Friday 26 January 2018

Bruno Verner at Against the Slow Cancellation of the Future - Center For Cultural Studies, Goldsmiths University.

Against the Slow Cancellation of the Future - CCS MA conference at the Centre of Cultural Studies, Goldsmiths - University of London.

An anti-disciplinary conference organized by the MA students of the Centre for Cultural Studies (CCS), Goldsmiths, University of London. 
It seems at once obvious and naïve that we look to the future when considering the transformation of society as a project in which we ourselves take part. Though the questioning of the unbridled futurity of modernism is undoubtedly important, we now find ourselves at a point in which forward-looking, transformative or utopian projects are increasingly hard to even imagine.
Our frame of reference is Franco “Bifo” Berardi’s “slow cancellation of the future”, which we in the same breath proclaim our opposition to. Mark Fisher reminds us that its meaning “is not only that sense of termination, but [also] the gradual nature of it”; the future not having been unashamedly ripped from our grasp, but rather stolen away silently, piece by piece.
We are not so presumptuous as to declare the slow cancellation of the future a completed process. Indeed it is perhaps in the very moment at which we accept the definitive conclusion of this project – thus admitting it ourselves – that the future truly ceases to exist. And this is precisely why we meet: to discuss what we might do as activists, thinkers, groups and initiatives, against the slow cancellation of the future.
Bruno Verner // No Nights: Post Punk, Death Sambas and Other Transitions in Brazil

Franco ‘Bifo’ Berardi, describes the year 1977 in ‘After the Future’ as a turning point in the history of culture, technology and philosophical thought with the abandonment of the illusions in relation to the ‘utopias of future’ and the arrival of a decade of intense modernization, privatization and functional spirit set by the neoliberal counter-revolution. This new world order signalized the inauguration of an exorbitant capitalist realist pervasive atmosphere on an international scale, altering processes of subjectivity around the world and affecting the forces of desire, creation and action.

Brazil did not escape these forces. However, it still trusted its “future” more than anything. In 1985, the country was emerging from a twenty-one-year repressive military dictatorship which curtailed the freedoms of its citizens and forced political & cultural actors into exile, radically transforming its public space. From the south perspective, therefore, the ‘end of history’ and consequently the ‘end of the future’ was never at hand. There was both trust and distrust and a constant interplay between these two narratives.

My paper is concerned with the investigation of sonic-politico and aesthetic overlooked manifestations of singularity in Brazilian post-punk. It explores how ‘underground’ post-punk practice and ethics were instrumental in forging an experimentalist and yet popular independent and interdisciplinary DIY culture by examining a constellation of voices, inflections, collective activisms and forms of musicality as it investigates distinct processes of subjectivation in the construction of a tropical, poetic and political black-latino-caboclo semiotics.

These modes of inventing and/or experiencing ‘new futures’ as horizons of expectation, hope or destruction - in utopian or dystopian versions - played a crucial role in the process of shaping a Brazilian cannibalistic post-tropicalist existential dilemma; one that became a recurrent theme [and an affect] which haunts Brazil’s collective social, musical, political and aesthetic imaginary to this day.


Bruno Verner is a composer, artist and writer, member of Brazilian duo Tetine (www.tetine.net). He has produced a number of albums including "Slum Dunk Presents Funk Carioca” (Mr Bongo 2004), "The Sexual Life of The Savages - Underground Post Punk from São Paulo" (Soul Jazz Records 2005), as well as "Let Your X’s be Y’s" (Soul Jazz Records 2008), From A Forest Near You (Slum Dunk 2010), "In Loveland With You" (Slum Dunk 2013) and "Tetine vs Sophie Calle" (Sulphur Records) amongst others. He has performed extensively in Europe and South American and has produced performance pieces, videos and installations with his partner Eliete Mejorado, also from Tetine.

Verner has been instrumental in bringing the Brazilian underground music scene to the attention of the UK through his radio show Slum Dunk on Resonance Fm 104.4 since the station’s inception. He has recently He has recently contributed with a chapter "40 Degrees in Black" for the book ‘Post Punk Then and Now’ edited by Mark Fisher, Gavin Butt and Kodwo Eshun, released by Repeater Books and is currently a PhD researcher in the Department of Visual Cultures at Goldsmiths University.

