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Tropical Fuzz: Brazilian Guitars – 1988 – 2015

In 1998 we got in an argument that made headlines in the Brazilian music press: an important festival producer accused us of being “spoiled rich kids who dreamt about making it in London”.

The producer was Paulo André, the guy who helped discover Chico Science & Nação Zumbi and catapulted all Mangue Beat scene from his hometown Recife to significant World recognition.

We were just a small label releasing our first CDs by The Cigarettes and Pelvs, two bands that were scheduled to play in the 1998 edition of Paulo’s festival, Abril Pro Rock, and had their participation denied last minute. None of our bands ever had a fraction of Chico Science’s recognition. Not even in Brazil.

The main reason for the veto was that both Pelvs and Cigarettes sung in English. Fuck, we were pissed off! So, we organized our own festival and called it “Algumas Pessoas Tentam te Fuder” (or “Some People Try to Fuck With You”*).

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But we are friends today.

And since November 2017 midsummer madness has a new home – in London.🤔

We are always pissed off when people deny our Brazilianess. What’s wrong with living in Rio de Janeiro and falling in love with my bloody Valentine rather than Caetano Veloso? Yes, we like Mutantes but we still think that Velvet Underground is miles better.

So, this is midsummer madness. We started as a fanzine in 1989, when it’s founder, Rodrigo Lariú, was 16 years old. In 1991, we made mixtapes that sold together with fanzines. Later, in 1994 we got fed up with zining and morphed it into a label, releasing homemade cassette tapes.

Our first cassette was by Drivellers. Since then, we have been releasing Brazilian Music that is not the usual Samba, Bossa Nova, Batucada you might expect.

In 1997 we released our first CDs: The Cigarettes debut, titled “Bingo” and Pelvs second album, “Members to Sunna”. Since then, we have put out cassettes, CDs, CDRs, vinyl and digital albums and EPs.

By July 2018, we reached 153 EPs, 58 albums and 43 singles from more than a 100 bands from Brazil, Argentina (2 artists) and even a compilation album by our idols, British band, The Telescopes.

This is not a success story. We are not in London looking for recognition. We will keep on putting out music that we love and maintaining a 30 year catalog with a thousand of songs because it’s in our blood.

So, we compiled “Tropical Fuzz”. We think it’s a good introduction to our catalog. It will be out on the 17th of August in two formats: a 22-song CD version with limited copies including recent releases, and a digital version with 50 songs covering the old catalog.


(please go to bandcamp and buy the compilation – name your price – to  download all 50 tracks)

The CD is titled “Tropical Fuzz: Brazilian Guitars 1995 – 2018″ because the oldest song in the CD is Stellar’s “Sometimes Things Can’t Be Said”, released in cassette mm11 “Thrumming Soothingly”.

The Digital version is titled “Tropical Fuzz: Brazilian Guitars 1988 – 2018″ because it features “Lollipop”, a song from Killing Chainsaw’s first demo, recorded when our fanzine wasn’t even printed.

What to expect? Noisy guitars, northern hemisphere influences, especially from UK and USA, some crossover with Brazilian rhythms and tons of broken English. We always thought that to be our charm. You’d never trust a Japanese guy singing Samba with a perfect accent, would you?

We are not going to describe each band here. It’s 30 years of history and some of these bands no longer exist, especially in the 50-song version. But, please, listen to Tropical Fuzz and tell us which band you liked most and we will be pleased to send you more info about them.

Also, you can browse these websites:
http://midsummermadness.com.br – we relaunched the fanzine, web style, in 2017. All Portuguese written, sorry.
https://www.youtube.com/user/mmrecordsbr - our YouTube page, with dozens of music videos.

Cover art: Beatriz Lamego
Mastering (for CD only): Eduardo Ramos

* Algumas Pessoas Tentam te Fuder / Some People Try to Fuck With You is also the title of a b-side song by Teenage Fanclub.

Posted on 08/17/2018 7:44

18 Years and only 3 official recordings: Valv

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Valv formed in 2000 when four friends coming from different punk and hardcore bands of their hometown Belo Horizonte decided to embrace post hardcore, emo influences. At that time, emo wasn’t a bad word yet and Valv were listening to Sunny Day Real Estate, Fugazi and Mogwai.

Already experienced musicians, their powerful live performance soon got people’s attention. In 2001 they were one of the first indie Brazilian bands to go to prestigious South By Southwest Festival. Their trail blaze adventure was registered in a documentary for Brazilian TV – here.

