For me the most fascinating thing about this compilation is that it uncovers an area of Brazilian music that I knew nothing about. I guess that`s one of the jobs a good comp should do. While I`ve hoovered up as much as I could afford from the reissues of Far Out and Mr. Bongo, Outro Tempo shares little or no overlap with their Boogie, Bossas, Sambas, and Jazz.
Selected by respected enthusiast, John Gomez, the pieces are instead more experimental. Listening, uneducated, I`d have said that this experimentation was a continuation of the Tropicalia movement. Picking up from the compositions of artists such as Caetano Veloso, Gilberto Gil, Gal Costa, and Tom Ze. Those who sought to shake off the shackles of Brazil`s late `60s / `70s dictatorship by embracing – in their own words “cannibalising” – The Beatles and Jimi Hendrix. A movement brilliantly documented, a decade ago, by Soul Jazz.
The musicians of the `80s and `90s included on Outro Tempo also looked farther than Brazil and to the future for inspiration. Swapping Sgt. Pepper`s Lonely Hearts Club Band and Are You Experienced? for Eno`s Ambient, Classical Minimalism, and California`s emerging New Age. But reading John`s accompanying text, it`s more complicated than that. This New Wave reaching both forwards and backwards. While the Tropicalists aimed to break with Brazil`s musical past, the musicians on Outro Tempo embraced tradition. Researching it. Incorporating and adapting it. Seeking to preserve it by making it relevant.
In this respect their music, as the title implies, creates a “world” undefined by time and geography, and is closer aligned with that of Suso Saiz, Roberto Musci, Rex Illusivii, and Finis Africae. Shakers, seashells, marimba, hand-claps, whistles, berimbau, pan-pipes and distinctly Brazilian guitar playing mix with drum machines, whale song-like drone, zen garden tones, harps, gongs, and finger cymbals. Vocals, treated and phased. Those guitars joining them. Dropped into Dubwise. Morphed into something with a trip-ier edge. Percussion and electronics throbbing and pulsating. Popping and locking. Distant rhythms rushing like water or excited atoms.
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