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15 de maio de 2010

Música alternativa mundial: Music Alliance Pact de maio

Quem acompanha o Meio Desligado regularmente já sabe que todo dia 15 é dia de novidades alternativas mundiais, mas como tenho certeza que nem todos conhecem o projeto, explico: a Music Alliance Pact é uma rede formada por cerca de 40 blogs de diferentes países, cada um deles focado (em diferentes níveis) na música produzida em seu país de origem. Todos os meses cada um dos membros escolhe uma música de um artista de seu país e a junção de todas as escolhidas é publicada em todos os blogs da rede no dia 15 de cada mês. Dessa forma, os artistas alternativos abrangidos pela MAP alcançam um público estimado em cerca de 250 mil pessoas em um único dia, resultado da soma da média de acesso diário dos blogs que fazem parte do projeto.

O Meio Desligado é o representante brasileiro e neste mês de maio o artista selecionado foi o belorizontino Renegado. Há quase três anos faço a produção do Renegado e nesse período, embora ele tenha vencido diversos prêmios, se apresentado e festivais e programas importantes e iniciado uma carreira internacional, poucas vezes escrevi sobre ele por considerar a relação produtor/crítico deveras tênue (e, por que não, quase anti-ética). Agora, momento em que abandono a produção dele e da também talentosa Aline Calixto, a proximidade já não é um problema.

Além disso, a presença de Renegado na coletânea se justifica não apenas pelo interessante trabalho de renovação do hip hop brasileiro que executa em seu trabalho, mas também pelo fato dele ser o maior artista independente de Minas Gerais na nova geração. Poucos são os artistas que, como ele, conseguem sintetizar a lógica deste projeto que é a Music Alliance Pact, propondo misturas, novidades e abandono de preconceitos.

Quem deixar o preconceito de lado e se aventurar pelas músicas presentes na MAP desse mês vai encontrar artistas bastante diferentes e que estimulam a busca por novidades além do mercado musical convencional. Ou, talvez, confirmar a vocação de alguns países em exportar novas bandas interessantes, como é o caso dos EUA com a divertida Sleigh Bells, principal hype indie das últimas semanas.

Este mês também temos duas curiosidades, uma boa e outra ruim. A boa (e engraçada) é que a banda escolhida para representar a suíça neste mês, a Bonaparte, também já foi a representante alemã meses atrás. Isso acontece porque a banda é formada por pessoas de vários países, incluindo, claro, o Brasil. Já a curiosidade ruim é que o blog Pop Cop, criador do Music Alliance Pact, foi tirado do ar pelo Google por supostamente violar os direitos autorais. O Pop Cop é basicamente uma versão escocesa do Meio Desligado, abordando a cena independente daquele país. A história envolvendo o Google, artistas independentes, direitos autorais e tretas digitais está aqui. Torço para que em breve a situação se resolva e o blog volte ao ar.

ALEMANHA: Blogpartei
L'egojazz - Ovatime
Jazz and sampling are the foundations L'egojazz is built on. These guys from the Bavarian Chiemgau draw their inspiration from many different genres such as electro, indie and drum and bass, and merge them to form an eclectic, improvisational sound. Ovatime is a piece of impulsive music with a funky touch that goes directly into your dancing shoes. The song is a Music Alliance Pact exclusive which shows their electronic side best.

ÁFRICA DO SUL: Musical Mover & Shaker!  
Megan C is a triple threat - a model, classically-trained vocalist and gifted actress. She teamed up with producer extraordinaire Ameen Harron for the song I Got It. It is a blend of slick, uptempo beats combined with MIA-esque rap, hip hop flavour and just a touch of electro to make a surefire dancefloor hit. Megan C is a force to reckoned with, keep an eye out for more from her.

ARGENTINA: Zonaindie 
This is the musical project of singer-songwriter-producer Diego Acosta. We've been following his evolution since the very beginning of our blog, so we're very fond of the folk-rock vibe, languid guitars and moaning vocals of Verdeoscuro's songs. This is his newest release after the departure of long-time partner Victoria Boano and it was released by a new netlabel called Fuego Amigo Discos.

Sydney's Cloud Control made a mark in blogging circles with their previous single, the unforgettable Gold Canary. This time I would like to highlight the track There's Nothing In The Water We Can't Fight, taken from their debut album Bliss Release. From a collection of indie gems, this track is the outstanding crown jewel that caught my attention with its amazing melodies, counter-melodies and lyrics. Bliss Release is truly an album for the 2010 indie-rock fan and I'm glad I got to hear this one early. 


