It’s hard to explain to someone who is not from Brazil the importance of Pin Ups. Especially if you weren’t into what now would be called “indie music” in the 90s, in Brazil.
Pin Ups was one of the first Brazilian bands to turn up the volume of the guitars, sing in English (well, not really the first; for more on that, watch “Guitar Days” doc, link below) and turn its back on Brazilian Music.
Simply put, they were the first Brazilian “indies”.
Pin Ups’ first album was released in 1989 by a Brazilian label called Stiletto that was also putting out licensed titles from 4AD and Creation. “Time Will Burn” was the first record from an underground generation and its importance recently has been recognized in two documentaries: “Time Will Burn” (here and here, Portuguese only) and “Guitar Days – An Unlikely Story of Brazilian Music” (trailer here; soundtrack here, and you can rent and watch full doc, with English subtitles here). Unfortunately, one of the docs has not been translated yet, but “Guitar Days” tells the story of this generation very carefully.
Always with Zé Antônio and Alê Briganti in their formation, Pin Ups have released 6 albums from 1989 to 2009. In 2016, midsummer madness re-released the band’s full discography in digital format and a very special vinyl edition of 2007′s “Lee Marvin” album.
The occasion was that Pin Ups played at the end of 2015 what was supposed to be their last gig. The gig sold out and what we saw on stage was the same energy from earlier days but performed even better. From that pseudo-goodbye on, Pin Ups was back: full discography re-released and back to the studio to record a new album.
Recording started in 2018 with Adriano Cintra (former CSS, Madrid, Thee Butchers’ Orchestra) joining Pin Ups as guitar-player and co-producer, along with guitarist Zé Antônio.
“Long Time No See” has Pedro Pelotas (from Brazilian 60s’ Cachorro Grande) playing keyboards in “Mexican Tale”, Jim Wilbur (from US Superchunk on guitars in “Mexican Tale”), former Pin Ups’ guitarist Eliane Testone (now living in London) in “Portraits of Lust” and “Little Magic”, Victor José and Elisa Oieno (from Brazilin psych-folk Antiprisma) in “Ballad for Samuel & Tobias” and “Gone Tomorrow”, and finally Amanda Butler (from Brazilian noisesters Skydown) in “You Can Have Anything You Want” and “Mexican Tale”.
Pin Ups 2019 is:
Zé Antônio – guitars
Alê Briganti – vocals, bass
Flávio Cavichioli – drums
Adriano Cintra – guitars
Guilherme Almeida’s solo project, Electric Lofi Seresta, is releasing his third album: “End of Decade”.
Consisting of 12 home-recorded songs, the album reveals a pessimistic look at the end of the first decade of the 21st century. Songs such as “Western World”, “Hate Your Post” and “Fake News” are, as Guilherme puts it, in the air. “Social network is the most formidable subjectivity control tool ever created because it’s affectionate – fake news is a way to our hearts“.
Recorded in less than a month at his home in Rio de Janeiro, Guilherme used the same pattern of stripping the song bare; “If it remains a good song despite the effects and pedals, it is a true Electric Lo-Fi Seresta song“.
In 2015, ELFS released its first album “White Nights” (via Dufflecoat Records) and later “Interstellar Motel Radio” (2017) by Brazilian NapNap Records. “End of Decade” comes out in digital version and a limited print on picture CD.
Guilherme is known in Brazil for his other band, The John Candy. He is also a Philosophy professor in one of the many Brazilian Universities that are seeing their Governmental Fundings being cut. The photo in the album cover was taken during a student’s occupation in 2016. “Some students asked me to do a show at the occupation to collect food for employees who were 6 months without payment. It was a remarkable day in my last decade.”
“Indie” rock made in Brazil and sung in English?
It’s the late 80s in Brazil. We were voting for President for the first time since 1962. The boom of the first wave of Brazilian rock bands singing in Portuguese was declining.
Some teenagers were listening to something else; ears connected to underground sounds, challenging music coming from the US, Australia and Europe. Caetano Veloso and Bossa Nova were not the references for these youngsters.
No internet, no touring networks, mainstream media telling they could not sing in English. Even pressing CDs was hard work. Despite all difficulties, a creative and trailblazer music scene flourished all over Brazil. More than 3 decades after the first recordings, this scene remained underground.
“Guitar Days” is a documentary that throws light on the efforts of these Brazilian bands to create a scene, using DIY tactics and surviving money-consuming productions. Together with Brazilian bands you probably never heard of, there’s also amazing opinions from Mark Gardener (RIDE), Stephen Lawrie (THE TELESCOPES), Thurston Moore (SONIC YOUTH), Everett True and other “gringos”.
