“10 anos Bodyspace” is a compilation released through Optimus Discos celebrating 10 years of Bodyspace, a Portuguese webzine dedicated to music. Ten years is a long time for a webzine to be around, and Bodyspace has become somewhat of a reference in Portugal.
Optimus Discos is a free music platform tied to Optimus, one of the 3 big mobile telecommunication companies in Portugal. There is a big focus on supporting music events from mobile telecommunication companies in Portugal, mostly by being involved in the organization of summer music festivals. In 2009 Optimus also launched an initiative to make their records (of relatively famous Portuguese artists) available free for download on their platform. They are basically operating as a netlabel, without calling themselves a netlabel.
Considering the quality of both projects I was quite curious to check out this compilation which consists of 10 tracks, all of them collaborations between two different Portuguese music acts.
Stereoboy & Emma Curl – Little Secret
After giving it a couple of listens I must say I’m disappointed with the outcome. The tracks are good but they don’t fit together at all. Some might argue that that is the point of compilations; to showcase different artists and aesthetics, and in that case I guess it works. But as a record it doesn’t bring much replay value to me.
Taking a closer analysis at the different tracks, all of them sound quite well produced. Track 1 by Stereoboy & Emma Curl “Little Secret” mixes the delightful indie pop vocals of Emma with some nicely produced electronics, putting together an uplifting tone in a well structured indie pop track.
Track 2 by Memória de Peixe & Octa Push retains a certain indie pop feeling and introduces some folk sounds and guitar motions, and if you know the sound of the individual authors you are left wondering just where Octa Push is to be found in this track. “Marraquexe” by Black Bombaim & Rodrigo Amado takes you into the sludge stoner sounds of Black Bombaim, complemented nicely by Rodrigo Amado’s saxophone.
Osso Vaidoso & Ghuna X breaks the mood back into the more cliché indie pop rock, with great vocals by Ana Deus, Ghuna X’s expected beats and bass sounds remain mostly illusive in the entire track, probably relegating his part of the collaboration to some background electronics. Track number 5 by RA & Jibóia brings the sounds Ghuna X failed to deliver on the previous track, deep beats, electronic wanderings, but with a leading guitar driving home a track that feels like a borderline case of progressive industrial. DJ Ride & Capicua bring a more compact collaboration, DJ Ride dropping the beats for the lyricist Capicua to rap on.
“Pulse Modulated Blackness” is an electronic track by Photonz and Robert Foster with some reminiscence of repetitive techno house. Track 8 by Tiago Sousa & Tó Trips is an instrumental track of guitar and piano in a moving performance. Track 9 is a 13 minute electronic progressive ambient piece by Sensible Soccers & Blac Koyote. The last track of the compilation is titled “You can find a will in me to stay”, a track which manages to mix The Astroboy’s electronics with Old Jerusalem’s lament drifting vocals.
Overall the tracks are good and eclectic, which might work as a sampler but doesn’t really strike home with me for long-term replay value. Still, worth checking out if you’re looking to hear what Portuguese music talent sounds like. Some of these projects had released their tracks as netaudio before through Portuguese netlabels such as MiMi, Phonotactics, Merzbau and Cobra Digital.
Tiago Sousa & Tó Trips – A conquista do pão
Deep Link to Release Page