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Fish Magic’s 4th album strengthen its 80s jangle-guitar roots

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“Kamakura” is Fish Magic‘s 4th studio album, it features 11 tracks recorded by Mario Quindere. The recording period was not an easy one for Mário, who had to endure the loss of many friends: Johnny Hansen (member of post-punk Brazilian synthpop band Harry), his closer friend Oldon Machado and Beatriz Lamego (from midsummer madness’ bands Drivellers, Stellar).

The album title refers to the first Japanese capital, one that Mario never visited but became a fond memory from a book he kept reading during some illness times in his childhood. “Kamakura” was recorded in Rio de Janeiro with the help of Regis Damasceno, from Mr-Spaceman, and is released only in digital format. The bonus is a music video produced by visual artist Saulo Castor for the opening track “Youth”:

Listen, download and buy it from our Bandcamp

Meanwhile, Janglepop Hub wrote this review for the album: “At its most buoyant the strains of early 14 Iced Bears, Aztec Camera and Rod Frame‘s solo work, course through the vibrant jangled riffs of single lead Youth and Everything Must Go. The vibe of such tracks is only an addition of subtle cinematics and theatrics away from Let Their Be Light and Up In The Air, which have an Echo and the Bunnymen sense of ‘subtle massive’ about them.

When the tempo reduces a tad, the jangly indie-pop of the Grant McLennan sound surfaces in I Still Don’t Where I Belong, Ocean Floor, Give It All Away and Brittle. All furtive, understated introspection and subtle jangly guitar-pop, as a collective this sound represents the best of the album.

Surprisingly, the outlier of Kamakura is the absolute stand-out of Serenade. Assuming the fragile, twinkling jangle-pop of the Trembling Blue Stars the listener goes through various angles of stunning a two-and-a-half minute journey of instrumental beauty.

This fourth album from Fish Magic is undoubtedly his best

Posted on 08/08/2022 7:35

Check our 79-bands compilation celebrating 30 years of zine and label

Stellar 1994 PB

In November 2021 we released a 79-bands compilation divided into 3 Volumes: a vinyl (with 12 bands), a double CD (with 40 bands) and a 90-minute cassette (with 17 bands). It’s titled “30 em 3 midsummer madness” and it celebrates the 30th anniversary of midsummer madness. (Pictured above is Stellar in 1994, with Beatriz Lamego who is the designer responsible for the looks of the project, and Cadu – left, with tambourine, who photographed most of our history)

Initially, it was supposed to be released at the end of 2019 but delays in manufacturing pushed it to the next year. Then Covid hit and all came to a halt. Finally, in 2021 we were able to make the compilation come alive. At first, it was being sold only in Brazil and now it can be purchased from our UK store as well. The records come with a 36-page printed fanzine that features stories from these 3 decades (unfortunately, it’s Portuguese only).

Listen, download and buy digital from our Bandcamp:
Volume 1
Volume 2
Volume 3

Listen at Spotify

More info (Portuguese only) at http://mmrecords.com.br/30-em-3/

Below you will find a text written by Carlos Albuquerque, a Brazilian journalist and music researcher, former editor of Rio Fanzine, one of the most important segments for music and alternative culture to ever be published in Brazilian newspapers.

30 em 3 – midsummer madness (by Carlos Albuquerque)
At other times, one could say that the story of midsummer madness – just like that, lowercase – would make a movie. An independent film, of course, directed by Jim Jarmush and shot in B&W because, after all, sweet dreams are made this way.

But updating the commonplace is necessary. Today, it is easier to imagine that the trajectory of the label created by Rodrigo Lariú in 1989, initially as a fanzine – now celebrated in three parts, “30 in 3″, with the release of vinyl, a double CD and a cassette tape, sponsored by Natura Musical – would make a beautiful and simple series, one of those that we have to fight against algorithms to find.

A series about music, above all, but also about friendships, falling in love, missing each other, autonomy, business, doing it yourself, and the sweet and bitter of the passage from adolescence to the so-called adult life. As for the title, since Cameron Crowe, another good name for the direction has already used “Almost Famous”, we would have to think of an alternative.

