Skip to main content Skip to footer site map

CRYSTAL FIGHTERS


BIO: Crystal Fighters Biography Every band believes that what they’re doing is unique, but few if any have as much right to make that claim as Crystal Fighters. That is, unless you know of many other groups out there fusing traditional folk music from the Basque region with contemporary dance styles, using state-of-the-art technology alongside traditional instruments from that part of northern Spain such as txalapartas and txistus, and whose debut album is based on an unfinished opera about the nature of existence and meaning of love written by a member’s grandfather in the final throes of a mental breakdown. It is to Crystal Fighters’ eternal credit that from such esoteric raw material they have managed to fashion a supremely accessible dance album, full of irresistible rhythms, anthemic melodies and chant-worthy choruses. Star Of Love – which was assembled over a year from a number of musical ideas, beats, chords and lyrics, many of which were developed as part of their experimental and explosive live show - features 11 of the most gloriously tuneful, exotic and euphoric songs released in 2010. The fact that it can be enjoyed as a bunch of club bangers as well as a series of explorations of the themes of love and hate, insanity and death, confusion and hope, can only enhance its appeal. Crystal Fighters have already proved their appeal. Two BBC Radio 1 Record of the Weeks with ‘Xtatic Truth’ and ‘In The Summer’; Later with Jools Holland performances; great album reviews from Q, Mojo, Mixmag; touring with Foals, all served to confirm CF’s status as hot property. So who are the mysterious characters behind Crystal Fighters? Step out of the shadows Sebastian, Gilbert and Graham, and Mimi and Laure on vocals. Not fans of the cult of personality, not much is known about them as individuals, where they are from or what their backgrounds are – they are happy to retain some mystique, especially in this over-lit age in which it is hard to keep secrets. Suffice to say they have individually explored the gamut of music subgenres and their attendant scenes from techno to punk to dub and drum’n’bass, and are bringing those numerous experiences and influences to bear on Crystal Fighters. They describe what they do, in the simplest terms, as “fast dance music with Basque instruments, synthesisers and voices”. Their diversity makes itself apparent on their records, but perhaps even more so in concert, where Sebastian in the middle of the stage with his acoustic guitar and tambourine is flanked on one side by Graham on electric guitar and, on the other, by Gilbert with his table of electronics, computers and keyboards. The key instruments in this furious live melee are the txalapartas that are positioned between Graham and Gilbert, which they play in unison. They are a huge part of the live show, the sound of wood on wood in a rapturous four-handed rhythm ringing out over the harmonious mayhem with such primal authority. “People like our live energy,” says Gilbert, who draws the distinction between the spectacle and energy-rush of Crystal Fighters live and the “intricacies and melodies” of the recorded variety. Crystal Fighters’ live shows are legendarily intense affairs, carousing and chaotic but full of captivating beauty. No wonder they have become staples of the live circuit and the festival scene, with headlining appearances across Europe, America and Japan. “Live, we’re more punk and chaotic, on record less so,” concludes Graham. It is in concert that the collision between past and future – between Basque exotica and mystery and techno dance adventurism – is most apparent. And it is on record that their mind-expanding properties become evident: the psychedelic artwork for the album and general sense of visionary exploration contained within the lyrics and music point towards a cosmic element to Crystal Fighters. The latter was the name of the half-finished manuscript for an opera left behind by Bakar, the grandfather of their friend and occasional band chanteuse Laure, as he struggled to get to grips with the mental torment which he endured in the latter stages of his life. She came across it while clearing out the reclusive old man’s remote home in the Basque countryside, and quickly became obsessed with the cryptic writings within. Entranced by the seemingly prophetic contents, the band assumed the name and expanded upon the wild and deranged spirit of his formative work. Each of the songs on Star Of Love – an acronym for SOL, Spanish for “sun” – is based to a greater or lesser extent on that opera and the imagery of anguish and gloom, the language of memory and desire, with which it was suffused. Crystal Fighters have lent it their own aura: there is a sort of supernatural lustre, or eerie brightness, to the songs they have created from the self-titled manuscript. This is hardly surprising when you consider the subject matter of the original material. Champion Sound captures the uncertainty and imagines the notion of finding an all-consuming love. Solar System imagines the soul as a solar system and is based on a sketch of same by Bakar that comprised the faces of his former lovers drawn on the planets, with himself the despairing centre as the sun. In The Summer captures the ecstatic intensity of a city bathed in sunshine. The music is equally rapturous-with-an-edge, a jubilant collision of old world musicianship and future electronics, folk and computer-funk, shimmering synths, punkishly energetic percussion and surging unison vocals. This is where the “anti-todo” (literally “anti-everything”) youth movement of 1980s Spain meets the ecstatic rush of modern electronic dance. It’s raved-up, percussive folktronica underpinned by a progressive contemporary London bass sound. At all times, there is a feeling of overload, of songs fit to burst – with sonic invention and a joy that threatens to engulf. If there are links between what Crystal Fighters do, the late-60s acid rock movement and late-80s/early-90s acid house, that’s because they share a yearning for transcendence and the ecstatic shared experience. “Our songs concern bigger themes than ‘my girlfriend dumped me’,” says Gilbert, who is fascinated by the evolution of music scenes and a ‘genre-less future.’ “They’re less about ‘I love you’ than the meaning of the concept itself.” They realise that there will be some who use Crystal Fighters music as part of a nocturnal pursuit of bliss-out, but they insist this is more than a mere party, or after-party, soundtrack. It’s music that celebrates Basque people and the myths and mysteries of their culture. It explores, through music, words and visuals (there are costume changes and emblems/images displayed during Crystal Fighters gigs), the heritage of the region and searches for the meaning and the melancholy beneath these songs for, and about, dancing. And finally, it aims to bring some northern Spanish strangeness to our country – I Love London concerns a Basque girl called Mimi who finds herself in the capital, relishing the almost surreal feeling of dislocation. This image of a Basque girl adrift in London defines much of what Crystal Fighters are about, as the woman from that isolated land with its ancient mythologies brings her idiosyncratic identity to bear on our own agnostic, modernistic culture. And if that sounds heavy, the music couldn’t be lighter, a sheer rhythmic rush as Mimi takes a journey to the suburbs and shrieks with delight at all the stations speeding by: Willesden! Harlesden! Watford Junction! It’s pure pleasure, like everything Crystal Fighters do. And it comes from somewhere high above the old hills of their home, a love that comes to conquer. * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * “there is nothing more alive or energetic than Crystal Fighters” Dazed & Confused “offering raved-up folktronica and minimal electro pop and veering from Fischerspooner-style euphoria to Animal Collective-toned delicacy” Time Out “Amid a hailstorm of new music this month, Crystal Fighters have stood out as one of the most interesting prospects by a mile– something genuinely new sounding” NME “Crystal Fighters’ reputation has rocketed in 2009, perhaps due to their uncanny ability to create carnage at every performance. ” Loud & Quiet “Forget what you think you know about London’s party scene” FACT "If these tracks don’t make you want to rip your shirt off and dive into a sweaty sea of beautiful people and glistening gems, I don’t know what will." The Tripwire

