Going Underground: New Music from Sao Paulo

By 09 May, 2011

On Monday May 9th we’ll be releasing a special compilation of new music from Sao Paulo. However, before that, and to get you into the mood, here’s a special Going Underground looking at some of the new artists making an impression in Sao Paulo.

Juliana R

I’ve listened to “Fuga” one hundred times. It never gets boring! Somehow it has contrived to have the attitude of 70s New York, melodicism of great indie rock, stoicism of Bill Callaghan and a kind of sultryness that is normally exclusively reserved for Kim Deal. Oh, and in case you’re wondering how you can get to hear this incredible song, a live version can be found just below.

Juliana has released one, eponymously titled, album so far. It contains a mixture of indie and pop songs, which vary between those recalling the early minimalism of Cat Power to slightly country-ish, Scandinavian pop (sorry for the convoluted reference, I was thinking directly of the fantastic A Camp debut album), from Althea & Donna-esque classics (listen to “Dry These Tears”) to sultry lounge/easy listening blasters (i.e. “Pela Metade”), sang mainly in Portuguese except for a few tracks where English gets the nod.

It’s an album that is probably too mixed to be deemed a classic, but shows that this is an artist, whom, if she chooses the right path, could produce some real dynamite in the future.



I only heard Guizado’s Calavera album earlier this year. If I had heard it last year, when it was released, it would definitely have been one of Sounds and Colours’ Best Albums of 2010. There is something very 90s about Calavera, in a good way though. Guizado plays the trumpet, as well as being heavily into programming beats and this resulted in an album along the lines of Chemical Brothers or Propellorheads, with sharp, pulsing beats, deep bass and lead melodies on the trumpet or using distorted vocals.

It would be interesting to hear how the album would sound on a dancefloor. The music obviously uses a click track and so has a very strict rhythmic discipline, but also has the finesse of Curumin on drums giving it that extra rhythmical dimension.

Guizado is one of the most in-demand trumpet players in Sao Paulo and this has led him to collaborate with a number of people (he features on the amazing new album from Criolo). A couple of his collaborators surface on two of the highlights from the album; CéU and Karina Buhr add vocals to “Skate Phaser” and “Girando” respectively, adding a level of sultryness which hints at the electro-pop of Goldfrapp.


Anelis Assumpcao

Anelis will be releasing her debut album on 9th June. Called Sou Suspeita. Estou Sujeita. Não Sou Santa. it will highlight one of Sao Paulo’s emerging talents. It’s heard not to mention CéU when trying to describe Anelis’ music. They are both definitely of the same generation, and musically they have many similarities, both mining a new style of Brazilian music which uses songwriting techniques from samba and bossa nova but adding in Afro-Brazilian rhythms or modern production ideas including the use of the kind of echo’s you would find in dub music.

It’s a style of music which has been hugely successful for CéU, and based on the songs that have so far been released by Anelis, it is very likely they will be hugely successful for her too. Below you can listen to a short trailer for her upcoming album as well as a live performance. Three tracks from her new album can also be heard on her website (link below).


Babe, Terror

I mention Babe, Terror as an underground act because his music is primarily that. He makes organic noise using samplers, effects, voice and percussion. The closest comparison would be Panda Bear’s first album, the one where he struggled to deal with the death of his father. It’s these kind of emotions that permeate the music of Babe, Terror aka Claudio. Yet, Babe, Terror is one of the acts here who has achieved some notoriety. In 2008 he sent his music to various reviewers and music industry people and received a hugely-favourable result, featuring in Uncut, the Guardian and the New York Times. Off this success he went on a European tour, which is quite an impressive achievement.

Alan McGree argued in The Guardian that his album weekend signals a tropicalia revival, which I can’t really see to be honest. One of the great things about tropicalia was its ability to take cues from everything around it, whether it was Brazilian or international, high art or low art. Babe, Terror revels in a sound which will only ever appeal to a certain number of people, it’s lo-fi, introverted and singular.


Dudu Tsuda

Dudu has played with almost everyone in Sao Paulo. He was a member of Cérebro Eletrônico and Pato Fu, and has featured in the bands of Tulipa, Junio Barreto and Tiê among others. Recording under the guise of Dudu Tsuda, and sitting behind a keyboard or piano of some sort, he specialises in conceptual pop music, as evidenced by the title of the song below, “Le Jour que Erik Satie a Rencontré Stereo Lab”. There’s definite shades of High Llamas or Jim O’Rourke in his compositions, which is huge praise indeed!

As well as making music with his band, and with his many collaborators, he also commisions music for dance, principally the contemporary dance group Núcleo Artérias, as well as commercials, films and other visual treats. Click this link to hear the piece he did for the Farnborough Aircraft Show.



MDM is the solo work of Mário Cappi, guitarist of Hurtmold and also part of Marcelo Camelo’s backing band. This project is an opportunity for him to explore sonic textures including using his voice as one of the main melodic instruments, while still displaying his rhythmic approach to guitar playing. So far, MDM have released one album in 2010. “Cores Voltando” is one of the songs off that album:


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