Guerrinha: Cidade Grande LP
Brilliantly unclassifiable ambient midi-jazz salvo from Brazil’s Gabriel Guerra aka Guerrinha - member of PAN/Future Times' Lifted ensemble and lynchpin of the Rio De Janeiro underground. Very highly recommended noir sleaze x fantasy lounge music somewhere on the spectrum between Gigi Masin, Spencer Clark, 0PN, Flanger and Koji Kondo’s iconic video game soundtracks.
Deployed as the third release on the expertly curated confuso editions, ‘Cidade Grande’ sees Guerra unfurl an immersive and deeply enveloping variant of lounge jazz noir intersecting Japanese city pop, classic video game soundtracks and future-primitive kosmische signatures in a way that defies easy categorisation. Guerrinha colours outside the lines in swirling, exquisitely trippy designs that are as easy on the ears are they are hard to fully fathom over a single sitting.
Mirroring a strain of jazz music’s evolution from sophisticate lounge soundtrack to more psychedelic lustre when musicians found acid and Brazilian styles in the ‘60s, Guerrinha slants the paradigm thru the prism of late ‘80s midi with a c.21st suss that coolly echoes hauntological takes from Spencer Clark & James Ferraro to Leyland Kirby, and Eli Keszler’s electro-acoustic jazz proprioceptions, as much as emotive Kenji Kawai soundtracks. There's a complete lack of cynicism in his approach, and dense, hypnotic tracks like 'Venda Casada Village' and the moving 'Kafta Hoje' sound so completely straight-faced it's impossible not to respect the flex.
It’s a hugely trippy listen, at once calming and eerily evocative, with a wipe-clean palette of deft midi orchestrations that conjure flashbacks to soundtracks for everything from Twin Peaks to Sharky & George or Patlabor, but with more opalescent depth, dancing around motifs in holographic designs that mark the uncanny valley of perception.
Truly one of the oddest, most beguiling records we've heard in months, no doubt.