Latest Tweets

crystalfighters Twitter 5/17 @ 11:22 AM
crystalfighters - Natural beauty captured by @h_for_spirit 🌲🌷🌌 https://t.co/mlUC4jhHrv
Retweet | Reply | Link   

crystalfighters Twitter 5/14 @ 2:22 AM
crystalfighters - Love Is All I Got - with @feedme 👾 One of our favourites songs to play live, appealing the loved-up glitched out el… https://t.co/zBldeyas98
Retweet | Reply | Link   

crystalfighters Twitter 5/10 @ 12:45 PM
crystalfighters - For the beautiful Colombia, a rendition of one of the songs that inspired me to come to here in the first place, he… https://t.co/5jv4e8QpdN
Retweet | Reply | Link   


MORE TWEETS

Latest Articles


Outstanding Indie-Rock Trio Eau Rouge Shares 'I Know That You Know' Single Photo Outstanding Indie-Rock Trio Eau Rouge Shares 'I Know That You Know' Single
by BWW News Desk - November 27, 2020

Indie rock band Eau Rouge has shared their latest single, 'I Know That You Know' accompanied by its official video on the 27th of November via Riptide Records....
Youtube Music And NIVA Reveal Schedule For SAVE OUR STAGES Festival Photo Youtube Music And NIVA Reveal Schedule For SAVE OUR STAGES Festival
by TV News Desk - October 14, 2020

YouTube Music and the National Independent Venue Association (NIVA) today revealed the schedule for this weekend’s Save Our Stages Festival (#SOSFEST), a three-day virtual music festival featuring all original content on Friday, October 16 through Sunday, October 18....
Love Fame Tragedy Share Single 'Please Don't Murder Me (Part 2)' and Video Photo Love Fame Tragedy Share Single 'Please Don't Murder Me (Part 2)' and Video
by TV News Desk - January 31, 2020

Love Fame Tragedy would like to live, and has a new song, 'Please Don't Murder Me (Part 2),' out now via Good Soldier Songs/AWAL. The fresh track, which dropped along with an animated video, is the latest offering from The Wombats frontman Matthew “Murph” Murphy's solo project and the fourth release...
Love Fame Tragedy Shares New Single 'Riding A Wave' Photo Love Fame Tragedy Shares New Single 'Riding A Wave'
by TV News Desk - January 15, 2020

Love Fame Tragedy kick off the new decade in style with the release of latest single 'Riding A Wave,' out now via Good Soldier Songs/AWAL. The track is the latest offering from The Wombats frontman Matthew “Murph” Murphy's solo project and the third from his sophomore EP Five Songs To Briefly Fill T...
Crystal Fighters Premiere New Track 'By Your Side' Featuring Dagny Photo Crystal Fighters Premiere New Track 'By Your Side' Featuring Dagny
by TV News Desk - November 22, 2019