BRASIL: Meio Desligado 
Direto do Alto Vera Cruz, favela de Belo Horizonte, Renegado vem se estabelecendo como um dos principais artistas do hip hop brasileiro e cada vez mais seguindo além do estilo. Com um conciso discurso social (fruto dos anos de trabalho à frente de uma Ong em sua comunidade), suas letras abordam as durezas da vida na pobreza com os prazeres de se aproveitar a vida. "Meu canto" é um ótimo exemplo disso, misturando samba e hip hop de forma muito mais estimulante do que a realizada por outros rappers alardeados por aí...

CANADÁ: I(Heart)Music 
Hannah Georgas' full-length debut, This Is Good, is chock-full of exceptionally good, radio-ready pop-rock. Few of the songs on it are as fun as the slyly naughty Bang Bang You're Dead, complete with its children's choir and chorus of "You're talking shhhh... 'bout me / I'm talking shhhh... 'bout you". If (or, more likely, when) Georgas breaks through in a big way, it'll be songs like this one that will help her do it.

CINGAPURA: I'm Waking Up To...  
Great Empty are an experimental, instrumental band. One of the most beautiful aspects of their music is the raw simplicity that lies at the heart of all their tunes. There is no need for grand opuses, or pitch-perfect production quality. I think flaw is their gift to the realm of music, to ache and bleed out the last vestiges of honest emotion beyond the limits of control. It is heartfelt music, something that's worth remembering and listening to.

CHILE: Super 45 
The long-awaited third record by Gepe will be released this month and is preceded by a suprising first single. Por La Ventana ("Through The Window") must be his poppiest song yet, but it comes from his personal understanding of what pop music is: the mixture of contradictory traditions converging to produce an easy-to-grasp sound. It may be a little upsetting for his hardcore fans but this isn’t the first time Gepe has bent his own rules, and it certainly won't be the last. 

CHINA: Wooozy 
X Is Y is a digital rock band from Shanghai with three French guys - G, Fabien and LON. Their first album was recorded in 2009 and you can download it by clicking here.

COLÔMBIA: Colombia Urbana  
Transporte are not afraid to experiment. Formed by Diana Navarro (vocals) and Juan Felipe Bastidas (drums, guitars, sequences), the duo mix live sounds with digital synths to create their electronic pop. 

CORÉIA DO SUL: Indieful ROK  
Vidulgi OoyoO (literally "Pigeon Milk") is one of Korea's finest shoegaze bands. They recently put out a split album with Chicago's bliss.city.east and it is scheduled for release in Europe and the US later this month. They wanted to apply their own textures to electronica, post-rock, psychedelic blues and more, and the result sounds better than ever. Goodnight Shining is an outstanding instrumental piece that'll make you want to stay in Vidulgi OoyoO's world of droning goodness for as long as possible.

DINAMARCA: All Scandinavian 
At the start of the year, Frank Ziyanak (The Wong Boys, Death To Frank Ziyanak and much more) launched a new website making a solid portion of his impressive musical output - remixes, full albums, demos and rarities - available for download on a "pay your respect" basis. Among the rarities is this remake of The Wong Boys' club-banging smash-hit Git Ur Fuk On, aimed at the Asian market as Git Ur Wong On.

INGLATERRA: The Daily Growl
Archie Bronson Outfit - Shark's Tooth
One of my favourite albums of the year so far is Archie Bronson Outfit's Coconut. It's a beast of an album, full of dirty, greasy, noisy rock thrills. And by that I don't mean lo-fi - with DFA man Tim Goldsworthy in the chair, it's pretty high-spec stuff with amped-up guitars, propulsive rhythms and carefully controlled noise explosions. If it sounds rough, it's meant to be that way. It's less about the tunes (though they are there), more the dark energy seething underneath the wall of sound. This is an album that you know wants to rock you, but you're always afraid that it's going to sneak up on your gyrating body and kick your head in. Exciting.

