Soprem Bons Ventos, the title of Porto-born, Berlin based multi-instrumentalist, producer and DJ Pedro Ricardo’s debut album, released last year on Soundway Records, translates to “Good Winds Blow,” a deceptively placid phrase for a record that alchemizes tranquil folk melodies with frenetic energies that meld genre, place, and time. The ten-minute opening title track opens with warm, motoric rhythms and psychedelic folk prisms that emerge into heavy, pulsating prog tempos laced with field-recording infused beats.
After a gentle comedown on “Tema 1,” Ricardo begins to fiercely blend glitch-y techno rhythms with drifting, choral vocals and woozy, chamber tones. He splashes jazzy piano lines against hard-charging kosmische canvases and drops soft orchestral flourishes onto undulating omens of synth and, on “Tema 2,” conjures a hushed storm with just guitar, piano, and voice—the song’s soft winds quietly increasing in speed, volume, and severity. Ricardo submerges into dubbed-out, fourth world electro on “A Marcha Que o Monte Parou,” the muted horns and steel-drum synth sounds circling around him with a colorful vibrancy and restrained, pensive air, creating a strange dance between two sonic worlds. That dance grows expansive and warm on the absolutely gorgeous “Cantar das Kandakinhas,” fusing mesmeric, field recordings with soothing jazz-folk currents. Ricardo closes on the elegiac “Tema 3,” his winding guitar passages moving in eerie contrast with a mournful piano and vocal refrain, before a last-second turn gives the last laugh to the soul. Through a boldly eccentric lens of cross-pollinating sounds, Ricardo crafts a beguiling debut that reveals itself across careful, considered listens, its air flowing naturally and with bittersweet and complicated, but nonetheless glad, tidings. | c depasquale