Ah, the script wouldn’t have any heroes.

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Because even the most angst-ridden heroes – such as, for example, the existentialist Silver Surfer – do extraordinary feats and transit in universes of superlatives. Everything around them is grand, monumental. And although the trajectory of midsummer madness has its strengths – according to Lariú’s own “rough” accounts, there were 340 “products” (among albums, EPs, singles, and compilations), 113 bands, and 2500 songs released -, everything that surrounds the label seems simple and spartan, a thing of stripped-down people who wear All-Star and are even shy to air-guitar in front of the mirror.

And, really, really, the story of this ephemeris – a bit crooked, but absolutely memorable – has nothing to do with staunch and infallible characters.

The compilation was supposed to come out in 2019 when we turned 30. But I miscalculated the time to ask for permission from all the bands,” Lariú admits, with captivating sincerity, in the 36-page zine that accompanies the release. “When I finally got it, the pandemic came. But here we are, with 32 or 33 years of existence, just late in the 30th-anniversary celebrations.

The existence of midsummer madness begins, ironically, on a rainy winter day in Niterói (a town close to Rio de Janeiro), when Lariú, then 16 years old, unable to go out to play football, decides to create a fanzine.

At that moment, the decade of yuppies, mullets and shoulder pads was coming to an end. Madonna dominated the charts with “Like a Prayer”, closely followed by Phil Collins with “Another day in paradise” and Roxette with “The look”. 1989 was also the year of the scandalous success of the duo Milli Vanilli with “Girl you know it’s true”.

Big record companies were swimming in pools of money and the compact disc was the biggest bet to maintain that status. All this was news in the big media, which concentrated the flow of information. And midsummer madness was starting to walk a path that was not indifferent, but independent from the world around it.

- A friend, Beatriz Lamego, had lent me some zines and I flipped about the possibility of being able to make my own little newspaper – he recalls, in an email conversation, direct from London, where he lives since 2017

- My mother was a History teacher and the subject of the alternative press, of expressing what you want, was recurrent. At the time, I was also starting to listen to a different kind of music, partly with the help of Beatriz, partly due to a local surfer’s radio station called Fluminense FM. And the bands I liked, Smiths, Jesus & Mary Chain, Felt etc, hardly appeared in the normal or specialized press. Everything came together and I started to do it. It was a time of discovery.

Since then, Lariú’s doings haven’t stopped growing as well as the discoveries. The main one was to glimpse, three years later, that the fanzine could be something more than a “little newspaper”.

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- One day, reading a magazine for people who want to learn English and came with a cassette, I thought it would be much better if people listened to the bands instead of reading what I was saying about them,” he says. – And since I had already made some contacts with other zinesters and bands, I started running after demos. So, in issue 4 of midsummer madness, I made the first compilation with Second Come, Pin Ups, and Killing Chainsaw. It was more of a mixtape than anything. The tape could be bought together with the zine.

Cassette tapes were the first media of midsummer madness. Since then, the label has been spinning in time, always embracing a sound (call it shoegaze, indie rock, or whatever you prefer), watching other technologies appear, disappear, and resurface – from vinyl to CDs, from mp3 to streaming -, not always winning, not always losing, but learning to play with them.

- We never were early adopters of new technologies, we always waited to see if they would work. We started with cassettes because it was possible; we didn’t have money to press vinyl, not even CDs. The CD only happened to us in 1997, at the same time that our first version of the site went online. When the mp3 started to happen at the beginning of the 2000s, we didn’t use it on the site right away because I thought the format would die soon. It was only in 2006 that we adopted the digital releases – says Lariú.

- The most strange thing about that time is that it is when we lost a lot of masters. Digital music files were sent to me and I kept them archived on a computer that burned out. The masters from the tape and CD eras, I have all of them. So, this digital thing, what bothers me most is the immateriality, more than the value in itself. Who is Spotify? Apple? Maybe these platforms will one day disappear too. If it wasn’t for midsummer madness and similar labels, a lot of bands would probably disappear the day these platforms pulled the plug.

