Album review: Psychedelic Pernambuco

Look no further for that leftfield, uber-cool summer soundtrack for your next BBQ - this collection of 1960s-80s Brazilian psych-folk is dazzling and atmospheric.

During Brazil’s 21-year military dictatorship, the city of Recife, far from Rio, was the foundry of a sparkling underground music scene.

A cadre of socially conscientious musicians, strongly influenced by ‘60s psychedelia from Britain and the US as well as visits to India and Morocco, were creating a sprawling psych-folk scene – and this 19-track document of its hedonistic vanguard is a goldmine.

Geraldo Azevedo and Al�eu Valen�a’s breathless guitar-and-tambourine ditty 78 Rotacoes is like a sexualised Devendra Banhart offcut – exciting and otherworldly.

Crisp washboard cracks slice through a psychedelic miasma of Indian sitars and Moroccan flutes in Lula C�rtes’ instrumental Nordeste Oriental, while experimental collectives wigged out.


You may also want to watch:


Despite varying audio quality, these recordings exude a smoky vitality and offer a rare glimpse into Brazil’s musical otherworld.

4 stars

Most Read

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter