Radio Futura
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Radio Futura formed in 1979 as a conglomerate of music lovers initiated by painter, singer and synthesizer experimenter Herminio Molero. Other members were the Auserón brothers, Luis and Santiago (who wrote reviews for the magazine Corazones Automáticos) and percusionist Javier Pérez Grueso. Guitarist Enrique Sierra complemented the band coming from underground punkact Kaka de Luxe(of which also Alaska (later Dinarama) and Nacho Canut (later Mecano) were part). They got their name Radio Futura ("Radio of the Future") from an Italian independent radio station. With la Movida madrileña starting to make it’s way into youth culture Radio Futura soon turned out to be one of the leading bands. Their first album in 1980 unexpected gave them a novelty hit with the single ‘Enamorado de la moda juvenil’. Artistic differences forced Molero and Pérez to leave the band after the first album. With new drummer Carlos ‘Solrac’ Velázquez they recorded the single ‘La estatua del jardín botánico’ in 1981. Together with the hit ‘Dance usted’ the band established themselves as more then just a one hit wonder.

A dispute with label Hispavox led to a delay in the release of the second album, which appeared in Ariola (RCA) in 1984. A commercial success, with the hit single ‘Escuela de calor’ as flagship. Since the band had three years to get their second album released they had a pile of new songs ready. Within a year the third album hit the stores. On the cover a composed face made up from captions from each band member. With a decent budget for the first time the band head to London and used production duo Duncan Bridgeman and Jo Dworniak to complete the sound. Being a big Spanish band by then they were able to record their fourth album in New York. The band was looking for new textures for their music, more clear arrangements and a rhythm section leaning towards latin sounds while keeping a rock attitude. The use of a horn section (The Uptown Horns) emphasized that effort. The fans, band and critics alike regard this as the band’s fines hour. Soon after the supporting tour started Sierra was diagnosed with polycystic kidney disease and had to be temporary replaced by session musician: Javier Monforte. In 1988 Sierra returned but Montforte stayed on as additional guitar player. Spending almost the rest of the year touring there was no time for a new album. RCA wanted to get compensated for the hogh budget spend in NYC and released a live album at the start of 1989. After the tour the band virtually disbanded leaving only the core trio. Again Enrique Sierra fell ill delaying recordings and sending the band on yet another tour with a replacement Halsall. Finally the album ‘Veneno en la piel’ was released in 1990. It was to be their last album. By 1991 the commercial pressure, Enrique Sierra’s continuing health problems and Halsall's death due to an overdose in 1992 did the band in. Due to contractual abligations producer Dworniak remixed some old shelved recordings for the compilation ‘Tierra para bailar’.

After the dissolution of Radio Futura Enrique Sierra released a  solo album, Lies, in 1995. Along with Roman Pilar and Luis Auserón he founded the band Klub in 1997, mixing rock and electronic music. At the start of the new age he was the sound engineer in two albums for Rosario Flores. The Auserón brother borth each went their own way with Santiago persuing a jazz-career with his band Juan Perro while his brother stayed close to rock (Santiago produced Luis 1997 album Caos y Orden). In 2006 they rejoined for the album Las Malas Lenguas, a collection of Spanish versions of classic rock and soul. On February 17, 2012 Enrique died at the Hospital Clinico San Carlos in Madrid because of his lengthy kidney disease.

On the web:

- Santiago has his own website: http://www.lahuellasonora.com/

If you like this, you probably like... / european counterparts:

Azra (Croatia)

Telephone (France)

Eppu Normaali (Finland)

What do we think:

DB: I actually never found Radio Futura that interesting because their sound stays very close to English pub-rock from those days. It never sounded that original. But then I never really gave their two middle albums a good spin (thanks Christina for urging me to play them again for a closer listen). Here they give way for original Spanish elements and the dark touch for drama that is common in Spanish indie rock. And you have to remember they were actually the first that started this music stream in Spain. Not all the albums stood the test of time but 'De un país en llamas' (as the most catchy) and ' La canción de Juan Perro' (as the most artistic interesting) are worth seeking out. The albums are easily to find in Spanish second hand stores, the band was and still is wildly popular.

Recommended albums:

♪♪ - Música moderna – 1980

- La ley del desierto / La ley del mar - 1984

♪♪♪♪ - De un país en llamas – 1985

♪♪♪ - La canción de Juan Perro – 1987

- Escueladecalor. (live) - 1989

♪♪ - Veneno en la piel - 1990

♪♪♪♪♪= outstanding album, an absolute must-have
♪♪♪♪ = great album, highly recomended
♪♪♪ = nice album
♪♪ = be careful, requires listening before buying
♪ = best to be avoided


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