Manta Ray

Profile:
Spanish alternative rock band from Gijon (Asturias), formed during the Spanish indie music explosion and the so called the "Xixon Sound" mouvement in the nineties.

Manta Ray began in Gijón in 1992, initially as a duo made up of Nacho Álvarez (bass) and José Luis García (guitar, voice), who took the name for the combo from a Pixies song. During those first days of trial and error, people like Luis Mayo (Screamin 'Pijas) or Jandro (Radio Repulsa) pass through his band. Formal first base came in 1994 with Nacho Vegas (guitars) and Isaías Sanz (drums). These four will be the ones to record the band's debut, “Escuezme! EP ”(Subterfuge, 1994), produced together with Paco Loco, an essential figure to understand that time and a good part of the national indie, and where they already make clear their interest in noise and experimentation.

The following year he participated in the VII Villa de Bilbao Contest, finishing second in the pop-rock category after Little Fish. Despite not being victorious, the sensation obtained is very good and they go for the first LP, “Manta Ray” (Subterfuge, 1995). In May of 1995 the single “The Last Crumbs of Love” (Subterfuge, 1995) was released, in whose recording Juan Luis Ablanedo (Eliminator Jr.) already participated, replacing Isaías.

With the public still shaken by the intensity of their debut, the people from Gijón took off with an album with Javier Corcobado, “Diminuto Cielo” (Astro, 1997). The meeting originates after the joint collaboration for the collective album "Songs of Spanish Cinema (1896-1996)" (Astro, 1996) in which they participate with the central theme of the film "El Crack" (1981) by José Luis Garci . By then Xabel Vegas, who had replaced Ablanedo in Eliminator Jr., is doing it again in Manta Ray. At the same time, Frank Rudow joins the group, who is in charge of percussions and keyboards, thus enriching the sound of the group. And, although they were not more than something specific, these works result in the change of record company of Manta Ray, which goes on to edit with Astro. At the end of that year they will return to share an album - this time, each one by their own side - with the French band Diabologum, "The Last History of Seduction" (Astro, 1997), which is followed by a joint tour.

Hardly without stopping, for February 1998 Manta Ray's second solo album is published, “Pequeñas Puertas que se Abren y Pequeñas Puertas que se Cierran” (Astro, 1998), in which they have the collaboration of Chris Brokaw and Thalia Zedek, then still members of Come. The album reinforces the sound solidity and creativity of the group, which is clearly under the concept of post-rock. At the end of that year they once again collaborated with the organization of the Gijón Film Festival, recording at the Jovellanos theater a concert in which they performed some songs from their repertoire along with many others belonging to the soundtracks of various films. The result was captured on a CD, “Score” (Astro / Sinedín, 1999), which he could only get together with the April issue of Rockdelux magazine. Due to its easy diffusion -and its relatively inexpensive price- this direct has become one of the most successful albums of the group.

It is at that moment that Nacho Vegas, exhausted by the rhythm of the group that does not allow him other parallel activities, decides to abandon the formation to undertake an independent career, first with the Diariu project and later alone, with which Manta Ray returns to reduce its formation to a quartet and thus it will remain until its dissolution. However, the break is not bitter; Frank Rudow, for example, will produce the album "Six Songs From the North" (Limbo Starr / Watercolor, 2001), which Vegas will record half with Aroah.

So Manta Ray continues his career by forcing the machine and in February 2000 they publish “Esperanza” (Astro, 2000) -in this album Nacho Vegas is credited on slide guitar-, in which he participates with them for the first time in the Kaki Arkarazo production tasks, as he will repeatedly do in the future. “Esperanza”, as will happen with each and every one of Manta Ray's albums, proposes an evolution with respect to the previous one, and here they expand the post-rock of the previous one supported by electronics; “Rita”, the song that opens it and that best defines this fusion, appears as one of the best of the year for Rockdelux.

While traveling on the “Esperanza” tour, Manta Ray spent hours listening to the album “Hard Listening” (Astro, 2000), by his Schwarz label mates, so they proposed to do something together. The result will be “Heptágono” (Astro, 2001), in which both bands merge as one and interpret pieces from their respective repertoires along with some versions and a joint theme, which gives the album its name. That year also saw the birth of Viva Las Vegas, Frank Rudow's side project -who also participates in La Jr., evolution of Eliminator Jr.-.

In September 2002, Manta Ray and Astro mutually decide to break their relationship due to creative misunderstandings, and the group went on to work with Watercolor. There they will edit “Estratexa” (Watercolor, 2003), which as a general rule is defined by the hardening of its sound. That year they also released the EP "Take a Look" (Watercolor, 2003), which apart from the namesake contains two songs that will not be included in the standard version of the album.

