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"LaXula In X-ile"

If, like me, you've longed for a contemporary Spanish band to have at least a smidgen of the dark Spanish soul evoked by the likes of Goya or Guernica-period Picasso, then LaXula are for you. Singer Monte's lyrics have the naked power of private love letters or desperately scribbled diary entries. The music evokes the passionate spirit of flamenco but tempered by a dark undertow of gothic rock adding depth and understated menace. Think of cross between Ojos de Bujo and early PiL and that'll give you some idea of their sometimes brooding, sometimes obliquely welcoming universe.
Howard Male - The Independent on Sunday

"LaXula In X-Ile"

Flamenco hybrids have been rife across Iberia for the last couple of decades, but this is surely the first to arrive via King's Cross. The brainchild of flamboyant diva Monte Palafox, an exiled Madrilena living in London, LaXula twist tumbling Hispanic guitars with gypsy fiddle and tango accordion. Recorded in the singer's shed, the sound is stark and theatrical, perfectly suited to Palafox's dramatic Spanish lyrics (sample translation: 'The sorrow that doesn't come out poisons'). 'Mama' and 'La Luna' celebrate the mysteries of female fertily; elsewhere, teeth are bared over love, guilt and vampires. Intense, colourful and intriguing.
Neil Spencer - The Observer

"Charlie Gilett's Five to Watch - LaXula"

This eight-piece were one of the surprise hits of last week's Womad. Led by the exotically bohemian figure of Monte Palafox, LaXula are London-based Spaniards who fuse multi-speed flamenco and tango with acoustic guitar and gipsy fiddle. "Their album In X-ile" says Gilett, "is a suite of distinct, melodic tunes, each with its own shape and characterm each full of space and imagination. They will be consigned to the world music box, but they are a band for all comers." - The Daily Telegraph

"LaXula In X-Ile"

This album's been knocking around since late last year, when it was available from the band's website and at gigs. It merits mention now as it's getting a wider release with new packaging and a rejigged running order (both improvements on the earlier version). If you're new to the London-based Spanish group's music, prepare yourself for something distinctly dark and different: flamenco noir, cracked tango, elements of dub, rock and rumba, with singer Monte as UK roots music's very own Frida Kahlo, edgy and playfull at once.

In X-ile seems to get better with repeated plays, a different track grabs my attention each time. That said Soberbia, with its yearning melody and sudden shifts in tempo, still sounds like the highspot. Comparisons have been drawn between LaXula and Ojo De Brujo and on the surface at least, there are some obvious similarities between the two: both are Spanish, mix tradition with more contemprary influences and are fronter by eccentrically charismatic women. But Laxula's sound has more space and a greater sense of fun (albeit dark, gothy fun)m there's really nobody else like them.
Jamie Renton - FRoots

"LaXula In X-Ile"

“A glorious collage of Latino rock and the dramatic ‘duende’ that pumps blood through the best flamenco.” - The Times

"LaXula In-Xile"

“a very impressive debut” - FLY

"Laxula, elixir d'exils"

Ne tournons pas autour du pot: le CD de Laxula est, en matiere de world, une revelation de l'année. Certes, Charlie Gillett l’a dit avant nous, mais se ranger à l’avis du DJ vedette de la BBC, l’une des oreilles les plus fines de l’UE, n’a rien de déshonorant. Laxula (”la frimeuse”, en espagnol et en phonetique) est le projet d’une Madrilene installée à Londres. Projet qu’elle a pris soin de définir avant que d’autres ne s’en chargent: “gypsy gothic tangodelic”. Tango, rumba, Balkans et une etincelle psychédélique sont en effet les invités du festin, le tout lié par la personnalité de Laxula, “un avatar de la femme-chaman, de la guerisseuse, de la sorcière…”, dit l’intéressée.
Laxula est donc son personnage, Monte Palafox son nom d’artiste, et Montserrat Ruiz l’identité que donne son passeport. Monte, belle brune aux grands yeux qui s’habille en bas résille et dentelles rouges et noires, nous dévoile, à Londres, devant un chocolat crémeux, un parcours aussi singulier que sa musique.
[…..] In X-ile est un disque multicolore et ambitieux, ou les textes en espagnol et (un peu) en anglais, souvrent à de multiples lectures.
Chaman. Dans ses moments introspectifs, il évoque Lhasa. “quelqu’un a même parlé de ‘gypsy P.J Harvey’ sourit Monte. C’est amusant, ces comparaisons. Mais si le public s’attend àdes climats acoustiques a la Lhasa, autant prévenir tout de suite: sur scène, ça cogne fort”. Parole de femme-chaman.

