It was three years ago that I first discovered Fifteen Years Old, the musical project of Peruvian artist Solange Jacobs, and fell in love with her first EP, The Image Lovers, calling it “dream pop”.
Well, “dream pop” still applies on this long-awaited follow-up, however it’s also a far more mature release with the first tracks, “Ancho Mar : Seda” and “Abecedario”, both haunting and beautiful in equal measures. The Cocteau Twins, This Mortal Coil and all the other classic 4AD roster are easy bed-fellows for this short (it’s barely over 22 minutes long) but intense album.
Abecedario, as the record is called, was produced with David Acuña and the musical assistance of the Argentine Daniel López Quiroga (Mellonta Tauta) and the Barcelona-based Peruvian Alberto Cendra (Puppies in the Sun).
The album is available from Buh Records as a limited edition CD and also digitally. Their will be an album launch on Friday 20th February, 7pm, in Lima’s Espacio Fundacion Telefonica (Av. Arequipa 1155).
We’re very much enjoying this brand new remix by Argentine producer Barrio Lindo, a producer who is very much riding the crest of a wave at the moment, fresh as he is from releasing his Menoko album and the History of Colour EP in collaboration with El Búho, both of which came out last year. That’s not to mention the rather great South American Tape mix that we published on S&C last week.
This latest remix is of a track taken from the new album of Populous, a Berlin producer who travelled to every corner of the globe in search of sounds for this latest release. The album is called Night Safari, in reference to the fact this is a journey best enjoyed in the still of night, which is also the track that Barrio Lindo remixed. You can find out more about the album here and listen to Barrio Lindo’s remix below:
I’ve spent the morning listening to the quiet brilliance of Melodía‘s upcoming new album Diario De Viaje. Melodía are a duo comprised of Argentine Federico Durand and Japanese Tomoyoshi Date (although Tomoyoshi was born in Brazil and spent the first three years of his life there). Diario de Viaje is their second album and continues much in the vein of their debut together, Saudades. Minimalism and ambience are at the core of what they do, with the two playing guitars, treated instruments and a variety of percussion with the accompaniment of field sounds and background ambience. The results are glorious, glimmering with effervescence and right now are bringing a ray of light into my office.
Diario De Viaje is another strong release from Durand, whose solo work is also well worth a look. Adormidera, which was released in October this year, featured two 15+ minute drone tracks built with purity and calm, slowly revealing new textures. It was an essential release for anyone interested in ambient/minimal music.
Spell-binding is most certainly the word for this latest release by Cadu Tenório, a prominent name on Rio’s experimental music scene. As a member of Sobre a Máquina, VICTIM! and Ceticências he has helped to define this new crop of carioca musicians who seem intent on redefining the parameters of Brazilian music.
Of all the releases to come from this scene Banquete feels as if it has the closest relation to Brazilian music tradition. Using the poems/lyrics of Marcio Bulk, Tenório asked a variety of artists to record four songs with just guitar and vocals in the style of samba-canção, a precursor to bossa nova, before later removing the guitar and creating a new sonic landscape which put those vocals into a completely different environment. Now the vocals – which were provided by up-and-coming Rio artists like Alice Caymmi, Bruno Cosentino, César Lacerda, Lívia Nestrovski, Michele Leal and Rafael Rocha – feel vulnerable, distanced, distressed.
It’s an interesting concept which could fail. However, in the hands of Tenório the results are a revelation and well worth seeking out. Perhaps consider this a starker companion to Lucas Santtana’s voz e violão deconstruction Sem Nostalgia from a few years ago.
Brazil’s Premio Multishow awards, as with award shows around the world, has given its main 2014 honours to some of Brazil’s most popular acts (namely Luan Santana, Thiaguinho, Ivete Sangalo and Sorriso Maroto), however the awards also always keeps a space for some of the interesting new acts coming through, and this is exactly what it has done this year.
Banda do Mar, the new supergroup of sorts featuring the husband and wife team of Marcelo Camelo and Mallu Magalhães, as well as Fred Pinto Ferreira, released their first album this year, and it has clearly made an impression. They won the Novo Hit (New Hit) and Melhor Álbum (Best Album) awards.