With more than 30 seasons on the air, midsummer madness and other similar Brazilian labels – driven by entrepreneurs before the term was coined – need to, in fact, continue to exist so the B-side is heard, so that small feat is also valued; so that the story is not told only from the point of view of the powerful; so that we don’t have to admire only the heroes and their super feats.

- Our catalogue is far from representing all the alternative Brazilian production. It is, at most, a very singular clipping of a universe that was not played on the radio, not in the newspapers, not at the top of the playlists – sums Lariú, who never added a CEO to his name.

- And midsummer madness would be nothing without the bands that agreed to join my madness. The fact that I learned my way of DIY causes me to waver a bit. This feeling that I could have done more is a constant. At the same time, to review the whole history of the label, listen to all the records again, and make contact with all the people again, made me really proud. The overall balance of 30 years is very positive.

It really is. Congratulations.

But tell me: why the name with the lower case letters?
- Because in one of the first editions of the zine, to design the cover, I had to use those little adhesive letters that you buy in stationery stores. The ones I liked only existed in lowercase letters. I liked the result and kept it like that. There is something raw, and ugly, that I don’t like when people write Midsummer Madness.

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About Natura Musical:
The project “30 in 3″ was selected by the Natura Musical program in 2019 alongside names like Luisa e os Alquimistas, Mariana Aydar, Tassia Reis, and Luiza Lian, among other artists.

Over 16 years, Natura Musical has offered resources to more than 140 projects around Brazil.

Natura Musical is the cultural platform of the Natura brand. Since its launch in 2005, the program has invested about R$159 million in the sponsorship of more than 500 projects – including works by big names in Brazilian music, the launch and consolidation of new artists and projects to foster the scenes and positive social impact.

The artistic works renew the country’s musical repertoire and are recognized in national and international lists and awards. In 2020, the Natura Musical call for proposals selected 43 projects throughout Brazil and promoted more than 300 musical products and experiences.

Posted on 07/29/2022 8:11

Macintushie’s new single mixes English and French lyrics

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Macintushie isn’t a word either in Portuguese or English but this Brazilian trio decided to name their project with an abstract word to “denote the unpretentious concept of the songs“. According to Pedro Baapz,as an inside joke, Tushie means ass. We thought it was liberating”.

So liberating that in April 2019, Baapz (synths, keys), Ruan Lustosa (bass) and Isabel Oliveira (lyrics, vocals) released “Stillwitchu”, a 6-song EP produced out of the blue. In September 2018, Isabel was at Baapz’s studio recording vocals for another project when he found, in the depths of his computer’s HD, a weird instrumental version, recorded on Guitar Pro and converted to 8-bit called “Sad”. Within 15 minutes, Isabel wrote the lyrics, “Sad” ended up becoming “Still With Me” and from that, three songs were written. Later, Ruan was called in to add guitars and in less than two weeks, Pedro, Isabel and Ruan had a new band.

“A new band” because these three are busy: Baapz plays solo as BAAPZ,  all of them participate in Rodrigo Lopes’ Alles Club, and share collaborations in Isabel’s Flopsy Franny. So Macintushie is their uncompromised playground.

Two years after the first EP, Pedro comes up with a new song: an instrumental track recorded at a quarantine workshop that was sent to Isabel to write the lyrics. Her vocals were recorded using a mobile phone, inside a wardrobe. Baapz then mixed it using a Logic Pro X to simulate DJ effects. “This new track intentionally has several glitches and deteriorates in the end” explains Baapz. “And Ruan’s guitars have no distortion on, just reverb. We wanted something cuddly like Cardigans“.

“Vicky Avait Raison” is being released on digital platforms on Friday, 13th of August, via midsummer madness and Mixirica Records (Baapz’ label). It may not sound like Cardigans to some listeners, who may recall the EP’s influences like Beach House, Mazzy Star and Portishead. The chorus and the title are sung in French and that may lead to references like Serge Gainsbourg and Melody’s Echo Chamber but the truth is that Isabel lived in France for a while and she wanted to mix French with English on this song. That’s not new to Macintushie as if you go back to “Stillwitchu”, the song “Talk ’bout” mixes Portuguese and English.

