Here at Eusko Guide, we are really big fans of the Basque band Kalakan. Their music includes many traditional Basque songs that are reinterpreted and given a new contemporary life. The trio, made up of Thierry, Xan and Jamixel, serve up a heavy dose of chanting, singing and percussion that creates a very raw and tribal-like sound.
Kalakan is something uniquely Basque, and to an outsider, is probably unlike anything you have heard before. This is in many ways due to the heavy use of Basque instruments that can be heard in all of their songs. The most notable of which is the txalaparta, which more closely resembles a picnic table than a real instrument. At some point, we will add more information about the txalaparta on our site, but until then, you can read more about it on Wikipedia.
Kalakan recently kicked off their 2013/2014 tour and are currently playing throughout the Basque Country, with the addition of Amsterdam and Gent this summer. On their website you can listen to their album in it’s entirety and also get a list of their tour dates.
Kalakan Tour Teaser
Another interesting tidbit about the group is their connection to Madonna. A few years ago, the trio was invited to play a private show at a friend’s house for a birthday party. Their performance turned out to be Madonna’s birthday present. Fast forward a year later and the group was playing alongside Madonna in her 2012 MDNA world tour. How crazy is that?
“Madonna singing in Basque? What? No! Are you serious?” That was exactly the response from a Basque friend of mine when I told him about the Kalakan and Madonna collaboration. It’s hard to believe but it actually happened! Madonna sang the song “Sagarra Jo!” in Basque. Check out the amazingly cool performance in the video clip below. “Sagarra jo dela, sagarra jo dela, sagarra jo dela, jo dela, jo dela!”
Madonna’s 2012 MDNA World Tour feat. Kalakan