Alice Caymmi won Versão Do Ano (Cover of the Year) for her version of Caetano Veloso’s “Homem” (as featured on her Rainha Dos Raios album.
Finally, one of our favourite albums of the year, Juçara Marçal‘s Encarnado, won Música Compartilhada (an award for the best album that’s been shared or given away, as was the case with this album as it was made available for free download). This represents a real coup for Marçal (also singer in Metá-Metá) whose career really seems to be on the up at the moment.
There was also awards for Boogarins, Mahmundi, Bonde do Rolê and Racionais MC’s. See the full winners list here.
You can watch videos for all of these winners below:
Although this is a recent discovery for me, it turns out that Sobrenadar has been releasing music since 2010 and recording songs is her bedroom since 2008. That bedroom was in Chaco in the North of Argentina and it was here that Paula Garcia – to use Sobrenadar’s birth name – released her self-titled debut. The release got picked up by blogs all over the world and soon Garcia moved to Buenos Aires and the Sobrenadar project really began to take off.
After playing at SXSW and releasing two more albums (Vent Solaire EP, 2001 and 1859, 2012), Garcia released Alucinari EP last year. The EP continues her signature dream pop sound, heavy on reverb, simple synth lines and methodical pacing with Garcia’s voice stretching across the expanse. Thanks to detailed productions and plenty of variety, it’s a sound that never gets tiresome.
EDIT (20/10/14): Since publishing this article I found out that Sobrenadar actually has a new release, Tres, that came out on Casa Del Puentes Discos in 2014. Check that release here.
Alucinari EP, which I recently discovered, is a great way to enter the world of Sobrenadar:
If I was to name my favourite female Brazilian artist there would be little debate. There was a time when I was certain that Karina Buhr would be the one to blow me away, but she has yet to release a truly knock-out album. This is in contrast to Tulipa Ruiz, who has already released two of them, 2010’s Efêmera and 2012’s Tudo Tanto. Tulipa’s songs are pure poetry, micro-stories of life in São Paulo. On her first album these stories were accompanied by simple guitar and piano motifs, letting her voice steal the show. By the second record she’d already expanded her sound, collaborating with a wide variety of artists for a denser sound that still let her voice and lyrics steal the limelight.
On her new single, Tulipa Remixes, she has let two of São Paulo’s most interesting musicians remix two of her songs. Rica Amabis takes on “Aqui” from her debut album, with the help of carioca rapper BNegão, while Daniel Ganjaman (producer of Criolo, Sabotage, Racionais MC’s) opts for “Víbora” from Tudo Tanto. Both see the songs completely re-invented and are well worth a listen. Just check the videos below.
My favourite track off Mais Um Discos‘ last compilation, Daora – Underground Sounds of Urban Brasil, was undoubtedly Response Pirituba‘s “M. B. Williams”, a frenetic, pulsating groove that builds and builds into a wall of sound, a variety of synth grooves locking into the already potent mix of drum and bass.
Response Pirituba is the project of Marcos Gerez (Hurtmold) and Cleber Dantas (Polara). It was initially created as a side project from their other bands, using ideas that they’d not had the chance to use elsewhere, but increasingly it’s sounding like its own thing, with a strong sonic identity of keyboards, loops and drums (with Miguel Gerez adding live drums to some of their recordings).
“M. B. Williams” has been released on the almighty Desmonta Discos as a 7″/digital download together with “Boro”, a subtler though no less hypnotic track from the duo. It’s fair to say this is a band we’ll be keeping an eye on.
Bienvenidos and bem-vindo to a new feature on the Sounds and Colours website, which is the presence of blogs. This is mine, and I plan for it to be the home of all the little bits and pieces of amazing South American culture that I encounter every week but struggle to find the time to write a whole article about, or that possibly just need a more informal touch.
To start the ball rolling, here’s a band which I think are gonna blow a lot of people’s minds internationally this year (something they’ve already been doing in Colombia over the past 12 months). So, here are El Callegueso y la Mamba Negra (aka the new band of Jacobo from La Mojarra Elétrica – so expect greatness!):