It’s hard to say what kind of music we’re making. We are influenced by a lot of things and don’t think too much about sounding like something. For this new track, I freed myself to put some trap beats that Black Eyed Peas and Ke$ha used on their 90s tracks, and also a little synth-rock that I associate to Julian Casablancas and Frabin“, explains Baapz.

Listen and download on Bandcamp
Spotify

“Vicky Avait Raison”
out 13th of August, 2021 (midsummer madness / mixirica)
Produced, mixed and mastered by Pedro Baapz at his home studio Mixirica Recs in Juiz de Fora, MG between 2020 and 2021
Lyrics: Isabel Oliveira
Synthesized Instruments (Bass, Synths, drum machine, orchestra): Pedro Baapz
Guitars: Ruan Lustosa
Cover: Ana Gouveia

Posted on 08/13/2021 7:08

Mr-Spaceman’s 5th album dives deep in Brazilian folk-psychedelia

Mr_Spaceman_2021-(foto-por-Mariana-Porto)web

pic: Mariana Porto

Mr-Spaceman is Regis Damasceno‘s space to release his own songs. Born in Fortaleza, an idyllic seaside capital in the Northeast of Brazil, Regis moved to São Paulo in the late 90s and started his career as a side-guitarist for many famous Brazilian musicians.

He has been playing and writing songs with Cidadão Instigado and played as side-musician with Guizado, MoMo, Lucas Santtana, Vanessa da Matta, Tom Zé, Arnaldo Antunes, Otto, Beto Guedes, Jupiter Maçã, Gui Amabis, Milton Nascimento, Marcelo Jeneci, Karina Buhr, Pélico, to name a few.

Locked at home during the Covid-19 pandemic, Régis Damasceno, released his 5th album. “Park” is his “second pandemic album”(“Loop” came before). It features 10 songs composed by himself and others with long time partners such as Daniel Pessoa (“Golden Sky”), Júlia Debasse (“Naive”) and Mário Quinderé (from Dead Poets, Fish Magic) on “Black Rain” and “It Comes at Night”.

Raised listening to Beatles and The Smiths, Mr-Spaceman’s music is guitar-focused but “Park” welcomes new instruments such as the sitar, piano and different synthesized beats. It’s a modern take on Brazilian folk and psychedelia.

Produced, mixed and mastered by Régis, “Park” also features appearances by Clayton Martin (Cidadão Instigado, Detetives, Os Ostras) playing the drums and inserting samplers on some tracks, André Lima playing the piano on “It Comes at Night” and Fernando Catatau (Cidadão Instigado) playing the guitar on “Kronos”.

Spotify
Deezer
Apple Music
Amazon Music

Posted on 07/16/2021 6:16

Echo Upstairs live in Wasabi Cultura studio

Echo-Upstairs-Ao-Vivo-Wasabi-Culture

In times of pandemic, unable to go on stage, Echo Upstairs recorded a live performance at Wasabi Cultura, a rehearsal and recording studio in São José dos Campos, near São Paulo.

The session features 7 songs, including previous singles “Cloud” and “Green Quartz”, plus tracks not yet recorded such as “All the Stars”, “IN/OUT” and “I Love Being the Person that you Hate”.

Ana Zumpano (guitar and vocals) and Bigu Medine (bass and vocals) played with Rafa Buletto (guitar and keyboards); Gilbert Spaceh and Mauro Terra did not participate due to security measures around the pandemic. As we still don’t know when it will be possible to see Echo Upstairs live, this is an excellent opportunity to check out the band performing.

One of the tracks is Echo Upstairs’ first composition in Portuguese, “Correspondência:

https://youtu.be/y6BZ8VE0Fhk?t=1063

Watch the session in full here.

 

Posted on 02/20/2021 17:19

Echo Upstairs releases 2nd single: “Clouds”

ECHO_UPSTAIRS_CLOUDS_FRAMES3

Echo Upstairs just released its 2nd single “Clouds”. Ana Zumpano used to play the drums at Lava Divers and, one day, she was invited to substitute Early Morning Sky’s drummer for one gig. During rehearsals, they decided to play a Lava Divers song where Ana played the guitar. That sparked a desire in her to front a band.

