For those of you who live in New York City and dig for records or have traveled to the City to dig, you are familiar with Tropicalia In Furs. An East Village digger’s delight specializing in rare Brazilian records, it’s hard not to miss the owner Joel Stones. Friendly, knowledgeable, and a character, I was pleasantly surprised when this record was released and heard Joel was a part of it. Producer/ Percussionist Alex Figueira paired the legendary Brazilian DJ/ Record dealer with Stuart Carter & James Porchone, members of one of the UK’s funkiest outfits, The Grits. The result is the group Fumaça Preta aka Black Smoke. Equally influenced by the spirits of Os Mutantes, the Brazilian Psychedelic movement, early Parliament, and Cymande plus a healthy dose of fuzz guitar and thunderous drums, this boundary pushing 7″ is a two-sided monster. “A Bruxa”, a cover of The Sonics “The Witch” has Stones stepping up in front of the microphone for the first time (unbelievably) to belt out a cover of this important and influential early Punk/Proto Rock record (In Portuguese no less). Obviously influenced by the first real Garage/Punk band out of The Pacific Northwest, The Grits have previously released their own cover of The Sonic’s “Strychnine” on the Mocambo label. “A Bruxa” is a great twist. The man, the myth, the legend that is Joel Stones adds a voice that’s as colorful as his character this newly released 7″. The updated version of the tune is more than an homage: heavy, fuzzed out guitars paired with cracking drums and tape echo take you back to a time when Brazilians merged American Rock, their own Tropicalia, and psychedelic sounds to produce this raw, no holds barred music. Back then it was a revolution, and this record keeps that revolution going. The side embodies the sound of the past (the Sonics raw energy and Brazil’s Psych movement rolled into one and then some) and keeps it alive today. Recorded in five hours at the Barracão Studio, the music movement of Fumaça Preta begins.
The flip side “Loco”, is am improvisational journey through multiple genres. Samba, Dub, and Funk are prominently showcased through the use of various analog equipment. Heavy drums and bass along with some great percussion, special effects and added vocals by Stone take you to another place and time. Short and sweet, the record label recommends that you listen to this tune with the light on. It is a bit crazy, but crazy in a good way. Bordering on a Psychedelic/Acid/Funk trip, “Loco” is the perfect soundtrack if you’re at the height of what ever trip you’re on.
Music with Soul is based of of Amsterdam with strong ties to Lisbon, and has a penchant for funky grooves and ethnical sounds. Having released a few sides from The Grits, The Slackers, The Ratazanas, and now Fumaça Preta, this label is one to watch out for. With a limited production of 600 pieces, this record is not going to last long. For fans of fuzzy Funk, Brazilian Psych, and heavy sounds, this 7″ is for you. Watch out for the witch jack.
Hear samples of both sides of the record:
If you want to buy a copy of this record from Music with Soul, go here.