                               Black Future, ‘Eu Sou o Rio’, 1988


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Sunday 21 January 2018


Aqui Aqui / Aqui Aqui / Aqui Aqui/ Nada Ninguém / Quase Porem / Antes Além / Fome Sem Aqui Nada / Aqui Ninguém Aqui Quase / Aqui Porém / Aqui Antes / Aqui Além / Aqui Fome Aqui Sem  
[On the radio] 
Ergo em silêncio a cidade submersa / papéis sobre a mesa A cidade submersa 
[On the radio]
Pela cara ninguém sabe quem é o marginal / o ódio da gente nao sai no jornal. 
[On the radio] 
A minha, a minha vida é essa, subir Bahia, descer Floresta. 
A minha, a minha vida é essa, subir Bahia, descer Floresta. 
[I am I am I am your Auto / Your Automatic Lover] 
Apareça Erik Satie] 
Da Da Da Da Da Da Da Da Da Da Da Da.

Thomas Morus Dub / Aqui & Aqui - (Bruno Verner / Marcelo Dolabela) -1988

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Tuesday 9 January 2018

COLT 45 - Underground Post Punk, Tropical Tapes, Lo-Fi Electronics and Other Sounds from Brazil (1983-1993) [selected by Tetine]

COLT 45 - Underground Post Punk, Tropical Tapes, Lo-Fi Electronics and Other Sounds from Brazil (1983-1993) [selected by Tetine]

COLT 45 - Underground Post Punk, Tropical Tapes, Lo-Fi Electronics and Other Sounds from Brazil (1983-1993) is a new compilation of unorthodox Brazilian post punk underground sounds, featuring original music produced between 1983 and 1993 by iconic and obscure bands such as Divergência SocialistaR. MuttSaara SaaraVyzadoc MoeCity LimitsIndividual IndustryHarryIda & Os Voltas and O Grito Mudo.
Born out of the Slum Dunk radio sessions – hosted by Bruno Verner Eliete Mejorado of Tetine, aired on Resonance Fm 104.4 in London from 2002 to 2008 and their chapter '40 Degrees in Black' for the book 'Post Punk Then And Now' edited by the late influential music writer and cultural theorist Mark Fisher with Gavin Butt and Kodwo Eshun (Repeater 2016) - COLT 45 - Underground Post Punk, Tropical Tapes, Lo-Fi Electronics and Other Sounds from Brazil (1983-1993) gives continuity to previous efforts to document the lost history of Brazilian post-punk and electronic music from compilations such as The Sexual Life of The Savages, Underground Post Punk from São Paulo (Soul Jazz Records 2005) and Slum Dunk Presents Uncorrupted Tropical Wave1984-2011 (Slum Dunk Music 2011) both records compiled by Tetine.
This album explores an experimental post-tropicalist sensibility emerged in the early 80's with the arrival of independent art scenes in key Brazilian cities. Including 18 rare cuts taken from self-released cassette tapes, hard-to-find & out of print LPs, as well as unpublished archival material, COLT 45 features a collection of moody post punk, samba-noise, early synth-pop, dark disco-not-disco, new wave, tropical industrialism, electro-cabaret, cold wave and marginal poetry.
Developed around explosive countercultural DIY scenarios in cities such as Belo Horizonte, São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, Niteroi, Santos and Sorocaba, these sounds (and artists) inhabited local clubs, bars, record shops, small arthouse cinemas, second hand bookshops, thrift stores, artist spaces, alternative theatres, universities and student unions in their respective cities. These scenes created specific and autonomous spaces of possibility and experimentation and were, above all, fostered by a singular collision of sources and ideas from poetry, pop, visual arts, politics, performance-art, cabaret, feminism and the avant-garde, including the new possibilities of electronic music and dance culture.
Inspired by DIY ethics & energies emerged in the years of Brazil's political transition, following the country's period of 're-democratization' in 1985 after a twenty-one-year repressive military dictatorship, the artists in this compilation were in search of new modes of 'futurism' with a genuine and 'un-academic' interest in experimentation. Intersecting music, marginal poetry, art & politics, they've all incorporated and subverted ideas from modernist literature, DADA, critical theory, cinema and performance art by creating singular and discordant sonic universes we tried to recover in Colt 45. The result is an unusual output that troubled the centrality of today's canonical discourses of Tropicalism and the most traditional strands of the MPB (Brazilian popular music) of the time. In other words, a constellation of new voices that were at once political inventive, lyrical, naïve, dissent, surreal, camp, goth, minimalistic, electronic and tropical.
'There's no death', 'I build in silence a submerged city'… or 'The grenade is cheap in the parallel market / Did you understand the trap? / Beirut is nightmare / A laser gun, a colt 45 or X the best / Calling Mr x / 666 Jontex for Sex.
Check it out!
Bruno Verner, Oct London, 2017

