Beautify Junkyards are a group of multi-instrumentalists headed up by João Branco Kyron on vocals and keyboards, Helena Espvall on cello and electric guitar, Martinez on vocals, João Moreira on acoustic guitar and keyboards, Sergue Ra on bass and Antonio Watts on percussion.
Cosmorama is the fourth album for the Lisbon based band and their second on Ghost Box. Starting the LP with ‘Dupla Exposição’, sample-like images move around voices and flutes while their personal blend, with a scent of tropicália stretches out until its psychedelic edges.
The singing of guest Nina Miranda on ‘Reverie’ acts like a siren song until they merge into whispers and distorted messages. Looped percussions and a baroque collage of haunted organs break into a cosmic prayer. No details are left to the imagination, Beautiful Junkyards aim at stimulating the sound perception in its whole with a wide array of textures. One can almost feel how they heighten the senses on ‘The Sphinx’.
The tropical-scented folk gets thicker on ‘Parangolé’, with a tribal feel that takes us even further away on this journey. We can find mellow takes like ‘A Garden By The Sea’ or dub hints like on ‘The Collector’, but it never stops moving forward. Listening to the album from beginning to end means witnessing an unfolding of imagery throughout different acoustic and electronic approaches.
Sometimes they come back to their rooted bossa and tropical essence like on the eponymous ‘Cosmorama’, but then they jump out again and reach even more distant places on the psychedelic intersection between motorik percussions and the folk-esoteric vocals of ‘Zodiak Klub’.
‘Vali’ serves as an interlude that soothes the ear with strings and field recordings, and it works as a preparation for ‘Deep Green’; both submersive and rising throughout different moods and the sweet voice of Allison Brice. The oneiric start of ‘The Fountain’ gives way to Eduardo Raon’s harp that seems to come from the Far East and wraps up with the aftermath of a fast-paced and tense percussive section: ethereal bells and echoes.
In Beautify Junkyards’ Cosmorama we find a ritualistic celebration that promises to unveil more details when played again.
Cosmorama is out via Ghost Box on the 15th of January. You can find it here.