Spanish band Coconot first took root after a conversation that cousins Pablo Diàz-Reixa and Alfredo Montes had during a trip to West Africa in March 2005. Upon returning to Spain, they formed a band, Coconot, inspired by Milton Nascimento, Can, and Os Mutantes, and played their first show one month later on Gran Canaria, in the Canary Islands, where both were from. When Diàz-Reixa, a drummer, went back to Barcelona, where he had been living (he was playing in the bands La Orquesta de la Muerte and Dead Man on Campus), Montes followed him shortly after, and in June 2005 they quickly pieced together the rest of the band that would go on to record Coconot's debut, Novo Tropicalismo Errado. With Diàz-Reixa on drums and percussion, Montes on guitar, along with fellow-Orquesta member Alejandro Mazzoni, Cristian Subirà, and "Mike" Alemany, the band recorded the album in a Barcelona studio with help from producer Jens Neumaier (it went on to be released in February of the following year). After the initial sessions were done, Diàz-Reixa came in and added more percussion and vocals, a process that inspired his other side project, El Guincho -- whose 2008 release, Alegranza, was compared favorably to Panda Bear's Person Pitch and made the best-of lists for many of the trendsetting music sites. By the time Coconot regrouped to record their sophomore follow-up, Cosa Astral, the lineup consisted of Diàz-Reixa, Neumaier (who also played sax in la Orquesta de la Muerte and the defunct Barcelona post-rock band 12 Twelve), and Subirà (founder of the band Summer Recreation Camp and owner of the label Discos Compulsivos/LUV LUV, who actually put out El Guincho's debut CD-R, Folias, in 2005), and the sound had taken a noticeably mellower tone, though traces of the Krautrock that had initially inspired them were still there. Cosa Astral was released in the U.S. in November 2008, with greater world-wide distribution to follow. ~ Marisa Brown
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