ESCÓCIA: The Pop Cop  
Sorren Maclean is a 20-year-old singer-songwriter who I recently came across while doing research for a feature on musicians from Scottish islands. Although Sorren lives in Glasgow, he grew up in Mull and still maintains strong ties with the island. His debut album won't be out until later in the year but we've got an exclusive sneak preview from it. You Shook is typical of Sorren's sound, driven by melody and harmonies and very easy on the ear.
ESPANHA: Oscuro Magazine  
Barcelona indie band Barbo created Matagigantes, an alternative rock album full of three-minute pop songs. Exilio En Yokohama speaks of the search for a personal retreat when you see everything around sink. Musically, they try to recover the fighting spirit of early U2, especially with the drum beat and guitar delays.

ESTADOS UNIDOS: I Guess I'm Floating  
All it took was a killer P-Funk sample to make Sleigh Bells the hottest new band of 2010. Their debut album, Treats, is hitting shelves in early June on M.I.A.'s N.E.E.T. label and Tell 'Em is the first official track we've tasted. It's like crack-sprinkled Andes thin mints. Absolutely delicious, intimidatingly addictive.

ESTÔNIA: Popop Picnic - Too Fast Picnic was formed in 2006 and features Rivo Jarvsoo (guitars, electronics), Andres Soosaar (guitars, other instruments) and Marju Taukar (vocals, keyboard, accordion). Flowing guitars mingle with electronic beats and treats, and the influence of '90s British shoegaze is not difficult to notice – Cocteau Twins, Slowdive, My Bloody Valentine, Chapterhouse are all there. The band released their debut album Winter Honey on local label Seksound in February. 

FINLÂNDIA: Glue Captain Cougar - Engagement Song For their second album, Captain Cougar came up with a history-related concept album telling the story of two people growing up on the heels of the Finnish independence and civil war in the early 20th century and emigrating for the never-to-be-found hope and glory of the American land. The cinematic music enhances the melancholy of the story with dense atmospherics and layers of instruments underneath the beautiful voice of Eva Louhivuouri, who acts as the narrator thanks to a collection of soft pop melodies. Early in the story, Engagement Song gives a break to the hard-working people in the rural community.

GRÉCIA: Mouxlaloulouda  
Sleepin Pillow - Silicone
Sleepin Pillow's philosophy is based on bringing together experimental, psychedelic rock along with Greek and Eastern traditional music. They create eerie yet familiar soundscapes while achieving a distinctive sound of their own to form an enveloping whole, with each overlapping texture or shifting tempo plunging the listener further into the darkness. Their album Superman's Blues is rewarding, thoughtful and challenging. It is an ambitious work of power, emotional depth and feeling, with vocals submerged under a claustrophobic blanket of guitars battling with drums.

ISLÂNDIA: I Love Icelandic Music
Who Knew - Sharpen The Knife
Who Knew is a six-piece indie power-pop band that produces catchy melodies and groovy beats. The band was formed by lead singer Armann Ingvi Armannson and backing vocalist and guitar player Baldur Helgi Snorrason in 2006. Sharpen The Knife is taken from debut album Bits And Pieces Of A Major Spectacle, which will be released in Europe on the German 101berlin label on May 21.

INDONÉSIA: Deathrockstar  
White Shoes & The Couples Company - Kampus Kemarau
White Shoes & The Couples Company's music make Indonesians feel proud. Heavily influenced by old Indonesian movies and '60s ballads, they spread the warm feeling of their vibrant, vintage pop tunes all around the world, even if most of the lyrics are in Bahasa Indonesia.

IRLANDA: Nialler9
Kill Krinkle Club - Airport
Justin Cummins and Elena Bergman are an Irish-Swedish duo who released a promising EP back in 2008. They've recently been recording material for their debut album in September (each track will be accompanied by a video) and Airport is one of the first missives available from it, showcasing Kill Krinkle Club's unique electronic/synth-pop sound.

ISRAEL: Metal Israel  
Desert - Letter Of Marque
The evocative mastery of classic dark power metal act Desert exports a majestically melodic, edgy onslaught laced with influences from Judas Priest to Deep Purple. They've shared the stage with Sabaton and Draconian and show formidable talent and promise. 

ITÁLIA: Polaroid  
Vermillion Sands - Miss My Gun
A single out on Fat Possum, an EP on Sacred Bones and now the debut album on Alien Snatch Records - Vermillion Sands may be from Italy but they really talk the international language of rock 'n' roll. Their songs are raw and catchy as hell. You could say they play garage pop with a folk vibe, but you just have to let yourself go and wildly dance. Anna Barattin's twangy voice will hypnotize you.

