music conference

25-27 November 2021
Skopje, Macedonia

VULK

VULK is a band that was born in 2014 in Bilbao (Basque Country, Spain) and since then it is based and works in this town, the most culturally relevant in the entire territory. It is formed by Andoni, Alberto, Julen and Jangitz.

As a living organism that understands itself, it has been adapting to the circumstances throughout its career, which already has two EPs and two LPs (and one more on the way) and close to two hundred concerts behind it.

In the recent years, the band experienced a change in their line-up, with the departure of Chavi and the incorporation of Jangitz on drums. It is important to mention this movement because it brought changes not only in music, but also in identity and direction. New ideas and ways of working with music inevitably entered with him. But beyond that, an idea germinates within the group that had already begun to develop in their latest work, “Ground for Dogs” where the lyrics were predominantly in English.

In this album there are small intrusions towards another language, Basque, with songs like “Behiaren Begirada” or “Urak Errenditu.” The result of these songs helps to open an expressive path in the band and they function as the germ of the upcoming work of the band, “Vulk Ez Da”. It is Jangitz who brings that last push to the group so that Andoni (singer and lyricist) makes the decision to completely transfer his speech and imaginary to Basque, finding a more correct and natural formula for approaching music. Not only that but it makes the band rethink new goals and ways of operating, searching for itself on an artistic and philosophical level, and also within the framework of the music industry.

Thanks to this change, the group’s lyrics evolve to be more earthly and accurate, proposing and creating less abstract situations than in previous works. But nothing is isolated within the project, the lyrics also position the group’s music, its aims and aspirations, being now clearer than ever. In this album the band redefines and perpetuates the life of its own organism. One of the songs that are part of this work, which will be released in early 2022, is “Etsai, Orpoan”, which takes its lyrics from a Basque poet from the early 20th century, Erramun Maruri. It is one of the most unique pieces on the album due to the adaptation to a musically current language of verses that today sound somewhat inaccessible, because they belong to a dialect that has been mutating over the last century.

The album has been entirely recorded in Bera de Bidasoa (Navarra), one of the areas of the entire Basque territory that has historically preserved the language the most. It was performed entirely live, as the band had the need to capture it in the most sincere way possible. The cover is a wood
carving made by Jangitz’s father, following the traditional techniques of Basque sculpture and carving.

Within its long history of concerts, the group traveled to the Philippines in 2019, as representatives of the Cervantes Institute during the celebration of “Día del Libro”, the most important date for the languages of Spain and its historical territories. It was the first time that a band brought Basque to this event and shared it with local bands, with whom they composed some pieces in Tagalog (the original Filipino language no longer in use within their culture) and Basque. These songs were performed live at a Festival in the city of Manila and recorded in a documentary.

In addition to this, they have participated in internationally renowned festivals such as Primavera Sound Barcelona, Benicassim International Festival (FIB), Bilbao BBK Live, and more nationally renowned events. But also, from the beginning they have taken their music to the Gaztetxes circuit (Youth House in Basque), which since the Franco regime have been very significant places of expression for young rock culture in Euskal Herria, and have been essential to preserve the use of our language in culture.