Earlier this year Netherlands-based reissue outfit Music From Memory released the wonderful and exquisitely strange compilation, Outro Tempo: Electronic And Contemporary Music From Brazil 1978-1992. A collection of exotic, otherworldly futurism and electronics, born from the most poignant of circumstances, the assemblage finds traditions and soundscapes blending into a new form. Via the label:

“As Brazil faced the last years of its military dictatorship and transition to democracy, a generation of forward-thinking musicians developed an alternative vision of Brazilian music and culture. They embraced traditionally shunned electronic production methods and infused their music with elements of ambient, jazz-fusion, and minimalism. At the same time they referenced the musical forms and spirituality of indigenous tribes from the Amazon. The music they produced was a complex and mesmerizing tapestry that vividly evoked Brazilian landscapes and simultaneously reached out to the world beyond its borders.”

Priscilla Ermel _– Tai Chi - Gestos De EquilíbrioThis alternative vision not only fuses jazz, ambient music, and minimalism with indigenous roots, but also naturally evokes the spirit of Tropicália, a fertile movement of its own, and one whose oceanic guitar meditations find themselves awash in synthesizer and chant in the back half of Nando Carneiro’s grandly sweeping “G.R.E.S. Luxo Artesanal / O Camponês.” It’s an intoxicating moment — imagine Bola Sete merged with Caetano Veloso. The art-pop approach toward the traditionally more vocal focused performances can be found in gorgeous fashion in the album’s closing track by Luli E Lucina. And further treasures abound, amongst them the industrial no-wave opera that is Cinema, and their track “Sem Teto,” the Eastern-leaning dub-pop of Os Mulheres Negras’ “Só Quero Um Xodó,” and the patiently rewarding, avant-garde reflections of Marco Bosco’s “Sol Da Manhã.” As a whole the collection an embarrassment of riches — from the rainforest percussiveness of Fernando Falcão and the misty Blade Runner atmospherics of Anno Luz, to the free-jazz stylings of Bené Fonteles and the pure vocal mastery of Andréa Daltro.

Fearless and bold, Outro Tempo truly offers sounds unlike any heard elsewhere. It’s escapism born out of a difficult history, but one that offers an intrinsically positive emotional spirit.  words / c depasquale

Priscilla Ermel :: Gestos De Equilíbrio

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