make sense. You need to take into account the life and back story of every person involved with the development of 08001. You need to understand how each persons soul and style seeps into every strum, hit and word. But most of all you need to understand Julian's quote up at the top there. The exchange of energy between the musicians themselves and their listeners is vital to understanding the No Pain No Gain and I can only imagine the power of their live performance.
It's all too easy to write it off as hippie music, it is absolutely not this. No Pain No Gain is a definite listen to any fans of world music, good vibes and generally feeling happy and at one with your fellow human. No Pain No Gain is available world wide form the 10th of September so make sure to check it out.