Between their last two albums Manta Ray participate in two collaborations. First, in 2004 on the tribute album to El Niño Gusano "Pana Pijama Lana" (Recordings in the Sea, 2004), with the song "Capitán Mosca", and then, in 2005, and as a result of his fruitful relationship with Kaki Arkarazo, They participate with him in the remixes of Atom Rhumba “Concrete Mixer” (Munster, 2005), being in charge of “Abstract blues”. Finally, after returning from a tour of American territory, Manta Ray began to prepare what will be their last album "Torres de Electricidad" (Watercolor, 2006). After him, Xabel embarked on his own career as Xabel Vegas and Las Uvas de la Ira, before, at the end of February, a brief statement was made public in which Manta Ray announced its dissolution. Almost without realizing it, one of the essential groups on the Spanish music scene had disappeared.

After the end of Manta Ray, its restless members soon start other groups. José Luis García will form Elle Belga with Fany Álvarez, while Frank, already installed in Barcelona, ​​gives way to another duo, Suma, with Laura Clark. However, none of these projects, wisely, has tried to cover the gap left by Manta Ray that, after a few years of its most brilliant and glorious time, seems to fade dreamily, little by little, into the distance.

1992
Nacho Álvarez and José Luis García form Manta Ray, the first rehearsals begin.

1993
They record their first demo, with which they will sign with Subterfuge record

1994
Manta Ray releases his first studio recording, the e.p. Touch me! Produced by Paco Loco and Manta Ray and edited by Subterfuge Records, the group's line-up is made up of José Luis García, Nacho Álvarez, Nacho Vegas and Isaías Sanz. They send a demo to the Villa de Bilbao contest in the pop-rock section.

1995
Isaías Sanz leaves the group and is replaced by Juan Luis Ablanedo, they publish what pretends to be a preview of their first album, the single The Last Crumbs of Love produced again by Paco Loco and Manta Ray.
They win the Villa de Bilbao contest in the pop-rock section whose prize allows them to record their debut, the homonym Manta Ray that will be published by Subterfuge Records, recorded in October 1995 at Paco Loco's Odds studios, which will be released in January nineteen ninety six.
They collaborate on the album "Gijón Goes to the movies" published by the XXXIII edition of the Gijón film festival, performing a version of "Wicked game" (Chris Isaak's original theme). They participate in the concert where the album is presented in a crowded crowd. Jovellanos theater.

1996
Xabel Vegas joins the group to replace Juan Luis Ablanedo, Frank Rudow joins the group, increasing it to five members.
They come into contact with Javier Corcobado to carry out a collaboration on the occasion of the XXXIV edition of the Gijón film festival, the chosen piece is “El crack” central theme of the film of the same name by Jose Luis Garci, the song is edited together with other collaborations of musicians from Gijón and Spanish artists and open the gala that presents the album again at the Jovellanos Theater.
Manta Ray signed for a new label "Astro discos" formed by Roberto Nicieza (ex-Australian Blonde drummer) and several members of Penélope Trip.
The collaboration between Javier Corcobado and Manta Ray encourages them to do something else, which ends up bearing fruit on the album “Diminuto Cielo”.

1997
In February, “Diminuto Cielo” is released, recorded at the Vox studios in Madrid, produced by Corcobado and Manta Ray and published by Astro discos. Which is followed by a tour throughout Spain.
In this year another new collaboration is born, this time in the form of a mini LP with the French group Diabologum, the album called "The last seduction story" "contains three songs by Manta Ray and three songs by Diabologum, it is edited by Astro Discos and Ovni Records, the two groups carry out a joint tour of Spanish lands.
They begin to prepare their second LP that will also be published by Astro discos.

1998
In February Manta Ray released their second solo LP "Little doors that open, little doors that close" Produced solo by Manta Ray. The album will take them to perform their first concerts in Europe with the American group Come. In August they will play on the central stage of the FIB, before more than 15,000 people, their overwhelming live show triumphs among the public and critics.
For the XXXVI edition of the Gijón International Film Festival, its director Jose Luis Cienfuegos proposes a special concert, Manta Ray is preparing what will be “Score”, a mixture of their own songs and versions of soundtracks from films like “The Godfather” , "Midnight Cowboy", "Crash" or "The Eighth Man".