Cover art: Eliete Mejorado / Produced by Bruno Verner at Mi Casa es Su Casa, Hackney, London 2017

Vzyadoq Moe 
Formed by Fausto Marthe on vocals, Marcelo Raymond on guitar, Marco Stefani on percussion, Degas Steffen on bass-guitar and Jacksan Moreira on guitar, Vzyadoq Moe is a post punk samba-noise outfit from Sorocaba, São Paulo producing expressionistic/occult-tinged sonic landscapes. Their music sits somewhere between the energies of garage-samba, industrial and angular post punk. Dubbed as 'hard macumba' Vzyadoq Moe makes use of a peculiar percussive set made of tin cans, brass and metal plates. Its raw and dry sounds became their trademark. The band's first album O Ápice, was recorded in 1987 and produced by Jose Augusto Lemos of São Paulo's electronic trio Chance (see The Sexual Life of The Savages for further info) and released in early 1988 on Wop Bop records.
Vzyadoq Moe has performed throughout Brazil. They played in most of São Paulo's underground clubs and cultural centres such as Teatro Mambembe, Centro Cultural SP, Espaço Retrô, Dama Shock, Projeto SP, Aeroanta, Der Temple, The Clash, Sesc Pompéia amongst others. Their music has also been performed in TV's shows (Metrópolis, Fanzine and MTV). It was reviewed in magazines and fanzines around Brazil, including an article written by Biron Coley for American magazine Spin.
For Colt 45 we chose three distinct moments from Vzyadoq Moe's debut LP. They are the opening track Não Há Morte (There is No Death), a gloomy expressionist post-punk samba delivered by Fausto Marthe's preacher-like vocals over an echo-drenched semi-distorted bass line. Their sonic assault includes elegant distorted guitar riffs, an industrial 'school of samba' tribal dry percussion and other reverberations. The second track is Desejo em Chamas (Burning Desire), an experimental slow piece with abstract spoken word anti-vocals and the third one, O Incerto (The Uncertain), a math dirty-rock with a tight and punchy atmosphere reminiscent of Mercenárias punkiest moments.

