1st January 2015: Vainica Doble – La máquina infernal

Language – Spanish

Translation – The infernal machine

I first heard this amazing track on a CD called “¡Chicas! – Spanish Female Singers 1962-1974“, which was a CD I bought while on holiday in Palma, Mallorca in 2012.  By this time I was actively seeking out particular music and artists, as well as still taking a chance at  market stalls with their higgledy-piggledy boxes of scratchy 7” singles.

Vainica Doble were a Spanish female duo (Carmen Santonja (1934-2000) and Gloria Van Aerssen) who were popular in Spain in the late 60s and 70s.  Their name apparently translates as ‘double hemstitch’.  I really like this name, with its reference to that favourite of female past-times – sewing.  Is this a slightly ironic name for their group, I wonder? Maybe they decided on that moniker because there are two of them, and they are ‘sewing together’ tunes? 

I am intrigued by the strange sound that starts this song off.  What is that instrument? To my mind, it sounds incredibly mysterious and slightly sinister, so I am guessing it is the sound of the ‘infernal machine’ of the title.  I find it interesting listening to songs in a language I don’t really understand.  You catch words you think you know, that sound like an English word you recognise, but mostly the lyrics become a sound rather than a meaning to me. I love the Flamenco style vocals in the middle – this really made me think of Encarnita Polo singing ‘Paco,Paco,Paco’ – which is a cool traditional Spanish touch.


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