Gilbert Spaceh, used to play guitar for Early Morning Sky but left the band in 2018. He immediately called Ana and together with Mauro Terra (drummer at Early Morning Sky) and Bigu Medina (Oruã), they started putting their musical ideas into songs.

Their first opportunity to record together was a version of Dinosaur Jr’s “Not the Same” for a Brazilian tribute organized by The Blog That Celebrates Itself.

That put the band in a fast pace, with several compositions being arranged collectively, they started plans to record an EP with 4 songs. “We already have recorded bass and drums and then the COVID pandemic came”. It was only months later that “Green Quartz”, their first single, came ou,t in July/2020 as a digital single and music video.

Recording at home, at distance, everything was at a slow pace. So, only in the middle of November/2020, “Clouds”, their second single was released, again in digital single and music video.

“Clouds” gathered good appraisal from different publications all around the world:

Clouds evokes the same feeling you had when you listened to My Bloody Valentine for the first time. It’s the same out of body experience, as you gently saunter through the dreamy soundscape, returning down to earth once your time with them is up. Clouds is an astonishingly composed track that sticks with you like no other.
Xune Mag

Overcast tones and soft vocals, overall, Clouds perfectly captures the quintessential sound of shoegaze and it’s the kind you can never go wrong about.
Start Track

You will quite literally feel like you are floating on top of a cloud as you listen. If you are a fan of 90’s shoegaze and modern ambient dream pop acts like Men I Trust and, dare I say it, my own artist Graywave then you are going to love this song.
Indie Midlands

Echo Upstairs stand out with their poetic songwriting, mystic melodies and dynamic instrumentation. Pioneers of the sound A.R. Kane would love this band, and a show with them together would be brilliant.
American Pancake

…and it comes with a visually hazy video which coincides with the music’s ethereal dreampop fragility.
Destroy//Exist

The band’s aesthetic references point to the past, Lush, Ride, My Bloody Valentine, Slowdive, without forgetting the younger crowd – Crystal Canyon, Fever Dream, Trementina, Pinkyshinnyultrablast, Revrevrev – who abuses the effects, and the volume and loud-quiet-loud as the heroes of the past taught.
Floga-se

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Posted on 11/26/2020 14:12

Submotile releases new single about these strange times

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After a long silent period, Dublin-shoegaze duo Submotile released a new single. “Segregation” is the first song of a desired new EP that may come out later in 2020.

Michael and Daniela released their debut album “Ghosts Fade on Skylines” in 2019. The digital version was released by the band while a limited edition in digipack CD was released by midsummer madness. Fews copies are still available.

In the latest months, they have move houses and now, in a bigger place, with a spare room to serve as their home studio, they are back recording.

Lyrics were written by Daniela, who is also working in current researches to find a vaccine against COVID-19. “Segregation” talks about the polarization of ideas and how we are getting apart from each other. Speaking to Michael, Submotile’s guitarist, he revealed astonishment about the recent news that there are people protesting against the restrictions due to the second wave of Covid-19. It feels absurd that some people believe that the pandemics are a hoax while his wife is work on a vaccine against it.

Submotile’s new single is out now in their Bandcamp and also in streaming:
Spotify
Apple Music
Deezer

And there’s a music video, produced by Michael:

Posted on 09/18/2020 7:41

Ethereal yin-yang: nem single by Moon Pics

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Diving into pandemic, confinement becomes unbearable. ‘suni’ came in a time of crisis. I was tired of trying to record a good guitar sound in my room. So, I stopped idealizing and focused on composing, looking for good melodies and harmonies. And that’s how ‘suni’ came about. I knew it would be a single when I sent it to Luiz (aliendawg.) and he liked it “, explains Adriano Caiado, from Moon Pics .

And it was not only Luiz who liked it. Several blogs praised the new single.

Austin Town Hall : ” he’s crafting these ethereal pop pieces, these otherworldly musical entities that sweep you away as a listener

Destroy / Exist : “ ‘flwr’ is a direct piece lavish with alluring wistfulness and plain lyricism, delivered in an utterly emotional way, and sounding utterly spacious to the point of abstraction “.