Back in Brazil, their first EP “Ammonite” came out in 2001, with 6 songs. Some critics labeled it as post-rock. Indeed, Valv was support band to Mogwai when the Scottish toured Brazil in 2002, but that’s the closest they got to it.

In 2004, they released “The Sense of Movement“, their first and only full album till today. That’s when things started to change, band members moved to different cities and Valv went on halt in 2007.

It was only in 2016, after being asked two new songs for the soundtrack of a documentary, that Valv decided to end it’s hibernation. Remaining members Alessandro Travassos (guitars, vocals) and Luciano Cota (guitars) recruited new old friends from Belo Horizonte’s indie hardcore scene and recorded 5 new songs. “Nautilidae” is their new EP.

This means 18 years and 24 songs officially recorded. One would say this is laziness but it’s not. Valv’s songs are painful, the stories within it are real. Seeing from this point of view, it’s a fair amount of real life made public.

“Nautilidae” was released with the help of Canadian label Cuchabata.

Valv (live in 2016)
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Posted on 08/07/2018 8:47

Melting with Lava Divers

When we listened to Lava Divers first time, it sounded like a dream coming true. A band so sharp, sounding so good, with a beautiful vinyl EP already released.

Three years later, Lava Divers travelled miles, four of them – Ana, Joe, Eddie and Glauco – packed in a small car, with instruments, crossing Brazil Southeast to Midwest. “The coolest shows were at festivals in Brasilia and Goiânia, so we could interact with other bands,” recalls Glauco.

In between touring, they recorded 11 songs for their first full length, “Plush”. Some songs are as old as the EP, such as “Natural Born Liar”, “Love Is” and “Inside His Eyes”. “From the early days, we kept some songs because people liked it live. And we had so many new tracks… it was a difficult decision,” explains Glauco.

Lava Divers looks like brothers: to be near them is always good vibes. The integration is reflected in compositions, all collectively credited. “The band has a very organic way of working. Usually some of us come up with an idea and the rest give their contribution. You can tell that ‘Forbidden Steps On Hearts’, ‘My Boy’ and ‘Tearsfall’ are from Ana; ‘Gasoline’, ‘Natural Born Liar’ and ‘Great Mistake’ are Eddie’s. But for us, as the contribution is always generous of all in all songs, we signed as a band and not a specific member. ”

Imagem de Amostra do You Tube

“Plush” was released in September 2017 in digital format only.
Buy, listen in bandcamp

Posted on 06/27/2018 13:22

Loomer and alienation by noise

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In an interview with Simon Reynolds for Melody Maker in the early 1990′s, Robert Hampson, lead guitar and voice of British group  Loop said that his intention was to produce an uncomfortable music that would be heard with your bowels. And if possible, he would love to lock the audience in a room and subjugate it to the hypnosis of his guitars for hours, only to observe the consequences.

Well, musicians in Brazilian quartet Loomer do not have such sadistic wishes. But the music they’ve been producing since 2008 forces you to pay attention with your bowels, albeit involuntarily. It bothers those who do not like guitars in loud volumes and snatches those who spend days with flaming ears tucked inside loudspeakers. Instead of locking a crowd in a room and torturing, Loomer shouts in their ears: “Hey, sit! Now you’re going to listen to us.”

“Deserter” is their second album, follows “You Woudn’t Anyway” (2013) and marks 4th recording if you count the EP “Mind Drops” (2009) and “Coward Soul” (2010). All released in partnership with Sinewave and midsummer madness, forged in DIY punk aesthetics, burned out with abrasive guitars in a 90′s-teen-party atmosphere.

“Deserter” was recorded at Dissenso Studios (in Sao Paulo) and Dub (RS), produced, mixed and mastered by guitarist and vocalist Stefano Fell. Which reminded me of Jim Reid speaking to Brazilian music magazine Bizz, back in the ’80s. Jim said about his older brother William. “He knows how to use the guitar the wrong way.

Loomer knows too. And that’s a big compliment.

This is what Loomer’s heroes do best – My Bloody Valentine, Dinosaur Jr, Jesus and Mary Chain, Velvet Underground – destroy the image created around the instrument to rebuild it with other possibilities, other sounds, other pulsations.

(text by Filipe Albuquerque)

“Deserter” was released only in digital format.
Listen, download, buy

Spotify – here

Posted on 06/25/2018 12:32

Perverted by Homage: a Tribute to the Fall

When Mark Smith, founder and lead singer of Mancunian The Fall died on January 25, 2018, everyone in midsummer madness was very sad.

Fall released dozens of albums, all restless. They were always averse to establishment and recorded songs about being against. It was the band that best understood and executed the idea(l)s of punk. Not having Mark Smith is a blow.

The number of important artists who died in the last year is significant but we think Mark deserved a tribute. That’s why some midsummer madness bands and partners joined in and re-recorded some songs from Fall.

We present you: “Perverted by Homage: A Tribute to The Fall”


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Bonifrate, former Supercordas, went for the oldest song in the tribute. He chose “Dragnet”, from The Fall’s first studio album. He picked the opening track, “Psykick Dance Hall”,  about a dance hall for lunatics.

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Loomer recorded a less famous song from Fall’s best known album in Brazil, “Bend Sinister”. “Shoulder Pads # 2″ should come after “Shoulder Pads # 1″, which would be recorded by Fábio Bianchini, d’Os Gambitos. But Bianchini stuck. So we just got the 2nd part version. Good enough.

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Argentine band Estación Experimental adapted the lyrics for “And Therein” to Spanish and so they got their version for a song from Fall’s 12th album, released in 1990.

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Another former Supercordas, Sandro Rodrigues , aka Digital Amerindian, went for a classic from “Slates” EP from 1981. “Leave the Capitol” became famous for being a song where Falls shouts about their horror to London and to everything that is mainstream. 

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Another band that adapted songs from Fall was Cassiano Fagundes, aka Cassim, along with its DON project partners. They picked up “Wrong Place, Right Time” and blended with “Frenz Experiment” to create the song “Wrong Frenz.”

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Wrapping our small tribute, Marcos Araújo, who had also participated in the tribute to brazilian noise pioneers Second Come with his other band, Soft & Mirabels, has now joined OverEnd friends honoring Fall’s tribute to Kinks by re-recording “Victoria.” This version was the for many Brazilians their first contact with The Fall.

The Fall played once in Brazil, in 1990, when the indie label Stiletto released “Bend Sinister” here.

Cover art is a collage by Augusto Malbouisson.
“Perverted by Homage – a Tribute to The Fall” comes out only in digital format.
There’s no commercial intention in the use of these songs.

 

Posted on 05/28/2018 14:37

They invented shoegazerism: meet Early Morning Sky

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Once upon a time, years ago, returning from a festival in Leeds (UK), G. Alves was getting off a bus early in the morning, after a tiring night on the road when an old lady noticed: Look ! What a wonderful Early Morning Sky!

There was no band yet.

In June 2017, G.Alves (vocals and guitar), Gilbert Spaceh (guitar), Xixo Sere (bass) and Mauro Terra (drums), all fans of psychedelic bands from the 60s, space rock and experimental music  decided to form Early Morning Sky after a Slowdive show.

The incongruity of that moment years and years ago fitted in well as the name of the band. Even in the face of fatigue, something exciting and noisy may come next. Shoegazerism is an idea: Early Morning Sky musicians were there in the 90′s when the genre was “in vogue”. Now it’s back. This is more then a trend, it’s a lifestyle.

Their first official recording came soon: a version of “Femme Fatale” (Velvet Underground) featured in the compilation “Summer of Love” organized by Cansei do Mainstream, a brazilian blog.

Months later, another song appeared in “Fuzzy Feelings”, a compilation by blog/net-label The Blog That Celebrates Itself. “If I See You Again”, in an early version,  pushed the band to record their EP. Home recorded and produced by G.Alves it features 3 new songs and “If I See You Again” re-recorded. It was released in april 2018 in digital and CD formats.

In June, Early Morning Sky made available in streaming their versions for Velvet Underground and Swirlies.

“Bell” is a Swirlies song, which came out in tribute “Protect Yourselves From Aliens – Swirlies Revisited” organized by The Blog That Celebrates Itself. They are one of the Brazilian bands in tribute, which includes the Cult of Lip, Fuzzy Feeling Away Forward, The Lost Shop, Lost Echoes, Uniforms, Sweam, You’re Jovian, Bugjar, ZEIT !, videodays, Kittinger, Adult Color.

Posted on 04/28/2018 13:51

Heavy riffs, astral minds: welcome The Dead Suns

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The Dead Suns is about comings and goings. Search for the musical history of its four members and you get the picture.

They got together in 2008, under the name of Oort Clouds. Francisco Kraus, former bassist of Eterno Grito,  a post-punk-Portuguese-lyrics Brazilian group from 1980′s and later founding member and bassist of Second Come, a pioneer Brazilian grungy-noise band from the 1990′s. (If you don’t know Second Come, Google it using Dado Villa-Lobos or “Justify My Love” as search tags)

Already with three decades of music making on board, Kraus was joined in 2011 by Mauricio Mauk, from 80′s psychobilly Big Trep, Renato Fernandes and Yuri Pinta, the latter from lo-fi indie Beally to find their definitive formation.

