Selva Discos will reissue a pair of rare albums by Fernando Falcão this August, file these treasures under avant-garde polyrhythmic jazz. They really are something to behold. The story of this Brazilian multi-instrumentalist and composer is also captivating – a man who bombed the military dictatorship, before fleeing to France and immersing himself in cult underground-music.
Falcão lived in São Paulo as a poet and a musician during the political movements of 1968. He took on the brutal Brazilian regime after placing a bomb against the military dictatorship. His older brother sent him to France, as he feared he would be arrested and jailed for life. Between 1969-1984, Falcão became a multifaceted artist – working in music, acting, and sculpting – and was involved in Jérôme Savary’s legendary Grand Magic Circus, where he met the first wife, Valérie Kling.
It was from this relationship that a partnership began between the musician and his father-in-law, the artist François-Xavier Lalanne, who guided Falcão in the process of inventing sound sculptures. The pair built a one-of-a-kind balauê – a horizontal version of the berimbau string instrument. Much of this exploration and experimentation resulted in the 1979 album Memória das Águas – recorded in France but only released in 1981. Falcão would go on to make two more albums, most notably the more condensed and coherent Barracas Barrocas, originally released on Egberto Gismonti’s cult Carmo label in 1987.
Both of these forthcoming albums provide different expanse, focus and themes from the artist. There are elements of field recordings and other innovative techniques, alongside traditional folk influences, bossa nova and African percussion.
It is label boss, Selvagem’s Augusto Olivani, who will be releasing them on Selva Discos – follow ups to the club smash, Barbatuques’ Baianá (the one with that Wolf Müller Drum Drop remix that has slayed leftfield dancefloors for months). Selva Discos’ are enlightening listeners to the psychedelic oeuvre of Brazil and this forthcoming pair from Falcão sit perfectly. The São Paulo based label has already wowed since 2008 with past reissues of Maria Rita’s intense Brasileira LP and Marlui Miranda’s percussive beauty Tchori Tchori. Their focus on updating and revealing music that melds indigenous roots with visionary artistry is something to behold. Check out the Selva Discos Bandcamp to hear and read more about the label.