   Vzyadoq Moe, 1988 - pic by Angelo Pastorello
Divergência Socialista
Formed in 1983, Divergência Socialista is a post-punk/electronic-DADA Marxist-minimal outfit from Belo Horizonte. Led by poet Marcelo Dolabela (vocals, Dada tapes & texts), new wave diva Silma Bijoux O'hara on vocals and occasional keybords and including various musicians from other underground bands/collectives from Belo Horizonte such as Rubinho Troll (Sexo Explícito), Bruno Verner (R. MuttIda & Os VoltasTetine), Marompas (Sexo Explícito), Gatto Jair (O Último Número), John (Sexo ExplícitoÚltimo Número / Pato Fú), Aleca A. de Alexandria (Ida & Os Voltas / Albania Berg), photographer Fabiana Figueredo (a.k.a Fabiana Andropov) and over the next decades with Délio Esteves, Ana Gusmão, Francesco Napoli, Dota amongst others. Divergência Socialista produced one of the most unusual and experimental verbo-sonic-visual combinations of the time, fusing anti-music, disco-not-disco, queer-electropop, marginal poetry, electro-sambas and canções. The band had two classic line ups in the 1980's: a first phase dedicated to text-based anti-music, DADA tapes, noise and other experimentalisms and a second line up more into disco-not-disco, queer avant-pop, atonalisms, synth-punk & electro-sambas. In this phase, the band began making use of electronic instrumentation incorporating drum machines, cheap synths, tape recorders, a sequencer and a sampler to their sounds.
Divergência Socialista's post-tropicalist sonic assaults were at once experimental, synthetic, queer, noisy, politico-subversive, marginal and 'intertextual'; at times sounding-like a solar cross between early Cabaret Voltaire, Tom Zé, Os Mutantes and May East with a penchant for dystopian electronic landscapes (through Kraftwerk toGeorgio Moroder, and female vocals reminiscent of Dee Dee Jackson or The B52's.
For Colt 45 we chose four distinct moments of Divergência's extensive repertoire. They are the tribal post-punk meets DADA music of Fahenheit 451 / Jeanne Seberg and the grenade Casio-driven twisted anti-pop of Colt 45, both cuts taken from their first cassette tape Christine Killer released by Cambio Negro; followed by the luminous disco-not-disco/electro-utopia of Thomas Morus Dub/ Aqui & Aqui and the swaying synth-samba Maysa/Mother 851, both pieces taken from the second tape Lilith Lunaire, released by Bomb.
Divergência Socialista came from a prolific underground post punk/art scene that emerged in the early 1980's, comprised of communal and iconoclastic groups /collectives such as Sexo Explicito, O Último Número, R.Mutt, Ida & Os Voltas, Hosana nas Alturas, Os Contras, O Grande Ah!, Alma Ciborg, Xiitas, Sylvia Klein, Virna Lisi, Coevos, O Grito Mudo, Crime-Opera, Virus Mundanus, Sebastian in Sapce, Habitantes, Clay Regazzoni, Sustados Por um Gesto, Corpo Delito, as well as, experimental filmmakers makers such as Aron Feldman, Cao Guimarães, Patricia Moran, Lucas Bambozzi, Rodrigo Minelli; performance artists and dancers Marcelo Gabriel (Companhia de Dança Burra), Adriana Banana, Roberto Soares, Andréia Dario, Bel Lima and visual artists such as Marta Neves, Adriane Puresa (Pupu), Eri Gomes, Didico, Clo Paolielo, Julio Dui, Jimmy Leroy, Gloria Campos, Adriana Leão, Solange Pessoa, Marco Paulo Rolla, Agnaldo Pinho amongst many others

   Divergencia Socialista / Lilith Lunaire pic by Suzi Miranda

  Divergencia Socilaista / Christine Killer live at Complexo B, BH 1986

    Divergencia Socialista, live at DCE Ufmg, 1988

Saara Saara
Saara Saara is an electronic duo formed in 1985 in Niteroi, Rio de Janeiro by Servio Tulio (vocals, effects and programming) and Raul Rachid (machines, keyboards and programming). The duo gained cult status in Rio's post punk/electronic underground scene of the mid 1980's alongside bands such as Black Future, Régua, Urge, Kasbah, Raubvogel amongst others.
Saara Saara's atmospheric & electronic cabaret combined synth-pop, tape manipulation, elements of kraut and melodic & harmonic orientalisms with ironic & smart processed vocals. Servio Tulio and Raul Rachid wrote dystopian futuristic-surrealistic electronic tales with titles such as Vírus de SíriusEclipse LunarDoktor Frtiz and Musik, with influences ranging from artists such as The Residents through early cabaret. The duo produced two brilliant cassette tapes before disbanding in the late 1980's.
Saara Saara reformed in 2004 and after a short comeback they released their first and only album Sucessos Que O Mundo Esqueceu [Hits That The World Forgot] on Astronauta Discos. We chose two distinct moments from them. They are the underground micro-hits X and Carta Corrente, both tracks taken from their first tape Saara Saara 1.