JAPÃO: JPOP Lover  
Tim & Puma Mimi is indie electro-pop group that consists of Tim (aka Christian Fischer) from Switzerland and Mimi (aka Michiko Hanawa) from Tokyo. They met in the Netherlands at a party in 2003. They are far away from each other but are connected via the internet, using Skype to record their tracks to deliver sweet and frisky tunes. 

MÉXICO: Red Bull PanameriKa  
Carla Morrison - Buena Malicia
Carla Morrison is a beautiful voice in Mexico's new music scene. Emerging from Baja California in 2009, Carla has touched audiences with just a piano, a guitar and her voice, which seems to melt down every soul that dares to listen to it live. Sweet and haunting, her sound is engaging but, more than anything, it's moving. Buena Malicia is taken from her first EP titled Aprendiendo a Aprender. Carla is recording a follow-up with fellow singer (and fan) Natalia Lafourcade, which will go by the name Mientras Tu Dormias. 

HOLANDA: Amsterdam Event Guide  
Zea - Song For Electricity
Zea's music draws influence from all over the world, and this entry especially is a mish-mash number inspired by an Ethiopian track taken from a recent tour through the country. Tribal beats with fast-paced indie-pop guitars merge with high-pitched electronics to create a messy, "wonderfully bonkers" pop number. File Zea in your collection with other eclectic, world-pop big-wigs MIA, Vampire Weekend and Animal Collective.

NOVA ZELÂNDIA: Counting The Beat  
Take teenage angst and energy, pounding drums, speedy riffs, frenetic lead guitar, a hyper vocalist who spits her lyrics rather than sings, songs that duck and dive rather than take a linear path from go to whoa, turn up the treble and approach the whole thing with the aim of having fun. That's Bandicoot. Silence Is Golden is from their second EP Jurassic Warfare and it ticks all those boxes. Jurassic Warfare, along with free 2009 EP Happy Talking are available from Muzai Records

PERU: SoTB  
Mi Perro Poodle Tiene Pulgas Negras exudes creativity both in its hypnotizing, pleasant melody and its lyrics. The minimalism mixes with nostalgia to tell a strange story - the pains and habits of a dog called Poodle. The lyrics seem to make no sense, but in fact the use of metaphors explain and criticize the current society and some dark extracts of Peruvian life.

Rodrigo Gomes and Filipe Campos are Soulbizness, a duo deeply influenced by funk, soul and electronic dance music. They won the first music contest in which they participated, in 2007. In 2008, they released their first EP, Collectables, and soon had a single on a major TV series. 2nd Shake is their second EP, released this last April, and Victimless Crime is one of its four tracks. 

ROMÊNIA: Babylon Noise 
"From now on, no one is safe, nothing is for sure," announced Discoballs - a 100% live electronic group from Bucharest - at the beginning of 2008. They were very well received by the public because such a project was missing from the music scene and because they are really good at what they're doing - playing constantly with sound and managing to make incredible music every time they're on stage. Here's one of the few tracks they've recorded. 

SUÉCIA: Swedesplease  
Big Fox (aka Charlotta Perers) accomplishes her sound mostly by herself playing all the instruments, and doing the production/arranging of the songs. You would think that Saturday would be an uptempo pop song about partying, but instead is a slightly melancholy (yet positive) song about being home alone on a Saturday night. Charlotta admits to being influenced by Feist, Regina Spektor, Frida Hyvonen, Jenny Wilson and Ane Brun but her sound stands out on its own at the same time.

SUÍÇA: 78s
Bonaparte is a multicultural music project based in Berlin. However, the band leader, Tobias Jundt aka Signorino TJ, is a Swiss musician and producer who has gathered members from Germany, France, USA, New Zealand, Mexico, Panama, Austria and Brazil. Together they're putting on an unforgettable show. At the beginning of their energetic and witty live shows everyone is dressed like circus animals. At the end, almost everyone is naked. Bonaparte's music is contagious as hell and will get you in the end. Their second long-player, My Horse Likes You, comes out on June 4.

VENEZUELA: Barquisimento  
Famasloop is a young band with a new approach to music, combining fresh, innovative rhythms with a marketing campaign full of multimedia elements that match their energy. They go from pop to rock and indie, and claim to make music not from genres but from the heart. Vaca Lechera is taken from Casa 4, a release that includes 10 new songs, 12 remixes and four videos.

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