Ruta Destroy


The Bakalao Route (1993)

From the Guardian:

In carretera de El Saler, a highway leading through the Albufera natural park half an hour from Valencia, the road is flanked by paddy fields growing rice for paella. Tourists ride bikes, and horse-drawn carts plod around the land as I head towards an old barraca, an adobe farmhouse with sloping roofs, traditional in Valencian agriculture.

It is hard to believe that this was once one of Spain’s wildest nightclub scenes, home to bakalao, a relentless Eurodance sound that drew partygoers to Valencia from across the country and beyond. Also known as Ruta Destroy (destroy route), a hint at the scene’s extreme reputation for having it large, mention bakalao to Spaniards today and they are just as likely to go misty-eyed in reminiscence as grimace in disapproval: iconic for some, ill-famed for others, the movement would make but also mar Valencia.

The building I’m standing outside was where it all began, as the nightclub Barraca. At the start of the 80s – while other clubs in Spain played funk, disco and Latin pop – Barraca’s resident DJ Carlos Simó opted for Pink Floyd, Sex Pistols, Led Zeppelin and new-wave icons like Ian Dury and Nina Hagen. Simó later tells me about his trips to London, where he would stock up on the latest local sounds; Barraca quickly became a gateway for international music unheard elsewhere in Spain.

“English people would come and say, damn, there’s more English music being played here than in England!” recalls Simó. Come the end of the decade, British bands such as James, Inspiral Carpets, the Stone Roses and Happy Mondays would grace his stage.

“Cod is a DJ! Bakalao, the extreme club scene that divided Spain”, Agnish Ray, The Guardian

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