   Saara Saara, Raul Rachid and Servio Tulio -
R. Mutt
R. Mutt was an experimental post punk / electronic outfit formed in 1986 in Belo Horizonte by Bruno Verner on vocals, guitar, keyboards/electronics (also on Divergência Socialista, Ida & os Voltas, Sebastian in Space), Karla Xavier (of Akt) on vocals and keyboards, Bernardo Rennó (Ida & Os VoltasO Grito Mudo) on drums, keyboards, electronics, Marcos Barreto Basho (also on Cuevos) and Frederico Pessoa (also on Ida & Os voltas and bass player on the first line-up). Making use of drum machines, sequencers and samplers, R. Mutt's dystopian post-punk combined electronic instrumentation, female and male half-spoken/half-sung vocals, folk introspection with dark basslines and glacial soundscapes. Part of the same post punk scene of groups such as Divergência Socialista, Ida & Os Voltas, Sexo Explicito, O Ultimo Número, Hosana Nas Alturas, Xiitas and Alma Ciborg, the band performed in several underground bars, clubs and auditoriums, playing shows in São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, Belo Horizonte & Juiz de Fora in venues such as Complexo B, Crepúsculo dos Deuses, DCE, Icbeu, Madame Satã, Espaço Retrô, Sesc Pompeia, Cenário among others.
R. Mutt released two cassette tapes only. We chose three distinct moments from the band. They are the industrial atmospheric and improvised dub-landscapes of Versus, followed by A Terça Parte (The Third Part) - a tight synth-driven post-punk piece with hysterical vocals and gated drums and the dystopian post-tropicalism of Peixes (Fishes). All tracks were taken from the tape R. Mutt 2 (1986). The group disbanded in 1989 with Bruno Verner later forming Um ou NãoTetine with artist Eliete Mejorado in the early 1990's in São Paulo and vocalist and keyboard player Karla Xavier, forming the all-female outfit Akt with Sandra Coutinho from Mercenárias, Biba Meira (Defalla) and Dequinha (Bruhaha Babélico).

   Poster, R Mutt, live at Cabaret Mineiro, Belo Horizonte 1986

 R. Mutt , Karla Xavier, Bruno Verner, Marcos Basho, Bernardo Rennó, Bh 1986

Individual Industry
Individual Industry was formed in 1987 by keyboard player and Cri Du Chat Disques founder Alexandre Twin. Between 1987-90, ten demotapes were recorded by Alexandre on his own. In 1990 Maurizio Bonito and Lilian Vaz (of City Limits) joined the band and released the cassette tape Apology, following the launch of Paradise included in the compilation Minimal Synthetics - Volume 1 (Cri Du Chat Disques). Their first album Templum Probus was released both in Brazil and in German by Subtronic. The record was well received in underground scenes of Brazil and Europe with some of its songs playing exhaustively in radio stations in Belgium, Portugal and France.
In the mid 1990's vocalist Daniyela Gato joined the band and they put out their second release Ice Water produced by Roberto Verta from Harry.
For Colt 45 we chose Eyes - a dark and icy piece of ethereal electro pop with beautiful nostalgic vocals and a potent contradictory solar and swing(ed) synth-bass. Individual Industry is still in activity, led by Alexandre Twin and Mauricio Bonito in collaboration with guest vocalists. They have released a new album on Wave Records and collaborated with Carine Grieg and Ambrose Reynolds from Liverpool post punk legends Pink Industry.

   Individual Industry - w/ Alex Twin, Maurizio Bonito, Lilian Vaz
Ida & Os Voltas
Formed in Belo Horizonte in late 1985 by artist Ida Feldman on vocals (later also on Alma CyborgI love Miami), the daughter of legendary Brazilian experimental filmmaker Aron Feldman - with Bruno Verner (on guitars, casiotone and bass), Frederico Pessoa (bass, guitar and keys) and Bernardo Rennó (drums and casiotone), Ida & Os Voltas were a new wave, elctro-pop quartet that produced music with casiotones and cheap drum machines. The band gained an underground cult status in Belo Horizonte in the mid 1980's performing in local bars, clubs, universities and festivals. Ida & Os Voltas'music was also frequently played on the local alternative radio station Radio Liberdade. For Colt 45 we chose two of their micro-hit tracks: They are Jovens Raptados (Kidnaped Youth) and Cadê A Embaixatriz (Where is The Empress) both taken from their only cassette tape release entitled Samambaias Voadoras (Flying Ferns) from 1986. The band disbanded in 1988.