LaXula au New Morning – 21 heures.

Francois-Xavier Gomez
Liberation 24/11/08
- Liberation - 24.11.08


A classer parmi les bonnes surprises de la “música mestiza”, comme on nomme en Espagne cette scène fusion notamment popularisée par Ojos de Brujo, LaXula ne s’en distingue pas moins avec un univers singulier, théatral et destabilisant. Peut-etre parce que ce groupe espagnol est né dans les squats londoniens et a fait ses armes sur la route, mais surtout en raison de la personnalité de son égérie, Monte Palafox. L’élégant alliage de sonorités flamenco-rock, aux accents tout à la fois balkaniques, orientaux et tango (Soberbia, Mama, La Luna), gagne dans son chant une profondeur mystique digne de Chavela Vargas. Féministes, torturés et surréalistes, ses textes rappellent que LaXula n’est pas là pour rigoler. Son intriguante musique ne tarde pas à devenir envoûtante.
Yannis Ruel
- Mondomix


Album 'In X-Ile' (Via Lactea)
UK release (via new Note), October 07
European releases from January 08
#11 in the World Music Charts Europe (before official release)



LaXula leads audiences on a journey of wonder and decadence. Songs drift effortlessly from the dusty sun-baked routes of Southern Spain to the urban vibrancy of the East London underground. There is a plaintive fiesta of influences from Flamenco to Arabic, Tango to Roma, laced with indie-rock psychedelia… the result is a uniquely dark and beguiling sound, that sounds oddly new and familiar at the same time.

Deeply routed in an ancient feminine spirit, this travelling band of captivating musicians and alluring performers present sensuous and bewitching music, with a remarkable stage presence that brings together neo-burlesque glamour and gypsy defiance. Fronted by charismatic lead singer and songwriter Monte Palafox, LaXula come across as a very powerful live band indeed.

With a life as colourful as her glamorous-punk outfits, Palafox has certainly a few stories to tell with her song-writing: After becoming a choreographer to herself aged 8, she continued with drama school, stints as a circus & cabaret dancer and eventually as a music student in Buenos Aires. After moving to London in the early 90s, she also trained as a jewellery maker, art therapist and, after becoming a mother herself, as a doula (birth assistant).

The band was initially formed in 2002 by an accidental encounter (Monte was looking for a cat but ended up meeting a like-minded musician) and came into its current format after a number of incarnations and adventures.
After time spent performing at off-beat venues and events in London, Madrid and Barcelona, and recording an album in Monte’s garden shed, more recently a few high profile support slots (BBC World Music Awards, Los de Abajo, Bajofondo) and rave reviews of the album - even before its official release - got the buzz going about LaXula: the world is taking notice!

The debut album In-Xile was released in October 07 (on Via Lactea/New Note) to critical acclaim. A new string of performances followed around Europe and even North Africa together with promotion and releases in Germany and Spain. Now France is showing great interest with a first series of festival this summer to be followed by a tour in the Autumn 09. Watch this space!

“One of the most interesting artists in the UK right now” (Charlie Gillett)

“A defiant and seductive mix” (fRoots Magazine)

“Elixir of Exile. LaXula’s CD is a world music revelation of the year" (Liberation - France)