Boomkat Product Review:
Properly mazy rhythmic psychedelia from Lisbon’s Serpente, pursuing the spirits of Alice Coltrane and Don Cherry via Fourth World gateways and the spiralling broken beat vortices of Anthony Shakir, following on from that killer LinnDrum tribute to Prince’s ‘Parade’ album last summer.
A masterful example of his take on Black Atlantic energies and sub-currents, Bruno Silva’s Serpente draws thrilling, jagged lines between the ground-breaking jazz fusions of the ‘60s-‘70s and the Afro-Futurist pinnacles of ’90 Detroit and UK-based techno and their offshoots; broken beat, jungle, and “IDM”. His style broadly collapses the psychedelia of his work as Ondness (Where To Now?, Holuzam, Sucata Tapes) into a more ravishing and arguably vital sound that frames a modern state of mind between dystopian paranoia and utopian freedom.
Like last year’s cultishly acclaimed tribute to Prince, 'Fé / Vazio' comes to restlessly fulfil a physical and spiritual need for this kind of music right now; it sidewinds into chaotic multiples of polymetric rhythms, hypnotic drone and curious folk hooks that somehow gel with a fractious, rhythmelodic coherence that rudely acknowledges all that came before it.
Track to track he recalls the kaotic harmonies of Derrick May as much as Anthony Shakir’s sleight drum edits in ‘Nível De Fumo’, and the Reinforced cosmic rolige of Colin Lindo (Alpha Omega/Nubian Mindz) or 4Hero - who were no strangers to the promise of spiritual jazz music and the Afro-Latin codes of Brazilian music - in ‘Em Sendo’, while the reticulated hot steppers ‘Visitação’ and ‘Escalpe’ seamlessly bind roots and futurism in a singular, headlong style and the scudding ‘90s techno/IDM tone of ‘Razia’ surely recalls the rhythmic ingenuity and modern blueness of early Autechre.
It's a record that feels unlocked and cosmically free compared with so much rictus, floor-based music, but with a grit and colour that can’t be denied on (currently imaginary) dance floors.