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Listening to art. Playing with audio. Sounding out technology. Composing in code. Rewinding the soundscape.

Brazilian Electronic Music, Circa 1970 (MP3s)

Funky glitches? Check. Latin American vibe? Check. Found-sound texture? Check.

Dateline circa 1970? Now, hold on a second.

Welcome to the sound world of Brazilian composer Jorge Antunes (born in Rio de Janeiro, 1942), three tracks of whose music were recently made freely available at that Area 51 of avant-garde culture, ubu.com.

The collection is titled Musica Eletronica, and the tracks range from gurgling effects (“Cinta Cita,” MP3) to a mix of heavily treated vocals and a wind-up turntable (“Auto Retrato,” MP3) to abstract stereo noise (“Para Nacer Aqui,” MP3). It’s a minute or so into “Auto Retrato” when a very contemporary mix of archival sound and downtempo beat kick in; DJ Kid Koala wasn’t even born when this was recorded.

[audio:http://ubu.artmob.ca/sound/Antunes_Jorge/Musica_Electronica/Antunes_Jorge-Musica_Electronica-1-Cinta_Cita.mp3|titles=”Cinta Cita”|artists=Jorge Antunes] [audio:http://ubu.artmob.ca/sound/Antunes_Jorge/Musica_Electronica/Antunes_Jorge-Musica_Electronica-2-Auto_Retrato.mp3|titles=”Auto Retrato”|artists=Jorge Antunes] [audio:http://ubu.artmob.ca/sound/Antunes_Jorge/Musica_Electronica/Antunes_Jorge-Musica_Electronica-3-Para_Nascer_Aqui.mp3 |titles=”Para Nacer Aqui”|artists=Jorge Antunes]

According to liner notes posted separately at mutant-sounds.blogspot.com, “Cinta Cita” means “meeting with the tape,” which explains its rigorous surface-level attention. The post also clarifies the content of “Auto Retrato” (full title: “Autro-Retrato Sobre Paisaje Porteño”), noting that the tango heard on the piece is by Francisco Canaro (toward the end, a pause-tape approach lets a baby’s crying punctuate a dramatic orchestral ending).

More on Antunes at jorgeantunes.com.br. The above photo is from another great Antunes source, americasnet.com.br. The image reportedly shows Antunes in 1970 at the Laboratório de Música Eletrônica do Instituto Torcuato Di Tella in Buenos Aires.

By Marc Weidenbaum

Tags: , / Comments: 2 ]

2 Comments

  1. tom moody
    [ Posted February 21, 2010, at 6:25 pm ]

    Very sensuous–I especially like the first two. Good call on the syncopated passage on “Auto Retrato,” it does sound current. Wow.

  2. Marc Weidenbaum
    [ Posted February 21, 2010, at 8:07 pm ]

    Yeah, that “Auto Retrato” is way prescient. Can’t imagine what it sounded like at the time, a decade and a half in advance of the tabula rasa of CDs, and the rise of glitch, microsound, and lowercase music.

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  • Marc Weidenbaum founded the website Disquiet.com in 1996 at the intersection of sound, art, and technology, and since 2012 has moderated the Disquiet Junto, an active online community of weekly music/sonic projects. He has written for Nature, Boing Boing, The Wire, Pitchfork, and NewMusicBox, among other periodicals. He is the author of the 33 1⁄3 book on Aphex Twin’s classic album Selected Ambient Works Volume II. Read more about his sonic consultancy, teaching, sound art, and work in film, comics, and other media

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