Start Track : “ I have shared Moon Pics before. This new track is really nice. I am so into it “.

American Pancake: “The fluid fwr besides sonically shimmering like moonlight on the surface of a lake feels like distant lingering memories”.

We All Want Someone to Shout For: “flwr” is a blissful sonic journey that takes your hand and guides you along with its dreamy soundscapes, into a peaceful and tranquil status that you will never want to leave“.

“suni / flwr” (lowercase) is Moon Pics’ 6th single, released in late July 2020, when almost 6 months into pandemic were dragging through our days with no signs of a close end.

According to Adriano, “flwr” was also writeen in a chase for better melodies and harmonies. “ I don’t remember recording it. I usually pick up my phone and record when I’m inspired. Then, I don’t look at it for days. When I went back to my files, I liked ‘flwr’ “.

Although composed using the same principle, “flwr” feels like the opposite of “suni”: one is slow, saturated; the other is fast, with a lot of distortion. Yin-yang, what goes round, comes round.

In the middle of the pandemic, according to Adriano, “ ‘suni’ is about not wanting to feel anything, and ‘flwr’ is about wanting to feel everything that exists at the same time. ‘flwr’ reminds me of ‘Pygmalion’ from Slowdive and ‘Disintegration Loops’ by Basinski while ‘suni’ would be more like Jesus and Mary Chain and Radio Dept “.

“flwr” has a video made by Xavier Braun:

Listen, download or buy at Bandcamp
Listen at Deezer
Listen at iTunes
Listen in Spotify

Posted on 08/01/2020 9:43

New EP by Fish Magic: “Stillness”

fish_magic2020_web
After just one year since his 3rd and most recent album, Mário Quinderé is back with an Fish Magic EP.

“Stillness” has 5 songs and, despite its title, was not composed during the pandemic. Mário explains: “These songs had already been written before the third album and a more acoustic, folk language. Régis Damasceno (Mr. Spaceman ) and I had the idea of ​​setting up a project with Andre Travassos from Moons to write folk songs. With the pandemic, the idea was folded… In isolation, Régis started working on his new album as Mr. Spaceman and asked me to write some lyrics. That motivated me to work on what is my folk EP”.

Released as digital-only, Brazilian blog Floga-se wrote: “ … start from the end. ‘Until She Comes’, with its delicious ukelele (by Regis Damasceno) is worth the whole EP. (… ) ‘(read the full text here ).  And concluded that “Quinderé proposes calmness, stillness, silence, tranquillity. And it is successful in essence “.

This makes perfect sense if we hear from Mário himself the reasons for releasing these songs now: “Despite not being composed now, I feel that the songs connect very well with what we are experiencing. They could have been written in this painful period. Personally, I lost one of my best friends to cancer and, more recently, our dog passed away. However, I didn’t want the album to have that sad aura,  the broken lily on the cover may represent this duality “.

It can be heard and downloaded on Bandcamp.

Or if you prefer, listen to your favourite streaming:

Fish Magic at Apple Music
Fish Magic at Deezer
Fish Magic at Spotify

Posted on 07/29/2020 9:07

Hypnagogic dreams with Electric Lo Fi Seresta

electric-lofi-seresta-2020_3_web

Rio de Janeiro’s Electric Lo Fi Seresta has released it’s new album titled “Songs From The Hypnagogic Cave”. Brazilian blog The Blog That Celebrates Itself reviewed it this way:

In this sleep / sonorous dream, a predominance of a grey and smoky aura directs the listener, obviously, as Electric Lo Fi Seresta’s dream-pop goes beyond, far beyond, the simple cuteness of his contemporaries: echoes of languid post-punk works, such as “Harmony” by The Wake, “In Silence” by Fra Lippo Lippi, serves as creative fuel, combined with the beauty and melodic exuberance of low aesthetic, which resembles the Dunedin scene (…)

The album was released in digital format only and a music video for the track “Kissing Bats Like the Drones” was released in the same way, check it out:

Posted on 07/18/2020 12:03