Saturday, 11 April 2020

Negra Branca ‎– N.B. + Touched (Dream Drafts) (2015)

Style: Experimental, Synth-pop, Ambient
Format: CD
Label: Ono Tesla, Zamzam Records

1.   Duro
2.   Beira Beira
3.   Importa
4.   Those 27
5.   Farca do Inberno
6.   Tired
7.   In The Night
8.   Doll Mares
9.   OPJ

All tracks writen and recorded by - Marlene Ribeiro

This a self released CD compilation of both Negra Branca albums to date.

**Exclusive, upfront edition of this excellent debut album of electronic psych-pop from Gnod's Marlene Ribeiro aka Negra Branca on their own Tesla Tapes label** Negra Branca's eponymous solo debut of swirling dub pop for her Gnod bandmates' Tesla Tapes was originally released on cassette last year and was one of the finest to emerge from Manchester in 2013. Perhaps due to its format and limited release it sorta disappeared from view without a great deal of attention - something that this remastered and expanded vinyl edition (released in conjunction with Michael Holland's ONO imprint) might rectify. The sound of Negra Branca is fragile and layered, a more heady and dubbed-out take on the sort of vocal-led, eyes-down pop variants that everyone from Hype WIlliams to FKA Twigs have given life to these last couple of years. LP opener 'Duro' (here in an extended version) bounces in weightless headspace beside the gorgeous 'Beira Beira' - one of our favourite tracks of last year - now supplemented with three new pieces taking her sound into more ethereal, heady pop zones. The strumming strings and echo chamber EFX of 'Importa' provide a dreamier counterpoint on the A-side, whilst two B-side cuts render her sound at its most expansive and layered. The 10 minute 'Those 27' meshes glittering chimes with a choral collage of samples and her own treated vocals rubbed with dubby bass, while 'Farca Do Iberno' projects into surreal, narcotic chamber dub perfused with uncanny vocal processing and ricocheting drums. Produced in Ibiza and Salford, N B is an intriguing, hugely promising debut - highly recommended if you're into Yong Yong, LA Vampires, Hype Williams, FKA Twigs, Paco Sala.

Led Zeppelin ‎– Led Zeppelin III (1970)

Style: Blues Rock, Hard Rock
Format: CDVinyl
Label: Atlantic, Warner Bros. Records

A1.   Immigrant Song
A2.   Friends
A3.   Celebration Day
A4.   Since I've Been Loving You
A5.   Out On The Tiles
B1.   Gallows Pole
B2.   Tangerine
B3.   That's The Way
B4.   Bron-Yr-Aur Stomp
B5.   Hats Off To (Roy) Harper

Vocals – Robert Plant
Bass, Organ, Backing Vocals – John Paul Jones
Drums, Timpani, Backing Vocals – John Bonham
Producer, Acoustic Guitar, Electric Guitar, Backing Vocals, Pedal Steel Guitar – Jimmy Page
Written-By – Jimmy Page, John Bonham, John Paul Jones, Robert Plant

Although Led Zeppelin’s much-maligned third album remains divisive to this day, it’s now widely accepted that it was not, after all, the product of some collective brain fade or bizarre schizophrenic episode within the band. The persistent perception of it as an acoustic album is also an inaccurate and oversimplified view. But it’s easy to understand how misconceptions could arise, especially when it was first released. 
The sense of anticipation surrounding Led Zeppelin III was simply enormous. The success of their first two albums (I, II) had transformed Zep into the biggest band in the world. It’s hardly surprising, then, that their decision to radically change tack would cause confusion and consternation. Where I and II were blues-rock workouts with acoustic and folk embellishments, III was essentially the opposite. The embellishments and embroidery became the central focus. 
Much of the album was written at a remote cottage in Snowdonia called Bron-Yr-Aur while guitarist Jimmy Page and vocalist Robert Plant recuperated following an extensive US tour. The cottage had no electricity which encouraged the pair to explore the band’s mellower, pastoral side. That the results originally met with such a lukewarm critical response was unfair, if predictable. The acoustic introductions to so many of the songs continue to fool those casually skipping through the album just to make sure they dislike it as much as other people say they should. The reality is a little different. 
Ironically, given the album’s generally laid-back feel, III features one of the band’s most blatantly overt big-trouser moments. Opener Immigrant Song, with its strident riff and macho subject matter, is proto-heavy metal at its best. It’s true that the bulk of the material doesn’t favour rock, with even Celebration Day and Out on the Tiles lacking the sledgehammer weight of previous efforts, but this is no lightweight fluff. The slow blues of Since I've Been Loving You and the touching That's the Way are other clear highlights which have earned their place on any genuine best-of collection. Elsewhere, the wistful folk rock of Tangerine and Gallows Pole – another Zep arrangement of a traditional folk song – bolster what is by any reckoning an underrated work.
Greg Moffitt / BBC

Capitão Fausto ‎– A Invenção Do Dia Claro (2019)

Style: Alternative Rock
Format: CD, Vinyl
Label: Sony Music, Cuca Monga

1.   Certeza
2.   Boa Memória
3.   Outro Lado
4.   Sempre Bem
5.   Amor, A Nossa Vida
6.   Faço As Vontades
7.   Lentamente
8.   Final

Bass Guitar – Domingos Coimbra
Drums – Salvador Seabra
Electric Guitar – Manuel Palha
Electric Guitar, Lead Vocals – Tomás Wallenstein
Keyboards – Francisco Ferreira
Music By – Capitão Fausto

A guitarra chega dedilhada, o órgão aquece o ambiente e a secção rítmica segue-lhes os passos com delicadeza. A voz diz então, nesse início de Certeza: “Andava mal parado e sem saber nesta estória/ se é obrigatório que ela chegue ao final”. Assim arranca A Invenção do Dia Claro, o quarto álbum dos Capitão Fausto. Neste momento, não é importante saber se haverá destino final na história desta banda. Inegável é que dificilmente poderíamos prever que os Capitão Fausto, tal como se nos apresentaram em Gazela, o álbum de estreia feito de planar space rock, guitarras angulares bem medidas e veia pop a latejar, e em Pesar o Sol, aquele que aprofundou as pistas lançadas inicialmente, poderiam chegar daí a algo como Têm os Dias Contados, o álbum que centrou neles todas as atenções, e desse a este A Invenção do Dia Claro. 
Os Capitão Fausto que temos agora são artífices que conseguem cruzar com habilidade e à vontade a cuidada invenção musical com o prazer pelo impacto pop mais imediato - e pelas carícias soft-rock. Conseguem-no, acrescente-se uma camada, enquanto fazem das canções palco para interrogações interiores, deambulações sobre as coisas do amor, daquilo que nos escapa quando nos queremos encontrar, da inquietação que significa lidar com pedaços negros que guardamos em nós e que obscurecem a virtude luminosa do correr dos dias. Alegre álbum melancólico, este dos Capitão Fausto — basta ver como se anuncia assim mesmo logo na abertura, em Certeza, quando o andamento se transforma, quando chegam coros e sintetizadores opulentos, quando há percussão em fundo a balançar e cavaquinho a abrir caminho para sopros soprando ligeiros a dança que sublima a melancolia. Assim será até ao fim. 
Repetindo a concisão do álbum anterior, A Invenção do Dia Claro são oito canções distribuídas por meia hora de música. É uma desassombrada viagem pop em que cabem contratempos caribenhos e guitarras ecoando surf-music que desaguam em refrão escorreito (Boa memória). São baladas de lamentos encostadas ao coração do piano (Outro lado, Amor a nossa vida), é um refrão que se apresenta, à primeira, como conhecido de longa data (o da irrepreensível Sempre bem), são a mestria dos arranjos que, entre mundo sintético 80s e calor orgânico 60s, criam a só aparente simplicidade de Faço as vontades.

Aquilo a que chegaram os Capitão Fausto é o passo seguinte em relação às inquietações geracionais de Têm os Dias Contados — agora é viagem mais íntima, virada para o interior de uma relação a dois. Assente na mesma abordagem meticulosa revelada no álbum anterior, totalmente concentrada na canção e nos arranjos que fazem uma canção, alimenta-se noutras paragens, que tanto podem ser a abordagem directa de Rita Lee no final da década de 1970, quanto as boas tropelias pop da Banda do Casaco ou até a forma como os Fleetwood Mac, por alturas de Tusk, transformavam tumultos interiores em canções de experimentalismo e corpo popular integral. Isto, porém, são meras camadas de leitura. O segredo dos Capitão Fausto está na forma como, deixando tudo isso em subtexto, conseguem que os ouçamos sempre e só a eles em cada uma destas oito canções.
Mário Lopes / Público

Mor Thiam ‎– Back To Africa (1999)

Style: Afro-Cuban Jazz, Gypsy Jazz
Format: CD
Label: Justin Time

01.   Worosodon
02.   Yaral Sa Doom
03.   Doudou N'Diaye Rose
04.   Xamleen Xammé
05.   Djembé
06.   Modou Modou
07.   Tassu
08.   Sangara
09.   Daan Sa Doole
10.   Meeting In Dakar - Pancum Ndakaru

Djembe – Lamine Diallo
Drums – Papa Samb Sour
Keyboards – D.D. Jackson
Kora – Baboulaye Sissokho
Thiol – Doudou N'Diaye Rose
Rap – Yamar Thiam
Guitar, Keyboards, Arranged By – Cheikh Tidiane Tall
Surbahar – Abdoul Aziz, Mbaye Dieye Faye
Djembe, Surbahar, Lead Vocals – Mor Thiam

Hector Zazou ‎– Géologies / MTM VOL. 20 (1989)

Style: Modern Classical, Ambient
Format: CD, Vinyl
Label: Crammed Discs, Made To Measure

01.   Persephone (Nue)
02.   Enoch Arden
03.   ...Livia...
04.   Tanis A Tunis
05.   ...Plurabelle
06.   Al Sirat
07.   Tout L'Eté (Sans Toi)
08.   Persephone (Suite)
09.   In The Box
10.   Deianira (Legato)
11.   Anna...
12.   Brandan
13.   Etudes (Strates)

Cello – Claudine Steenackers
Clarinet – Dirk Descheemaeker
Flute – Bruno Marq
Guitar – Pierre Chaze
String Quartet – Le Quatuor Halvenhalf
Piano – Maurice Poto
Saxophones – Philippe de la Croix Herpin
Trumpet – Christian le Chevretel
Viola – Wiet van de Leest
Violin – Jacqueline Rosenfeld, Jeannot Gillis
Computer, Synthesizers, Composed By – Hector Zazou
Producer – Gilles Martin, Hector Zazou