1999
"Score" is published by Sinedin Music and Astro Discos with the April issue of Rock de Lux magazine.
"Manta Ray VS. Cosmos - Small Door Remixes ”is released by Cosmos and Astro discos.
Nacho Vegas leaves the group to start his solo career.

2000
In February, “Esperanza” was published, the first album with which they will have for production with Kaki Arkarazo, with whom they are still producing their albums. The album is accompanied by a tour throughout Spain and Europe.

2001
The album “Hard Listening” by the Swcharz group is one of their favorite listeners during their concert trips, which leads them to be interested in collaborating with them, as a result “Manta Ray Swcharz” is born, an LP with five songs recorded in live at Kyrios studios by the four members of Manta Ray and the three of Swcharz in September, and two versions, one of Swcharz performed by Manta Ray and one of Manta Ray performed by Swcharz. There are only three presentation concerts.

2002
Manta Ray begin to prepare their next work: estratexa.

2003
They signed albums for Watercolor and released "Estratexa" produced by Kaki Arkarazo and Manta Ray, which was followed by an extensive tour of Spain and Europe.

2004
During April and May, Manta Ray made his first tour of the United States.

2005
Between September and October they record what to date is their latest work: “Torres de Electricidad”

On February 28, 2008, they announced their separation through an official statement: "Manta Ray, after 15 years of career, we have decided to end our musical career. We take with us a very special memory of all these years, of each album and of each concert that we have given. We would like to take this last opportunity to thank all those people who have given us their support throughout all this time. Goodbye. "
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Albums

21.076 CD Manta Ray - Manta Ray album art Manta Ray Manta Ray (Album) Subterfuge Records 21.076 CD Spain 1995 Sell This Version
A-009CD Manta Ray - Diminuto Cielo album art Corcobado* Y Manta Ray Corcobado* Y Manta Ray - Diminuto Cielo (Album) Astro Discos A-009CD Spain 1997 Sell This Version
A - 019 CD Manta Ray - Pequeñas Puertas Que Se Abren Y Pequeñas Puertas Que Se Cierran album art Manta Ray Pequeñas Puertas Que Se Abren Y Pequeñas Puertas Que Se Cierran (Album) Astro Discos A - 019 CD Spain 1998 Sell This Version
SM-003, none Manta Ray - Score album art Manta Ray Score(CD, Album, Promo) Sinedín Music, Astro Discos SM-003, none Spain 1999 Sell This Version
A – 039 Manta Ray - Esperanza album art Manta Ray Esperanza (Single, Album) Astro Discos A – 039 Spain 2000 Sell This Version
A-059 Manta Ray - Heptágono album art Manta Ray [&] Schwarz (5) Manta Ray [&] Schwarz (5) - Heptágono (Album) Sandwich Records (3) A-059 Spain 2001 Sell This Version
nois1031 Manta Ray - Estratexa album art Manta Ray Estratexa (Album) Acuarela Discos nois1031 Russia 2003 Sell This Version
nois1057 Manta Ray - Torres De Electricidad album art Manta Ray Torres De Electricidad (Album) Acuarela Discos nois1057 Spain 2006 Sell This Version

Singles & EPs

21.044 Manta Ray - Escuezme! EP album art Manta Ray Escuezme! EP(7", EP) Subterfuge Records 21.044 Spain 1994 Sell This Version
21-063 Manta Ray - The Last Crumbs Of Love album art Manta Ray The Last Crumbs Of Love(7", Single) Subterfuge Records 21-063 Spain 1995 Sell This Version
a010cd, ovni 004 Manta Ray - La Última Historia De Seducción album art Manta Ray / Diabologum Manta Ray / Diabologum - La Última Historia De Seducción(CD, EP, Spl) Astro Discos, Ovni Records (2) a010cd, ovni 004 Spain 1997 Sell This Version
a 029-cd Manta Ray - Smoke album art Manta Ray Smoke(CD, Single) Astro Discos a 029-cd Spain 1998 Sell This Version
A-018CD Manta Ray - O.F. King / The Corner album art Manta Ray O.F. King / The Corner(CD, Single) Astro Discos A-018CD Spain 1998 Sell This Version
A-040 CDS Manta Ray - Rita album art Manta Ray Rita (Single) Astro Discos A-040 CDS Spain 2000 Sell This Version
nois 033 Manta Ray - Take A Look album art Manta Ray Take A Look(CD, Single) Acuarela Discos nois 033 Spain 2003 Sell This Version

Videos

a-1001VHS Manta Ray - Score album art Manta Ray Score(VHS, Album) Astro Discos a-1001VHS Spain 1999 Sell This Version