Soundway delivers another cracked vision of South American psychedelia... something akin to the wiggier end of Tropicalia – Os Mutantes, Tom Ze – without descending into retro pastiche.
The Active Listener
There is absolutely nothing pop about this record; not a single attempt to court the mainstream... this could wind up being not just one of the best psychedelic releases of 2014, but one of the best releases of the year, period. Bravo!
What comes out of this mix is far more extreme than what went in. The primal sounds on Fumaça Preta are gritty, freaky, steamy, and a hell of a lot of fun... fueled by acid-drenched effects, with Caribbean and Brazilian rhythms sifted through a cheesecloth of loopy Bahian grooves and Zappa-esque chamber music... The tunes on this record demand participation: if you can't dance to it, you're already dead.
A Deep throat organ over fuzzy funk drumming, then passionate ranting in Portuguese - Pupilas Dilatadas lays out its stall right from the start: a mad love for 1960s Braziian psych rock stirred up with European humour. The wild harmonized guitar chords remain unleashed till four minutes in, and the track is an impressive mix of discipline and righteous craziness. “Toda Pessoa” is even better, a concise and coolly configured mesh of bass and guitar lines strutting towards a chorus whose dumbness verges on perfection. The music shifts easily from pomp rock riffs to lounge moments, with space echo and other FX splashed generously about. Espelhos Fundidos is a casually brilliant throwaway: a high bassline, cello and bass clarinet taking turns on melody, while waves of insane laughter and echo crash over the top. This is record collection rock, if you like, but from people with very special collections. It’s amazing that the whole steaming, tropical concoction has emerged from a tiny Amsterdam studio.
Peny Black Music
If they were to be judged by their 45s, Fumaça Preta would debut as the possibly wildest sonic psychedelic punk novelty act on Earth. Those two singles, brilliant by any standard, held so much promise that the album in the making was believed unlikely to raise even more momentum. But by Jove, it does.Authenticity and guts meet together. Sloping rhythms line up against frantic riffs of joy. Leaning on a diversity of styles of music from Brasil, Venezuela, Londres and Amesterdão, Fumaça Preta's LP showcases today's full range of Latin-American music, as it clashes with garage punk, loud vallenato and also acid house and rock. The Portuguese language should hardly build barriers. Switching to a lower gear, this Latin Brit-Dutch brew, however, tastes smooth, spicy and rather superb... Fumaça Preta's overwhelming debut goes way beyond the sheer magnificence heard on their 45s on Amsterdam's Music With Soul label. It is likely to be 2014's biggest treat.