Together, four friends recorded “New Days for a Better Man” their first album. It smells musty like a collection of collages from the past, but the idea is not nostalgia. They rather look at the past for references and reshape it with loads of fun and forward thinking, to use references as they own it.

And they do. These guys have been on the run since early 80′s. And this is like a road-map album, a journey through different landscapes of their bumpy obscure road.

From the fast-paced opening track “Living Among The Stars”, to the illuminated in psychedelic flares “Get in the Way” with its beautiful message, The Dead Suns shines high in this album. You will hear slices from Black Sabbath, Echo & the Bunnymen, Soundgarden, Smashing Pumpkins and that’s absolutely normal.

Grab a beer & listen up!

“New Days for a Better Man” was recorded, produced and released by the band in partnership with midsummer madness and The Blog That Celebrates Itself.

Posted on 03/28/2018 15:14

Gambitos + Pop: it’s a match!

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Fabio Bianchini is one of those guys that would qualify for the employee of the month, with framed picture on the wall.

His only weakness is consistency: last time he was “on the wall” was 2009, when he released two EPs at once: SalameEasy Living Candy Store.

He is also a pioneer.

Fabio is from the 1990′s generation that signed “Indie Brazil” internet mailing list, likes BMX Bandits and Yo La Tengo and publishes fanzines. His “job” at midsummer madness  began in the summer of 1996, with the release of  Superbug’s first cassete tape “Baby, Baby” and later, in 2003, a 4-song EP called “Hot Milk”.

So, when Bianchini sent us an e-mail in 2008 telling that he had new songs, we immediately thought it was Superbug stuff.

It was not.

He then introduced us to Os Gambitos. He is still not sure if his solo project is called Gambitos or Os Gambitos… In a seaside town like Florianópolis, full of perfect bodies strolling around the beach, if you have thin legs (gambitos) or not, deciding on the band’s name makes a huge difference: is it yours or someone else’s?

Bianchini has two new songs: “Ghosts” and “Pop Songs Your Tinder Match is too stupid to know about”. But why making it 2 separate singles instead of an EP?  “I had two cool pictures that I wanted to use as cover arts, ” he explains.

Lyrics for the latter (here) are full of references to bands like Wilco, Jesus & Mary Chain, Alvvays, Teenage Fanclub, Pastels, and also to Brazilian bands you probably never heard of, like Deep Noise, Wry, Cigarettes, The Concept, Minds Away, Magic Glow, Weed, Frabin, Pelvs, Low Dream, Sleepwalkers and Grenade.

It tells a story of a Tinder match that does not share the same excitement for indie bands. After listing names, he gives up after realising that the match has never ever heard of The Pastels.

Does Bianchini ever dreamt of finding such a perfect combination in Tinder? “Once I met a girl who said how wonderful Neutral Milk Hotel was. Everything can happen, man.

Listen to Gambitos

Posted on 11/09/2017 14:38

Brazilian dream pop made in the Amazon

“Looking for the Big Star” is The Baudelaires‘ third album. For the first time, all tracks have shared authorship split in the band. Drummer Bruno Oliveira and bassist Marcelo Damaso wrote 4 of the 10 songs in the album. Other six tracks were wrote by Baudelaire’s most prolific composers, Andro Baudelaire and Marcelo Kahwage.

After a season in the United States, Andro returned with a bunch of songs and experience in producing. He also brought essential recording equipament to home record the album in full. “Looking for the Big Star” was also produced by Andro and Gustavo Vasques.

Drenched with guitar riffs and mellow lyrics, “Looking for the Big Star” is a homage to the american 70′s band “Big Star”. The album was released only in digital format.

Listen, buy and download at bandcamp.

Or listen to it at Spotify

Posted on 10/27/2017 13:48

Countryside astronaut in Motormama’s new music video

Motormama‘s song “Não Sou Mais o Mesmo Sujeito,” has now an unusual music video:

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The song is taken from their 4th and most recent album “Fogos de Artifício” released in early 2017. In the music video, Major Tom ‘Pig’ Gagarin, a South American cosmonaut, returns to his hometown for a night out and goes to Motormama gig. Sure thing to do if you were an astronaut…

The video is directed by F.L. Piton based in an idea by guitarist and vocalist Régis Martins. It was shot at Ribeirão Preto’s cultural centre “Espaço A Coisa”.

Check Motormama’s latest album:

Posted on 09/27/2017 13:36