Pedro Montenegro is a Brazilian living in London, where he produces BarKino, a radio program for Soho Radio.
Last Monday’s, 30th of March, he aired an interview and some exclusive songs from Gustavo Seabra’s (Pelvs’ guitarist) new Portuguese-sung project VELHA.
VELHA’s (Portuguese for OLD LADY) album has no release date announced yet and it’s being recorded, re-recorded and mixed for the last 10 years (!!!). Both Gustavo and André Saddy (Pelvs and VELHA’s keyboardist) talked about the immense delays, Alicia Key’s influence and why Pelvs only sings in English. The interview is all English-spoken and includes some exclusive live tracks.
In the same episode of Barkino, you can listen to a 25-minute long mix of midsummer madness’ bands.
British blog Film and TV Now reviewed the documentary “Guitar Days – An Unlikely Story of Brazilian Music”. Here’s what they said:
The documentary chronicles the attempts by a core group of local bands like The Cigarettes, Mickey Junkies and The Pin-Ups to play their songs in English as opposed to their native Portuguese, who realized that their own language would look at odds with the energy and spirit that the sound behind the vocal would provide.
Fans of the American and British indie music scene will certainly be keen to check this documentary out, with a stirring soundtrack of contributions from the key players who created this very vibrant scene amidst great political and social challenges.
Check the full review here.
You can watch the documentary when you buy the compilation we have put out with bands that appear on the movie.
Latin American Twee is a page on Facebook publishing news about DIY indie-pop bands. They recently published a list of Best LPs and EPs from 2010 to 2019.
In the albums list, 4 out of 30 were released by midsummer madness: “The Waste Land” by The Cigarettes, “End of Decade” by Electric Lo Fi Seresta, “Sky High” by Fish Magic and “Monotone” by Churrus (foto). Lists were published on the 17th of January, 2020, if you want to check.
Follow the page for interesting news on the subject.
When we started publishing midsummer madness as a fanzine back in the early 90s, Big Takeover was a dream to pursue. This Nort-American fanzine turned into one of the best and most comprehensive music magazines still being published.
So, it’s with great joy that we share the interview that Big Takeover staff did with Irish-Italian shoegazer duo Submotile. Their debut album “Ghosts Fade in Skylines” was described as “a mesmerizing sonic weave of dream gaze and soft drones” by Elizabeth Klisiewicz.
Michael and Daniela gave an interview that originally appeared as a Short Take in Issue 85 of The Big Takeover. In the interview, we learn that Human League and Duran Duran were the duo’s first records, and that Michael was “converted” to good music by his sister, who took him to see Sonic Youth in Dublin in 1991 (and that the opening act was a band called Nirvana).
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.