Getintothis’ Patrick Clarke gets giddy over ludicrously conceptual Brazilian psych-prog, enjoys some Birmingham gloom and gets suave with French electronica in this week’s new music round up.
For better or worse, Brazilian psychedelia will for me always live in the shadow of peerless lunatics Os Mutantes, yet rarely do the country’s current crop stake such a claim for their own share of attention as Peixefante on new EP Lorde Pacal.
In a move so conceptually audacious it’s impossible not to be brought straight on the fivesome’s side, the group aim to tell “the epic story of mankind’s fascination with the universe and our ancient seeking for answers to its great mysteries” through the lens of a titular Maian king and his ancient inscriptions of super gods and their scientific gifts to mankind. Or something. Apparently part of it is set in outer space.
It is, in a word, bold, and I doubt that my lack of Portugese is the only reason I’m not entirely sure what they’re on about, yet impressively enough Peixefante still succeed in their vast, visionary abstraction by virtue of pure, genre-hopping musical brilliance.
From the transcendent, Pink Floyd/Flaming Lips bliss of opener Por Baixo da Blusa to the enormous, swelling melancholia of their closing title-track, the group take stylistic nods from The Pretty Things‘ seminal S.F. Sorrow to the sweeping likes of Sigur Ros and sculpt a final artistic article of joyous quality – a balance of insanity and ambition that reminds me why I fell in love with psychedelia in the first place.
Birmingham’s Victories at Sea are frankly far more grounded, their debut album Everything Forever coming cut with a tightly-wound urban melancholia more suited to the concrete jungle of it’s production. Written in an abandoned steel-works, recorded in an old whistle factory, the album teems with the grey beauty of post-industrialism, yet still sparkles with the kind of commanding hooks Foals wish they still made.
The band succeed in that they can, quite simply, write solid indie-guitar-pop, yet can equally set themselves apart from the landfill with a slathering of noirish gloom that lends a gritty, cinematic, and somehow very English edge to an album that feels equally comfortable among the drifting dysphoria of Sirens as the festival-ready electro-pop chorus of Florentine.
If Victories at Sea are electronica done English, Parisian producer Popular Computer is electronica done, well, French. Suave as they come, new track Muy Bien comes covered in colour, bright, theatrical disco and modish pumps of electro coupling with an understated, yet never to be underrated infusion of sheer production ability.