Seventeen years ago, iCat was born, the first Polònia was broadcasted on TV3, still two and three years awaited for the debut of Amics de les Arts and Manel, respectively, Rocío Jurado died and Joan Miquel Oliver released his first solo album, Surfistes en càmera lenta. Most people might think that it was a small-time amusement for the musician from Sóller, for at that time his band, Antònia Font, was experiencing great success after the hits of Alegria (2002) or Taxi (2004). In fact, if few years before Surfistes Joan Miquel had already masked under the name Drogueria Esperança in the collection of sound poems Odissea trenta mil, why shouldn’t we think that, now, he is simply surfing for fun?
What happened afterwards – the years and the albums – certifies that Surfistes en càmera lenta is the beginning of a solid solo career, combined with his performance with Antònia Font until the breakup of the group – with up to five more albums added up until 2020 – , not to mention his literary adventures in the fields of narrative or drama.
If Oliver’s songs for Antònia Font had already set a remarkable turning point in the history of Catalan music at the beginning of the century, now the artist felt the need to assert himself first-hand with a collection of eleven songs where the frozen pixels suggested by the title of the album alternate with disturbing images (“La mujer que mordió un piano”) and the most elegant melancholy (“Pallasso”).
A collection of songs that offered and still offers us privileged views from the rear-view mirror of the great Emerson Fittipaldi, jumping from the Martian instrumental bonfire of “Sóc un lo-fi” to “Picnic”, as ephemeral as happy. All this, driven by the album’s first song, “Rellotge”, which may also helps us to understand why the artist took this new path:
“rellotge calculadora ja sumes 30 anys / … / Rellotge tens la vida per davant / rellotge no et pots aturar”.
“calculator clock you are already 30 years old/ … / clock your whole life is ahead of you / clock you can’t stop”.