JP Lohian & Klonen Klana
Joseba Ponce is virtually unknown in the United States, but he’s a hugely important figure in the music scene in northern Spain’s Basque country. The guitarist played in the notable Basque hardcore band Dut in the 1990s before moving on to rock ’n’ roll punks Kuraia in the early aughts. His latest project, JP Lohian & Klonen Klana, is another guitar-heavy burner, only darker and weirder. Ponce has made a modern space-rock record that lives up to its sci-fi cover art, with synthesizers streaking in and out of the guitar wash on songs like “Kantu Itsaskorra” and “Hiruki Beltza,” occasionally bringing to mind Superunknown-era Soundgarden. The lyrics are all in Euskara, the Basque language spoken almost exclusively in that region, and in the end it only adds to the record’s mystique. JP Lohian & Klonen Klana isn’t going to make Ponce a household name in the U.S., but it holds up its end by being a supremely otherworldly experience.