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.

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

4 stars

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