Boomkat Product Review:
Discrepant survey fringe, regional styles of atypical Portuguese music on a killer 2nd volume of their ongoing Anthology series - part 1 was a proper hidden gem.
Like many others, it’s fair to say our knowledge of this region’s musical history is patchy, at best. But we can all trust Discrepant’s Gonçalo F. Cardoso to guide us in this often fascinating and arguably overlooked arena, with emphasis placed on deconstructing its putative clichés in order to re-assemble and re-think preconceptions of Portuguese music.
Taking his cues from Michel Giacometti, a french ethnomusicologist from Corsica who made important field recordings in Portugal, Gonçalo unfurls an enchanted and enchanting sequence zig-zagging from Síria’s creaking, droning folk music in ‘Por Riba’, thru the trampling drums and possessed chants of Random Gods, before checking the asymmetric jazz clank of Bruno Silva’s Ondness, which has previously released on Where To Now? and here kinda recalls the unique rhythms of Mark Fell performed by Drumming Grupo De Percussão.
Live Low, a group directly inspired by Michel Giacometti’s studies of the portuguese folk repertoire, then play directly into the remit of ‘Antologia’ in the eerily plangent, elegiac beauty of ‘Montemor’, while the like of Banha De Cobra head in more abstract, elemental-instrumental directions, and Fantasma’s vocal dervish vignette gives way to the sticks n’ stone sampler chops of Gonzo, and also what sounds like a wax cylinder recording of pastoral scenes in ‘Pastagens Sonoras II’ by Luis Antero.
Excellent, ear-opening gear.