Friday, November 30, 2007
Caffeine's Last Shot (PT)
Their self-titled debut album was Caffeine’s first and only release until they faded away into other adventures. Now, 10 years after their first steps, we see their “return” with Last Shot, an online album, gathering a total of nine tracks put together for a supposed second release that would never see the light.

As before, their music continues traveling calmly on the seas of indie rock and those of baroque pop, under deep engraved melodic storms and melancholic nights.

Caffeine were Pedro Falacho, on keyboards, Miguel Falcao, on bass, Pedro Pascoinho, on drums and percussion, Carlos Pascoinho, on guitars, and Claudio Mateus, on vocals, guitars, groovebox and percussion. Their music spoke mainly about love: misled relationships, love problems and problems facing reality. Furnished with rich tapestry, loaded with constant mood twists and turns; the sound of sliding, melodic and wisely maneuvered guitars, catchy chorus, charming and discrete piano notes, compassing bass, warm, surrounding and distinctive vocals.

Out of these 9 tracks, we strongly recommend the indie rebel Rise, the guitar-driven, sound evolving and warm Roll On and the “gigantic” Bad Temper’s Slave.

Discover Last Shot. Regardless whether you knew Caffeine or not, you’ll find these thirty eight minutes quite worthy.

Get the album right here. Artwork included. By the way, this release has Honeysound’s touch, being its little baby, RaroEscuro, first album release.

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posted by SKL @ 6:55 PM   1 comments
Wednesday, November 28, 2007
Polish Funk Vol. I (PL)
Truth is I’m quite new to Polish music. Until some years ago, Polish music to me was only Skalpel and Warsaw Village Band. Knowing these bands was already a lot, given the distance to my home country and the way, unfortunately, music from countries such as Poland, Czech Rep., Lithuania,…, and even Portugal or Spain,… gets promoted across the rest of Europe and the world. Apart from some genres – Fado in Portugal and Jazz in Poland, everything else is simply ignored.

As some might ask, is there any other good music, apart from the two previously mentioned genres that is worth listening, from countries such as Poland or Portugal? The answer could not be simpler: Yes there is!!!! Yes, there has always been…

Recently, in one of my tours through some record stores, I discovered a wonderful compilation featuring several Polish artists that gives by the name of Polish Funk, The Unique Selection of Rare Grooves From Poland of the 70’s. The surprise couldn’t have been bigger than this. The 70’s were back, in great shape, with several artists I had never thought they could play this way!!!

As the compilation says it, this Polish Funk gathers some of the funkiest tunes dating from the 70’s. Thirty something years gone by and the music still sounds so cool, so captivating, so loose, so dance friendly, so…... so fresh.

Imagine yourself now, discovering that some of the bands you’ve learnt to dislike, are featured on this compilation and reveal themselves completely different to what you thought of them up to today. For those in Portugal, imagine Marco Paulo, back in the 70’s creating some great music, really great, that would blow your minds nowadays? Are you aware of Jose Cid’s recent success? An artist that, some time ago, few would say they listen to his music, and now, everyone really digs it.

After my first contact with Polish Funk and after getting this album, I started looking at the bands playing here. It was then that I found two bands that, normally, I could not stand at all: I’m talking about Czerwone Gitary and Kombi. Jak Ja to Wytrzymam?, by Kombi, and Coda, by Czerwone Gitary, are two great moments among these 13 fantastic tracks. Groovy, funky, fatty beats, Moog driven tunes, dense bass lines make this Coda a really pleasant track to listen to. Kombi’s piece is no exception, making use of synths and completely crowded funky backgrounds.

…. but the album is not only these two bands. There’s space for some jazzier tunes, soul, blues and pop. There’s time for Novi Singers, Big Band Katowice, Abc, Henryk Debich, and Bemibek, among many others. Get acquainted to Polish Funk and the great work the Soul Service DJ Team did here. You’ll just love it!!!!
Simply, the most interesting compilation to come out this 2007.

If you want to get this album, just go follow this link. You'll get Polish, British and North American online stores that will manage to deliver this Polish Funk bomb right to your door.

For previews, just check Soul Service's webpage or their MySpace.

