Tame Impala and Goat have seen psych from Australia and Sweden make a impact globally, now it’s Brazil’s turn as Boogarins step up to yet again show that what was once dismissed as a 60s thing, is in fact a flourishing, international sound. With the their new single 6000 dias out now (listen below), a UK date at London’s Old Blue Last on 29 October and second album Manual out on 30 October, Benke Ferraz from the band explains how the psych scene in Brazil has evolved.
It’s kind of strange when thinking about the origins and history of Brazilian psych music. You see, many of the best-known bands and musicians from our country that are associated with the genre don’t really even come across as psychedelic to me, as their feelings and vibe seem lighter than what is normally considered ‘60s psych-rock. Of course, our first exposure to artists like Os Mutantes, Gilberto Gil, Caetano Veloso, and Secos e Molhados was through our parents and other adults. While these are all well-known names here in our country, and are great and important artists, they were also a gateway for us to want to dig deeper. From there, we started using the internet to discover all sorts of obscure Brazilian sounds.
I remember how happy I was to hear Ronnie Von’s album from 1968 for the first time on a blog called Brazilian Nuggets (obviously named after the great American comp series, Nuggets: Original Artyfacts from the First Psychedelic Era). This blog was really amazing and led to my discovery of a lot of private press and forgotten music from the 60s and 70s.
Brazil is a huge country with many different cultures and rhythms, so we’re not just talking about rock music. Quarteto Nova Era’s Apolo (recently reissued by Groovie Records), Walter Franco’s Revolver, Krishnanda by Pedro Santos, and Milton Nascimento’s 1970 album with Som Imaginario (which is as strong as his Clube da Esquina LP from 1972) are all incredible.
As far as modern psychedelia, the greatest Brazilian name of the 2000s is arguably Jupiter Maçã (listed as Jupiter Apple on his English releases). My bandmate Fernando “Dino” Almeida and I started listening to him – and playing his songs – during high school. Jupiter is a genius and a true chameleon, but through all of his phases you’ll always find great deep and experimental pop-oriented songwriting in both his lyrics and music.
It’s also worthwhile checking out all of Lê Almeida’s discography, and I definitely have to mention Carne Doce, who is a band from our hometown, Goiânia. Their self-titled debut album is fantastic. Also, Supercordas is putting out a new album this year and we played on it. You should also listen to Cidadão Instigado, who just released Fortaleza, which is probably the only Brazilian prog-rock album you’ll hear this year. Of course, there’s Lupe de Lupe, Fujimo, Luziluzia, Kastelijns, Negro Leo and Ava Rocha – all of these artists work in ways that people call “psych”, not necessarily as a music genre, however, but rather their methods of writing, producing and recording. Psych is psych, by it’s way of making people feel.
Boogarins were lucky to have our first album released internationally, but outside of Brazil it seemed like our influences were frequently being associated with Tropicalia, in a generic sort of way. So try to forget that word, and you’ll be able to discover even more great and interesting Brazilian music.
For more head to Boogarins.com.