   Ida & Os Voltas (1986) pic by Aron Feldamn

   Ida & Os Volta e Artigo 12, Crespulo Dos Deuses, 1987

O Grito Mudo
O Grito Mudo was a parallel electronic studio-project formed by Bruno Verner in 1985 to produce his own experimental electronic pieces. In 1987 Bernardo Rennó joined the group and the two musicians started a series of improvised (one-take) live-recordings at Sexo Explicito's music studio located at Rua Jaspe in the traditional borough of Santa Tereza in Belo Horizonte. The duo used an old Yamaha drum machine, a collectively bought Roland SH101 (also used by Ida & os Voltas and R.Mutt) and a CASIO CZ 3000. These recording sessions were made in the early hours when there was no one around in the studio.
O Grito Mudo produced three emblematic cassette tapes combining electronica, dark wave, noise and atonalism. Their second tape was called Mulata Urbana and was entirely recorded in one these 'unauthorized' recording sessions. We chose their homonymous track Mulata Urbana; a synthetic and glacial Kraftwerkian lo-fi piece of tropical melancholia from 1987.

Grito Mudo, Bruno Verner 1986

Formed in 1985 in Santos, Latin America's largest seaport city, 10 miles away from Cubatão, one of the most polluted regions on earth, Harry had several different line ups along their trajectory. The first line up with late Johnny Hansen on guitars and vocals, Cesar Di Giacomo on drums, Ricard Krauss Johnsson and Renato Grillo on bass. In 1986 Denise Tesluki joined the band and Harry releases their first EP Caos on Wop Bop produced by Roberto Verta who later would become an official member. With Denise's departure, the band intensified the use of electronic elements by bringing a Poly 800 along drum machines, sequencers and samplers to their music. By 1987 Harry become an electronic band combining elements of synthpop, industrial and minimalism, releasing an acclaimed second album all sung in English entitled Fairy Tales.
For Colt 45 we chose Blood And Shame - an industrial electronic landscape with samples of Denise's vocals. The song was taken from their first EP Caos. Except for a programmed drum machine (an original Linn Drum) all the other electronic instrumentation in Blood and Shame was played in real time by Johnsson and Verta.

   Harry - picture from the Caos LP, 1987
City Limits
City Limits was formed in São Vicente, São Paulo by Lilian Vaz (also of Sicilian Unit /Uniglory, Burkina Fasso, Individual Industry) and Paulo Gabrielleschi (also of Sicilian Unit /Uniglory) in 1987. Initially conceived as an experimental duo that made use of found sounds, voices, sound objects and guitars, the band produced notoriously experimental/noise echo-drenched soundscapes in their early cassette tapes.
City Limits performed at the prestigious Festival De Música Novain Santos, took part in compilations such as Minimal Synthetics V 2(Cri Du Chat Disques) and had an album entitled First released on German's Subtronic Records from Dortmund. Some years later Fabio de Castro (guitar) and Marcelo Andrei also joined the band for shows and recordings.
For Colt 45 we chose their classic electronic pop Evening- a tight synth-driven dark piece produced by Hansen (of Harry), featuring Lilian's beautiful and melancholic vocals over a programmed synth-bass and distorted guitars.

City Limits w/ Paulo Gabrielleschi, Fabio de Castro, Marcelo Andrei, Lilian Vaz

   City Limits - Lilian Vaz and Paulo Gabrielleschi, Sao Vicente, Sao Paulo (1988)
"... it’s certainly only a small piece of a much larger picture of Brazilian music in the 1980s—Verner is careful to note that the scene represented here is one of at least three concurrent movements in São Paulo alone, not to mention what was happening in Rio de Janeiro and other cities. But considering the fact that most of this music was recorded for independent labels that have long since folded, its availability—and impressively remastered sound—in itself is truly remarkable."
Scott Hreha, Pop Matters
"These days, with post-punk narrowing down to describe a pretty rigid sphere, it's a treat to hear how that anything-goes worked somewhere else-- with a selection of tracks as exciting as any English reissue you might dig up. Back to home"
Nitsuh Abebe, Pitchfork

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