Search The Line of Best Fit
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DAME AREA PROMO 2 credit Titouan Masse

On the Rise
Dame Area

09 January 2024, 14:00
Words by Jen Long

Lead photo by Titouan Massé

Steeped in the local scene, Barcelona-based experimental duo Dame Area balances an ever-evolving live show with relentless creativity.

“We like to change the setlist every show, so it depends a bit when you see us,” smiles Dame Área vocalist Silvia Kostance from across a grainy Zoom call. “Sometimes we don't even play any songs off the last record, sometimes we play more, it really depends."

Completing the duo is Viktor L. Crux, who takes on percussion and electronics when they play live. “The last record we did, I think we only played three songs live of the eight it has because we see it more as a record to listen at home,” he says. “The next record we will release, it’s very based on what we’re like live. We try to never repeat a set list, ever.”

Formed in Barcelona through the esteemed club and label Màgia Roja in which they both participate, the pair have played over 160 shows in the past couple of years. Well-known for their eclectic and uncompromising take on industrial and electronic genres, they’ve released two studio albums, their most recent Toda la mentira sobre Dame Area, picking up international critical acclaim.


This month the progressive duo will bring their raucous and embracing live show to the Groningen-based industry conference Eurosonic for its 38th edition, showcasing for more than 4,000 delegates, including representatives from more than 400 festivals spanning 40 different countries. Catalan Arts has been a festival partner for over a decade, giving a platform to nearly fifty acts from the region through the ESNS Exchange programme which spotlights acts from across Europe and the UK who are ready to take the next step in their artistry and careers.

Originally from the small town of Belluno in the north of Italy, Kostance moved to Barcelona when she was eighteen, picking up an internship with the experimental music festival LEM. Growing up, she studied piano from the age of eight until she was sixteen. “It’s a really competitive world, the classical music world, so if you are not incredible when you're like twelve, you don't really think of doing anything in it,” she says.

DAME AREA PROMO 5 credit Titouan Masse

As a teenager she didn’t hold much importance to music, instead just absorbing the mainstream rock her brother favoured. “I had never been to a concert until I was eighteen,” she says. “In my town there were only horrible cover bands. I thought I didn't like dancing, going out in clubs - I thought I hated it. Then I discovered it's because the music is shit, it's not because I don’t like it.”

Crux grew up in the metropolitan area of Barcelona. Similarly, he didn’t care for music until his mid-teens when his listening was curated by older mentors. “I discovered punk and also a bit of industrial music, funk, hip hop,” he says. “It was pre-internet - people gave me different cassettes. I didn't like music and then when I liked it, I liked it in a very eclectic sense.”


From there, Crux immersed himself in the local scene, playing guitar and synth in several bands, touring Europe and the US, and building a network. Shortly after meeting Konstance, he helped form the pivotal label and club Màgia Roja which not only connected and inspired the pair, but acted as a catalyst for Dame Area. “When I started working, I saw a place for any kind of experimental alternative, anything from electronic, industrial to post-punk to free jazz, it was really open,” says Konstance. “For me, it was the place where I discovered all the music I like now, and that influenced me as a person as well.”

Not only co-running the label and space, Crux was the resident DJ, taking influence and inspiration from his sets and the wider community. “There was a scene built around the venue, so I think we were also influenced by what was happening in the city at this moment and also by what we were listening to,” he says. “I mixed with a digital controller, so I could use four sources of things and combine loops of very different things. Sometimes you do this and you think, it would be cool if this was actually a song.

The club closed in early 2020 when its lease expired, the label is still active to this day. While it was a loss locally, it allowed Konstance and Crux to turn their time and attention to their own project. Unfortunately, the pandemic had other ideas. “It was really hard, of course,” says Konstance. “At the beginning of 2020 the venue had just closed and we were like, ‘This year is gonna be the year of Dame Area. We are just going to play as much as possible.’ We were booking everything ourselves, so when it came it was really a depressing moment.”

The pair persevered and focused on writing, penning one song a day. “It was a challenge,” says Crux. “Many things were just shit, of course, but we did a lot of new music that then came out eventually. The last record and the previous, a lot was made in that period. In a way it was good.”

They released their debut album Ondas Tribales in 2021, a sparse rush of industrial dance-punk, while follow-up Toda la mentira sobre Dame Area cemented their talent for melodic and impacting electronica. The records were pieced together from an expanding collection of work. “The records are not so chronological. For example, in the record in 2021 there's stuff from before the pandemic and also in the one in 2022,” says Crux. “We just do a lot of songs and then we say, ‘Maybe we could do a more melodic record, what melodic songs do we have? Maybe we can keep these more industrial ones for the next one.’ So these two records are very different from each other.”

DAME AREA PROMO 3 credit Titouan Masse

Alongside their writing, the duo used their time away from touring to build and develop their live show into a gripping, incendiary prospect. “It was like an incubation period in a way,” says Crux. Once live shows returned, they accelerated their efforts playing 160 shows across 18 months.

Readying a new record and bringing their honed set to Eurosonic this month, they’re unperturbed by the industry weight of the appearance. “There are some shows where someone sees you and then it's like, ‘I want to book you.’ You never know where it’ll come from,” says Konstance. “I personally see it as a part of a whole; when you want to get better as a band you need to do a lot of different things. I see this as one of the things that it's good to do.”

Dame Area plays at Eurosonic on 19 January

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