On The Margins – Brazilian Music Round-Up (Tatá Aeroplano, Ventura Profana & Podeserdesligado, Tantão e os Fita, ACAVERNUS, RAKTA and more)

By | 04 November, 2020

We all have bigger things on our minds at the moment, what with one thing or another. And now with the new lockdowns coming into effect, for musicians it just goes from bad to worse. If you love music as much as we do here, then look into ways of supporting these marginal musicians as the live scene looks as though it will be the last thing to return to any semblance of normality.

Tatá Aeroplano – Delírios Líricos (Self-Released)

Released earlier this year, this is a minor indie classic lying in wait. Tatá Aeroplano’s career began in 2004 by forming Jumbo Elektro and releasing their album of bouncy electro Freak to Meet You. He subsequently formed Cerebro Eletrônico, became a DJ and I have even seen him performing live film soundtracks.

This album was recorded last year collectively with Dustan Gallas, Junior Boca, Bruno Buarque and Lenis Rino, and features guest appearances by Bárbara Eugenia, Biba Graeff (Anvil FX) and Malu Maria. Really strong songwriting is present throughout the disc, backed up with always arresting arrangements that verge on the psychedelic, as Tatá shifts effortlessly across genres where hints of brega mix with that sweet spot when jovem guarda was morphing into tropicália. Opener “Alucinações” is a soaring piece of epic tropicália that really sets the tone, and “Trinta anos Essa Noite” sounds like prime period Roberto Carlos on good drugs. If you go to his site you can buy both this and his last album, which is just as good, as well as autographed CDs for under five quid.

Ventura Profana & Podeserdesligado – Traquejos Pentecostais para Matar o Senhor (Self-Released)

Something I’m looking forward to seeing in the forthcoming Novas Frequencias festival is Ventura Profana, who celebrates the black, indigenous and transvestite life. Doctrined in Baptist temples, she is a missionary, pastor, evangelist, singer, writer, composer and visual artist, whose practice is rooted in researching the implications and methodologies in the spread of neo-Pentecostal churches. Podeserdesligado (producer Jhonatta Vicente) works with the black community enabling access to music-making equipment. The title here roughly translates as “Experienced Pentecostals to Kill the Lord” which is part of Ventura’s ongoing multi-platform project combining politics, colonialism and Christianity. Musically it’s up there with Linn de Quebrada, who Podeserdesligado has worked with, and Edgar, pumping electronics with a touch of soundtrack atmospherics exploring black genres. A fascinating mix of electronics, art, sexuality and evangelism.

João de Bruçó / R.H. Jackson – Caracol (Discos Nada)

I’ve written about this album before while investigating the experimental side of sertanejo music, the ubiquitous sound of the interior of the country. This is a long-forgotten gem and one of a pair of vinyl re-releases from Discos Nada, who run a tiny store in the old centre of São Paulo that’s stocked to the gills with punk rock; the other re-release being Cinema, a rare experimental independent album from 1985. Caracol is a very early example of fusing Brazilian percussive music and electronics from the 1980s when synthesizers, samplers and sequencers were still a novelty in Brazil. Stretching the limits of what could be considered experimental sertanejo, programmer and guitarist R.H. Jackson and percussionist João de Bruçó created a challenging listen to put it mildly, but the mixture of studio experimentation and traditional rhythms along with themes of the interior of the country are quite compelling. R.H. Jackson studied gamelan and cyclic music (guitar styles) and this can be heard in a twisted way in Caracol. Nada always do brilliant=looking physical editions, and these will be available on vinyl this coming December.

Tantão e os Fita – Piorou (QTV)

Fresh from the last column, former Black Future member has a new album out on QTV, who are really on a roll, what with recent releases by Negro Leo and Cadu Tenório.

Os Fita are Abel Duarte and Cainã Bomilcar, and they really should get credit here for providing what can only be described as pure electronic fuckery. Bowel-quaking bass frequencies and manic breakbeats drive abrasive crashing, slashing electronic shards while Tantão screams and rants over the top. 