Most of the bands pictured in the documentary remain completely unknown to Brazilian audience and even to specialized local music press but it’s a sure thing to say that, without these pioneers, Brazil would never have an independent scene. Bands like Pin Ups, Second Come, Killing Chainsaw, brincando de deus, Low Dream, Pelvs, Garage Fuzz, and many others, paved the way to Los Hermanos, CSS, Boogarins, Fresno, Gloria and other successful, Portuguese and English singing acts in the late ’90s and the ’2000s.
“Guitar Days” is a compilation with some of the bands shown in the documentary, both old and new school. Released on a limited CD version with 20 bands, the digital version has 07 bonus tracks. Some of the tracks are exclusive to the compilation, recorded only for the documentary: Adriano Cintra, Twinpines, Câmera, The John Candy, PELVs, Mudhill, Lava Divers, Second Come, Hateen, MQN, Maria Angélica Não Mora Mais Aqui. On the digital version, exclusive tracks by Old Magic Pallas, Shed, Loyal Gun, Garage Fuzz, Winter Waves.
The movie is being shown in Cinema Festivals around the world and has conquered some prizes so far.
* Best documentary – Festival Premios Latino del Cine y la Música/Marbella, Espanha 2018
* Best Direction in a Documentary – Festival Premios Latino del Cine y la Música/Marbella, Espanha 2018
Early Morning Sky‘s first music video is for the song “If I See You Again” from their debut EP of the same title, released in April, 2018.
Directed by Elisa Oieno (from São Paulo’s band Antiprisma), the video features Joyce Guillarducci, same girl from their EP cover, wandering through streets in their hometown São Paulo, shot with a Nouvelle Vague angle.
It may be difficult to follow but there were some exciting new singles out on midsummer madness in the last weeks.
Here’s a sum-up:
Iorigun – Wasting My Time
After 2018′s powerful “Skin” EP, with the track “Fighting to Forget” doing well on several playlists (here, here, and here), this four-piece from countryside town Feira de Santana, in the hot Brazilian State of Bahia, has released the first single off of a 4-track Ep due to be completed in the following months. The EP is going to be titled “Wasting…” and it’s going to “be a compilation about relationships, information/misinformation and the different digital caves we live in today”, as stated by the band. Sounding less darkwave and more Strokes-y, its another energetic song by Iorigun.
Lautmusik – Singalong
Politics in Brazil are going from bad to worse, with a complete idiot being the President. So it’s easy to understand why artists are voicing out their concerns. Lautmusik in recording what will be his 3rd album and “Singalong” is the second single to emerge. Lyrics are about people who jump on the bandwagon and singalong without knowing what they are talking about. B-side is “Flight of The Flamingo”, a live track recorded in 2016 for a compilation titled “Coletânea Vol. 11″.
Slowaves – Here She Comes
Another synthgaze track by this duo from Belém, in the Brazilian Amazon. Recorded in May 2019 at their home studio, this is the first song on a promissed 4-track EP. “Here She Comes” was produced, mixed and mastered by Dennis Guedes, from Rio de Janeiro band The Outs.
Hatchets – Summer Jam
Hatchets are a very peculiar group of individuals. In 2013, within months of existence, they played a huge festival in Brazil called Planeta Terra, in the same stage as Blur, Travis and Lana Del Rey. And that was it. In 2014, they put out singles with electronic label/party Gop Tun and then vanished. In 2018, a new music video and now “Summer Jam”, a Hacienda/ACR psych-tronic with only one remaining individual from 2013 formation.
Lombroso – Bruno Manser
From the same vault, Lombroso released their 2nd single: “Bruno Manser” is a 20+ minute ambient manifest about the need to protect our rain forests. “Guava Jisas” is about the absurdity of having a public employee, a National Minister, taking decisions based on her religious faith.
One of the best resources on the internet is the blog Noise Artists, a collaborative publication edited by David Lignon. They always publish the best information about shoegaze and noise artists from all around the world.
Loomer’s 2nd album, “Deserter”, officially released in 2017, have recently been re-released in CD version, with digipack cover, limited and numbered copies. Their first album, “You Wouldn’t Anyway” is still available in CD and vinyl. Check it out here.
“Ghosts Fade on Skylines” was released last April by the duo Michael Farren and Daniela Angione. They recorded their first album at home, in Dublin (Ireland) between August 2018 and March 2019, after the release of 2018′s EP “We Are Losing the Light”. With 9 tracks, “Ghosts Fade on Skylines” was first released as a digital album and it now has a limited copies digipack CD version, released by midsummer madness.
The album was mastered by Brian Lucey from Magic Garden Mastering who has already worked in albums by Ringo Deathstarr, Sigur Ros, Liam Gallager, among others.
The north-american classic fanzine The Big Takeover wrote about the album released and compared Submotile’s music to My Bloody Valentine, Slowdive, Warpaint, Swans, Stars of the Lid and others. Read all the article by clicking here.
