Bruno Verner is best known as one half of Brazilian punk-funk / electro duo Tetine, but prior to that he spent two decades working amongst Brazil’s post-punk and industrial scenes as a member of numerous bands including R. Mutt, Divergencia Socialista and O Grito Mudo (all of which appear amongst the tracklisting here).
In many senses this download only compilation ‘Colt 45’ (subtitled ‘Underground Post-Punk Tropical Tapes, Lo Fi Electronics and Other Sounds From Brazil 1983-1993).’ carries on directly from the Slum Dunk radio show that Verner hosted alongside Tetine co-conspirator Eliete Mejorado on London’s Resonance FM from 2002 to 2008 and presents 18 rare tracks taken from self-released cassettes and out of print LPs, all created during a period of political transition as Brazil emerged from more than two decades of repressive military dictatorship. Stylistically there’s a fairly wide range of territory covered here, ranging from more abrasive post-punk and darkwave through to more synth-pop and New Wave oriented sounds, as well as a healthy gender balance of featured artists.
Divergencia Socialista’s ‘Fahrenheit 452 / Jeanne Seberg’ sees an opening section of thundering tribal drums, buzzing synths and roaring Yello-esque samples suddenly dropping a gear down into sinuous punk-funk grooves, a snaking bassline clinging tightly to the fluid snares as massed male yells interject with the teasing female lead vocals in a manner that suggests some tropical meeting point between Liquid Liquid and Nina Hagen.
By contrast, City Limits’ ‘Evening’ sits closer to Lush or Slowdive’s dream-pop tinged shoegaze as multi-tracked female vocals glide against jangling indie guitars and sequence basslines (listen closely and you’ll catch a straight rip of the ‘Knight Rider’ theme bass in there), before Saara Saara’s ‘X’ gets stripped down and gothy, sending punching drum machine rhythms rolling against icy electronic blips and tape manipulation, Servio Tulio’s reverb-drenced basso vocal channelling Laibach by way of Esplendor Geometrico.
Elsewhere, Vzyadoc Moe’s ‘O Incerto’ suggests a Latin American retake of The Beat’s ‘Meet Her In The Bathroom’ more than anything else as yelled Brazilian punk vocals battle for space with razor-sharp guitar slides and militaristic snare rolls, before Individual Industry’s ‘Eyes’ offers an icy trip-hop glide through stark female-fronted synth atmospheres that recalls a more skeletal electro take on Curve or late period Banshees.
As you’d expect, Brazil’s fertile eighties and nineties DIY music scene was rapidly absorbing the same influences as the rest of the world at that time, and then mutating them into its own localised forms. In this case the language barrier has prevented me from appreciating the specific political content tackled on these tracks, but that doesn’t stop ‘Colt 45’ from being an excellent intro to a vibrant Brazilian post-punk / DIY scene that definitely deserves more documentation.