And now, …. on our Tv set….


posted by SKL @ 8:15 PM   0 comments
Tuesday, November 27, 2007
Let's put up a fight..... Umpletrue's Fab Fight (PT)
Let’s go back to the year 2003. We’re in Marinha Grande, a Portuguese city known by its glass industry. As many other industrial cities, this one is also growing several interesting music projects. Among them are Umpletrue.

It all started with Carlos Martins, on vocals and programming, and with Jose Duarte on drums. This was another project among those they already embraced and another escape for their creativity. Carlos plays on The Clits, Annette Blade and used to play on ZedIsANeonLight, Processo 13, Pull and Rease. Jose Duarte was also part of Ease and Elo, and currently plays with Dapunksportif and A MANIaCT. For Fab Fight, their debut long play, they were joined by Tiago Granja on guitar and electronic sounds wizardry.

Three years ago, on a DIY spirit, they released the EP Pills, their first release ever. Two years later we would see the release of Fab Fight, once again released on their own. A quick jump over to Budapest and Umpletrue were playing live in front of an enthusiastic crowd. Among those were Adolfo Luxuria Canibal - Mao Morta, ......, - and Antonio Rafael. The performance, the music and the attitude got them a chance to re-release Fab Fight, now on Cobra Discos. And quickly we get to 2007.

Fab Fight gathers a total of 9 tracks. 9 tracks that have absorbed the teachings of 80’s electro pop, late 90’s electronic beats, rock constant mutations and this century’s caotic hability to mix these fragile ingredients so properly getting in the end an album that breathes progressive loop-driven electronic textures, pop-structured songs and some damn fine dancing tunes that work as the perfect invitation for anyone to get him/herself to the dance floor.

Constant hipnotic and fat beats, athmospheric backgrounds served together with female whispered sexy vocals (just check Night Club Dance Routine), catchy lines and some arse kickin' contagious electronic beats.

Once we go through this Fab Fight we are taken into several different rooms. There’s the Mezzanine room, (Such a Good Deed), decorated with more emotional textures, darker, low-tempo and hipnotic soundscapes; the Adrenaline Addict room, (Something, ....) where distorted vocals marry with warp speed progs and minimal electronic tentacles that are sure to pump saturated doses of adrenaline right into your mind.
Budapest in t, one of my favourite tracks, is a lonely guest at the Theatre room. It starts with a kind of perfomance, where someone tells us about this man and a certain woman that keeps asking „Do you want to see me naked?”. All this, wrapped up in beautifully constructed electronic melodies that keep growing until they reach climax.

„..... A Historia deste homem..... Nao sabia de nada e acordou..... Ha uma pessoa que anda por ali, um vulto, uma voz...... queres ver-me nua? Queres ver-me nua? E ela fala, fala, e ele, fica sentado......”

Umpletrue’s Fab Fight was an amazing discovery. Do yourself a favour and discover them as well!!!!!
Check some of their music on their MySpace and right here.

N.Y., their first single, can be seen right next. The album, can be bought right here.


posted by SKL @ 8:53 PM   0 comments
Friday, November 16, 2007
Micro Audio Waves' Odd Size Baggage (PT)
Claudia Efe, C.Morg and Flak are Micro Audio Waves (MAN). Together, they decided to greet 2007 with their latest album, Odd Size Baggage, a monument to electronic music made in Portugal.

Gathering the likes of Francisco Rebelo (from Cool Hipnoise and Spaceboys) and Samuel Palitos, these five adventured themselves on this 12 track journey. A journey that would take them to breathe the green fields of pop music, wonder through the mysteries of minimal electro and dive into a whole new world of refined and experimental electronic tunes.

Micro Audio Waves go back to the year 2000, when they were still a duo. Years later, Claudia Efe was to join them and this would become the breakpoint on their sound structure. With Claudia on board and with her vocal capacities (she simply goes from spoken work to a hypnotic singing), MAN took off to a different destiny, sunnier, “poppier”, more attractive, more theatrical and less experimental than their self-titled debut album or their second release, No Waves.

Still looking back at their past and not fearing to change, this last chapter is their most ambitious and promising album. Odd Size Baggage not only presents beautiful electro pop moments (Shadow of Things, Down by Flow or the highly recommendable aesthetical ambient Long Tongue), but as well some other incursions to other electronic lands (the “trip-hopster”, groovy Curl Like a Cannon Ball, the 120 mph rockin’ beats of 2 Night (U & I), the loopy spoken word fat beats of That’s Me Man, Half a Man,…..).

With No Waves, their 2004 album, came the international recognition. After winning the Qwartz Electronic Music Award for Best Album and Best Video, they saw John Peel considering their album one of the most exciting releases that year. If recent years looked this way, the future ahead of Micro Audio Waves can only look brighter. After all, they just got nominated for the Qwartz 2008 edition.

This is Odd Size Baggage, a trunk carrying a total of 12 fine tracks. I already checked it in. What about you?

Get the album right here.

And in the end, a superb desert, the video for the track 2 Night (U & I).


posted by SKL @ 8:08 AM   0 comments
Wednesday, November 14, 2007
Estilhacos by Adolfo Luxuria Canibal and Antonio Rafael (PT)
Estilhacos just made it to my desk a couple of weeks ago, even though it was released several months ago. Finally I'm able to review another chapter on the works of Adolfo Luxuria Canibal (Mao Morta and Mecanosphere).

Mao Morta’s lead man is back to the records, this time with Antonio Rafael (out of Mao Morta as well). Estilhacos reflects the show these two artists took on stage some months ago, first on Teatro do Campo Alegre, Oporto, and later, throughout the country.

Four years ago, Adolfo Luxuria Canibal released the poem collection Estilhacos on Quasi Edicoes. These, recently came to life, now dressed in black, sorrow and pain. Adolfo’s voice is darker than before, even scary sometimes. Antonio Rafael, on the side, is behind the darkened tones, the scary alleys, the sad textures, the agony and the breath taking melancholic tales. On the piano, synths or computer, all the words by Adolfo are taken, step by step, on a tour through the deep and saturated backgrounds created by the other lost soul on this dark novel.

Classical, experimental and pop. This is Estilhacos, the spoken word tales by Adolfo Luxuria Canibal and Antonio Rafael.

De estrelas nada sei
Noite Transfigurada
A filha surda
O tempo que passa
Braga, meu amor

We strongly recommend you to buy this album. Get in one of these two stores

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posted by SKL @ 1:30 PM   0 comments
Tuesday, November 13, 2007
Norton's Kersche (PT)
Kersche [Kér-sxe]


1. "Word that had origin in a studio night, where names were set loose.

Apparently a meaningless word. Involved in the design of the record and in the aesthetic of the sound, gaining crystal form, polished diamond, transparent...."

Some come up with fictitious languages; others come up with new words. These Castelo Branco–based lads came up with Kersche for their latest album release.

After the release of the 2004 Pictures From Our Thoughts and 2005’s Frames > Remixes & Versions, the time was for change for Pedro, Rodolfo, Alexandre and Leonel. This change arrived with these 40 minutes 11 track long play (one hidden track).

Looking at the sound breezes that come galloping from the vast icy Scandinavian lands, Norton pulled up their sleeves, worked hard, and delivered here their best album so far. Beautiful songs, all sung in English (Our June and Lowlands are instrumental), embodied in silky textures with scents of pop and rock music, drunk in lo-fi ambient electronic backgrounds, surrounded by warm synth-driven melodies and cold Icelandic post-rock winds. Delicate, morning-wake up look-alike vocals, fragile chorus, happy singing guitar strings and those tiny piano notes dropping so smoothly do the rest, perfuming this Kersche so intensively.

This is an album that reveals itself every time you listen to it, stripping itself slowly. New sounds, details and melodies emerge every time you press play!!!

The album guests The Gift’s Nuno Goncalves, Jaguar’s Filipa Venancio, Starlux’s Joao Valente, Manuel Simoes and Joao Santos.

Come and discover Kersche. Listen to the melancholic swirls of Cinnamon & Wine (their first single), to the electro-pop orientated Spherical Hearts and to little pop pearl Pleased to Get Home. I Kersche, what about you!!!

Check them live on the following dates. For more details, just follow this link.

16th Nov. @ Sala Berlin, Zamora, Spain
22nd Nov. @ Sala Mercantil, Badajoz, Spain

Cinnamon & Wine (just follow the link)

The album, right here (cdgo)

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posted by SKL @ 2:06 PM   1 comments