Buy CD here: https://midsummermadness.bandcamp.com/album/ghosts-fade-on-skylines-teaser (for Europe, North America and Asia)
If you are from Brazil, buy here: https://mmrecords.lojaintegrada.com.br/submotile-ghosts-fade-on-skylines
Pin Ups is considered a Brazilian indie trailblazer. Formed in 1988, their first album came out in 1990. Throughout the 90s, this Sao Paulo quartet released other 5 albums, till they went on halt in 2001.
But from 2013 on, after having their history revised by two documentaries and one book, they decided to play one last show in 2015. The gig sold out and playing for both new and old fans was energetic. So, Zé Antônio and Alê Briganti decided to give it a go. They recruited former drummer Flávio Cavichiolli and CSS and Madrid guitarist Adriano Cintra and recorded 11 new songs.
“Long Time No See” is their 7th album and will be released in June. It features guest appearances from Jim Wilbur (Superchunk), Pedro Pelotas (Cachorro Grande) and friends from bands Sky Down and Antiprisma. It was produced by Zé Antônio and Adriano Cintra.
“Spinning” is the first single from Pin Ups after 20 years.
“Like Ghosts” is the debut single by duo Slowaves, synth-shoegazers from Belem, in the Brazilian Amazon. Matheus Silva and Carlos Duarte recorded this in their bedrooms in 2018.
To accompany the debut song, a version of “Oh My Love” from the album “Imagine” (1971) by John Lennon. “Lennon is one of my favorite composers. ‘Like Ghosts’ came out as I listened to ‘Oh My Love’, so I always imagined these two songs together,” explains Matheus.
Planning to play some shows, Slowaves recruited Marcelo Damaso (from The Baudelaires) and Gustavo Rodrigues to form a band. With the new lineup and other songs being written, a album or a new EP should be out soon.
Thomas Pappon (pictured above) found two songs lost in some hard disc – “Verona, Bonn and Belem” and “Dog Samba”. He decided to group it with three others that were been recorded after the release of his solo project The Gilbertos‘ “Um Novo Ritmo Vai Nascer” album in 2014. These five songs are now released as “5 Canções Perdidas” (5 Lost Songs).
Meanwhile, we continue to release Thomas Pappon’s videos playing Fellini and The Gilbertos’ songs at his London Sunray Garage: here.
Do you remember your mixtapes from the 90s?
Well, in Brazil we were hooked by a band that came from the Middle Western town of Goiânia. At that time, Goiânia was not known for its music festivals or for Boogarins and Carne Doce.
Formed by Éder Lopes, Júlio “Zuno” Garcia, João Paulo and Alexandre Inox (pictured above from left to right) in 1990, they put out their only release around 1997, a cassette titled “Grape Storms” with 7 songs. Extremely well-produced for Brazilian standards of the 90s, the tape got them articles in several fanzines and a slot at Screamadelica Festival, one of the few times they played in Sao Paulo.
Grape Storms ended in 1998. Two years later it was the first release that we reissued in our “Classics” series. Only two years and they were already considered classic! The reissue came out as a seven-song cassette, including a version for The Cure’s “A Letter to Elise,” and a CDR version with 10 songs. Now we are re-reissuing the CDr version as a digital release (bonus tracks only available if you buy at Bandcamp).
And Grape Storms still sound fresh!
aliendawg. and Moon Pics are two different projects.
aliendawg. (written with lowercase and a dot) is Luiz Spíndola, 21, from a small town in the middle of Brazil called Formosa, nowadays living in Brasília, while Moon Pics is Adriano Caiado, 23, born in Brasília.
They met at a skatepark in Brazil’s D.C. and exchanged links to get acquainted with one another: Adriano used to play in a band called Corvalis while Luiz had his own bedroom project called Transporte Passivo. Their musical tastes matched as well as a mutual interest in DIY production. So, they began to exchange song ideas.
With each one recording in his own room, they decided to release an EP together. “I don’t remember exactly when but we always commented on collaborating”, says Adriano. Luiz adds: “ I sent ‘Give In’ to Adriano because I really like the melodies he can create for vocals”.
Both songs were recorded using Ableton and Logic, a Behringer microphone, a copy of Fender Stratocaster – all direct on a Vox Pathfinder 15r amplifier as a preamplifier and final tones generated via software; the percussion came out of an electronic drum. Bedroom-pop in its purest form.
Adriano mentions Grouper’s “Cover the Windows and the Walls” albums and William Basinski’s “Disintegration Loops” as influences on these recordings, while Luiz has been listening to a lot of Radiohead, Dot Hacker and Gorillaz, as well as recent discoveries like Preoccupations and Omni.
“a genuine bedroom pop release, introducing two auspicious, bright new minds which show that they have a lot to offer to the world of shoegaze”.
Check on this webvideo for “Give In” edited by a friend using images from a short movie from 1949, titled “Begone Dull Care” by Norman McLaren & Evelyn Lambart: