Boomkat Product Review:
Notorious São Paulo experimental club collective Tormenta conjure a weightless Lustmord via Rabit-style soundtrack to short film "O Som do Labirinto". Sickly, low-lit material that stumbles from chilly FM ambience all the way to sludge metal. Tip!
The Club Tormenta collective has long acted as an edgy foil to São Paulo's glitzy mainstream, focusing on left-of-center sounds and promoting parties that provide solace for Brazil's weirdest outliers. The promoter, creative agency and label has released music from a host of artists, including BADSISTA, Pininga and Fkoff1963, and "O som do Labirinto" is their first team-up with Nyege Nyege, pulled from a special collaboration with the Uganda crew that was assembled for the 2019 digital edition of Nyege Nyege Festival. The film itself is a tribute to classic horror - unsurprisingly the crew are long-time horror nerds - described as a "terrifying and psychedelic audiovisual experience that's centered around the a journalist attempting to examine a series of mysterious gatherings". So to accompany this short, the crew (including Alada, Odete, Fkoff 1963, MTMA and others) rustled up a full-length soundtrack of spooky ambience, gruesome beatless club sounds and grotesque synth noizze.
Digestivo's 'Vasca' is an early highlight, building wobbly drones over rhythmic metallic churns and rave-adjacent slashes. It's basically an audio translation of a particularly bad trip - some kind of spiral in a club back-room with flickering lights and too many audio hallucinations. Mundoscuros' 'Carne Viva' is a little more hopeful, sounding more like Vangelis with levitational "Blade Runner" synths and granular pads, but Alada's 'Running' sends us right back to hell, using stark hoover bass swooshes to signal impeding doom, and overdriven kicks to ratchet up the tension. Odete's 'Cemitério' is a chilly highlight, with ghostly vocals and field recordings imitating an old monastery, while Alada's 'Precisão Cirúrgica' mimics Thomas Köner's sub-aquatic dark ambience or Harry Bertoia's resonant sound sculptures.
The biggest surprise - maybe not if you're familiar with Tormenta's mischievous reputation - is when the album comes to a close with Bruxax's metalcore 'Scream' and Ooh The Horror's '!luuli', an ear-splitting gabber noise vignette that works as a kind of coda. Hyperactive shit, in the best way.