Fumaça Preta: Fumaça Preta
A stunning South American psychedelia record from Alex Figueira
Hot on the stacked heels of Meridian Brothers, Soundway delivers another cracked vision of South American psychedelia. Fumaça Preta ('black smoke') is the studio project of Alex Figueira, a Portuguese-Venezualan producer based in Amsterdam. Stirring a range of Latin American and Afro-Caribbean influences into his psychedelic gumbo, Figueira creates something akin to the wiggier end of Tropicalia – Os Mutantes, Tom Ze – without descending into retro pastiche. While determinedly hi-fi, the album has something of the demented pop nous of Ariel Pink's early releases, with Figueira yelling and cackling through a prism of reverb and echo. Sounds drift in and out of the hallucinatory mix, from tripped-out percussion effects to meaty rock guitars and distorted saxophone. There are nods to psychedelic touchstones like Hendrix and Funkadelic, but 'Tire Sua Mascara' is more acid house than acid rock, with live percussion grooving around a glutinous synth line.