Consistently expanding their musical and cultural horizons, the free-spirited CRYSTAL FIGHTERS return with their brand new track “By Your Side.” The track features Dagny, the Norwegian pop artist who commands 2 million monthly listeners at Spotify for tracks such as 'Backbeat,' 'Love You Like That,'...
Crystal Beth Unleashes Her Debut Album PUSH THRU Photo Crystal Beth Unleashes Her Debut Album PUSH THRU
by TV News Desk - October 02, 2019

Crystal Beth unleashes her first full-length studio record, PUSH THRU, a solo incarnation using wailing vocals, amplified clarinet, beat-boxing and electronics to weave a sonic universe all her own. The album will be released on Trey Gunn's 7D Media on October 18, 2019. Beth has been described as “w...
The Knocks Release New Video For 'Awa Ni' With Kah-Lo Photo The Knocks Release New Video For 'Awa Ni' With Kah-Lo
by TV News Desk - September 05, 2019

The most effortlessly cool duo in music, The Knocks, debut a new music video for their single “Awa Ni” with Kah-Lo....
CRYSTAL FIGHTERS Release EP, HYPNOTIC SUN Photo CRYSTAL FIGHTERS Release EP, HYPNOTIC SUN
by TV News Desk - November 09, 2018

CRYSTAL FIGHTERS continue their boundary-breaking sonic adventures by sharing the new EP 'Hypnotic Sun', which is out today on Warner Bros. Records....
GANZ Releases Highly Anticipated 'Skin In The Game' EP Photo GANZ Releases Highly Anticipated 'Skin In The Game' EP
by BWW News Desk - September 14, 2018

GANZ evolves and transcends on his Dim Mak EP, Skin In The Game. Kicking things off with a bang, he offers a weightless composition for Australian artist LUNA MAY. on “Let's Fly Away Together.” Sliding into “Slippin',” GANZ collaborates with CUT_ to lay a down deep electronic groove, before flexing ...
Elton John Kicks Off 'Farewell Yellow Brick Road' Tour 9/8 Photo Elton John Kicks Off 'Farewell Yellow Brick Road' Tour 9/8
by BWW News Desk - September 04, 2018

Superstar Elton John will kick off his Farewell Yellow Brick Road tour in Allentown, PA on Saturday, September 8th with a high-energy set packed with songs from his legendary catalog. The 3-year, sold out tour will take the audience on a musical and visual journey with never-before-seen graphics and...
Beartooth Announce Third Studio Album DISEASE Out September 28 Photo Beartooth Announce Third Studio Album DISEASE Out September 28
by TV News Desk - July 24, 2018

Today Columbus, OH rock band Beartooth are pleased to announce the details of their third studio album's release. Entitled Disease, the band's third effort is a stark look inward and the next installment chronicling frontman Caleb Shomo's battle with his own demons. Disease will be released globally...
Crystal Fighters Release New Acoustic Version of BOOMIN' IN YOUR JEEP Photo Crystal Fighters Release New Acoustic Version of BOOMIN' IN YOUR JEEP
by TV News Desk - June 22, 2018

Crystal Fighters started a new chapter in their story with this summer's release of 'Boomin' In Your Jeep.' Perez Hilton wrote, “it's the kind of song everyone will love!” Now Crystal Fighters unveil a new element to the track by releasing an acoustic version, which still exudes the life-affirming j...
Crystal Fighters Release New Single BOOMIN' IN YOUR JEEP Through New Deal With Warner Photo Crystal Fighters Release New Single BOOMIN' IN YOUR JEEP Through New Deal With Warner Bros. Records
by TV News Desk - May 23, 2018

Crystal Fighters formed in the UK when they started playing warehouse parties across London for fun and now this summer they're headlining a run of huge European festivals.  After playing Coachella in 2016 and having songs licensed by Adidas, Google, Sony, Samsung and more,  the band's  joyous explo...
Alice Phoebe Lou: On Oscar Shortlist, New Music Out Next Month Photo Alice Phoebe Lou: On Oscar Shortlist, New Music Out Next Month
by BWW News Desk - January 05, 2018

Alice Phoebe Lou's fiercely independent approach to her music has given the singer songwriter a creative confidence that shines through in her captivating vocals and stripped back music....
Tigertown Premiere 'Warriors' Official Video
by BWW News Desk - September 08, 2017

Australia's alt-pop favorites Tigertown have premiered the official video for their single “Warriors” HERE. The original single “Warriors” premiered on Billboard last month, followed by a dynamic GLADES remix HERE,...
Songhoy Blues Team with NPR and Tidal to Release Video for 'Bamako'
by BWW News Desk - June 06, 2017

Today, Songhoy Blues have teamed up with NPR and global music and entertainment platform, Tidal, to release the video for “Bamako,” from their upcoming album, Résistance...
Songhoy Blues Release New Track 'Mali Nord (feat. Elf Kid)'
by BWW News Desk - May 25, 2017

Songhoy Blues have released 'Mali Nord (feat. Elf Kid),' the latest track from their upcoming album, Résistance, which Fat Possum Records/Transgressive Records will release on Friday, June 16th....