“Fuga, Fuga” (escape, escape) he screams at us, and many would, but if you’re into challenging, exciting electronic music with an anarchic energy there is much to love here. “Correr de Gabber” sounds like it was made by an even more deranged Lenny Dee in Rio. It’s something I long to experience live, though who knows when this will happen.

ACAVERNUS – Vibrações Simpáticas (Morfina Records) & Carne Invicta (Meia-Vida)

Paula Rebellato is from Rakta and is behind this project of spiritual drones, noise and unsettling ambience. Carne Invicta features two long tracks of hypnotic proto-techno loops, with Paula’s underlying atmosphere of dread. Vibrações Simpáticas (Friendly Vibrations, hahaha) starts with the doom-laden “Marte”, “Menkar” deeply disturbed my dogs, and by the time we arrive at “Rosa Mel” it all sounds like the retro synths of Tangerine Dream partaking in a satanist ritual of Anton LaVey (in a good way!). 

Various Artists – Boletim de Higiene Mental Vol 1 (CLSR)

All kinds of patience-testing racket can be found on this compilation of 100% DIY noise, experimental and full-on electronics. ACAVERNUS is featured with “Rarefeito”, a speaker rattling, rumbling contribution, as well as electronics veteran Objeto Amarelo who supplies more mounting disquiet. “F” is relentless industrial techno by Lógica Escura who are also featured in the upcoming Novas Frequencias festival. If this is your bag go to the label’s Bandcamp and pick some limited CDs and cassettes.

Various Artists – Escape from São Paulo Vol.II (In Their Feelings)

A slightly less disturbing (though only just) compilation of São Paulo electronics can be found in this compilation of pounding techno and its satellite genres. Compiler, Davis, serves up groovy New York garage house on “Pat4rg”, Noteworthy is Amanda Mussi, a DJ looking at a post-pandemic scenario which will focus on Latin American artists, and who provides us with hard-driving modulating Detroitisms. Zopelar, featured below, who is usually a dab hand at deep house vibes, serves up glitchy, broken drum machine madness in “Damn Future”. Looking through certain releases in the column this month, it seems cabin fever has set in with Brazil’s producers and everyone is gradually losing it, sitting at home letting loose their frustrations at the lack of dance floors.

Zopelar – Novaterra Vol.1 (Selva Discos)

This release comes from the label of Augusto Olivani, aka Trepanado, of Selvagem fame. Zopelar is a prolific producer and remixer as well as member of Teto Preto and the ODD collective. Here, he shows his hand at all the styles he can take on, whether it’s the Bobby Konders Nu-Groove of “Livre”, the smooth bossa interlude of “Modo Avião” or the chunky jazz funk of “Nox”. Closer “Boogie de Paz”, to quote the release, “works its melody line like a good pill works your serotonin”, hahaha.

Singles

Pedro Canoeiro – Futurismo Afroindígena (New Latam Beats)

Basically, this is what it says on the tin, afro-Indigenous futurism, afro-Latin and Indigenous sounds mixed with electronics and down tempo beats that aim for an “afro-diasporic and Indigenous technological utopia”. It’s a skilful mix of loops, textures and côco de rueda, maracatú, bumba meu boi and carimbó rhythms with a floating flute line that recalls a humid and lazy paddle down the Amazon while staring into the thick dense jungle.

Rakta – Rubro Êxtase (Self-Released)

Rakta continue the pandemic with more content released for Bandcamp Friday. This single is a ten-minute piece of kosmische, sounding like 70s Klaus Schulze took the brown acid. Starting with a Morricone-esque scream, it then proceeds with thick clustering droning tones and classic Rakta sinister noises. It could easily be the soundtrack to a Brazilian version of Suspiria.

Heavy Baile & Valesca Popozuda – Me Come e Some (Heavy Baile Sounds/Waxploitation)

Heavy Baile are a collective from Rio based around the ultra-modern production of producer Leo Justi. This delightfully titled (“Fuck Me and Fuck Off”) collaboration with MC Valesca Popozuda is a charmer of a single with its eastern motif and classic baile break. The bonkers video references Pussy Riot, with the balaclavas, and large doses of female sexuality. Heavy Baile are best appreciated live with an excellent show of MCs and dancers which is an energising embodiment of music and culture from the Brazilian periferias


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