Boomkat Product Review:
Discrepant finish off their Portuguese anthology series with its most gripping set yet, saluting wyrd folk traditions with veil-piercing contributions from Niagara, Serpente, Folclore Impressionista and more.
This is the real Portugal. This is our folk Discrepant writes about its third volume of Portuguese musical oddities. The first two parts were based around ideas of work and the country's specific regions, this one celebrates traditional music, channeling Portugal's rich history into divergent threads of innovation and adulation. Fittingly, Niagara open the album with 'Paulo, Apolo e Pedro', a sacred slop of crumbling noise, choral chants and ghosted keys, before building a pulsing ritual that hooks into the same rhythmic continuum as Muslimgauze and Shackleton.
Serpente continues to apply percussive pressure with 'Esteiros', grafting brittle syn drums to pitch-whack'd vocals and echoing moans. But it's some of the more obviously folk tangled structures that impress most: Lisbon-based cellist and singer Joana Guerra sounds as if she's expelling powerful demons on the freeform 'Bitcho Bravo', wailing confidently between string cracks and anxious squeals; Portuguese hauntologists Folclore Impressionista meanwhile evoke Ghost Box-adjacent atmospheres on the hazy 'Rituals and Invocations'.
The weirdest contributions are saved to the end - post-Takoma axe outsider Filipe Felizardo jangles detuned strings over gurgling industrial noise on 'Fail Missa TVI', and Sangre Cavallum's Bruno Ardo wraps things up with 'Mata-Lobos', a spine-tingling soundscape that spreads dislocated vocal chatter across a dusty bed of hazed organ drone. It might not be the kind of folk music you're expecting, but it's a perfect representation of Discrepant's eccentric future-ancient appreciation of Portugal's important ongoing contribution to the canon. Sick series, this.