The Squid's Ear Magazine


Caveira (Gomes / Sousa / Abras / Ferrandini): Ficar Vivo [VINYL] (Shhpuma)

Originally formed in 2005 by guitarist Pedro Gomes as a Portuguese free rock group, this Lisboa-based band has transformed into this burning quartet that bridges rock and free improv in both savage and brooding moments, from the superb quartet of Gomes on guitar, Pedro Sousa on saxophone, Gabriel Ferrandini on drums and Miguel Abras on electric bass.
 

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product information:

Personnel:



Pedro Gomes-electric guitar

Pedro Sousa-tenor saxophone

Miguel Abras-electric bass

Gabriel Ferrandini-drums, percussion


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UPC: 5609063800869

Label: Shhpuma
Catalog ID: SHH086LP
Squidco Product Code: 34643

Format: LP
Condition: New
Released: 2024
Country: Portugal
Packaging: LP
Recorded at Namouche Studios, in Lisbon, Portugal, by CAVEIRA and Joaquim Monte.

Descriptions, Reviews, &c.

"Eviscerating, deep soul-scouring, harnessing the harrowing score of a tragic-night obsidian shattering into billions of seething particles, Ficar Vivo is the long-awaited first instalment of the latest full-bore phase of Portuguese guitarist Pedro Gomes' uncompromising freewheelers, CAVEIRA.

For almost two decades this spectral entity has confounded the interzones separating jazz, blues, noise and rock, filleting shiftless classifications in its various formations with tension-charged bouts of scorched-earth dynamics and cathartic electro-static ritual, like an Iberian Last Exit or Fushitsusha redux.

Now with his consistent ensemble - featuring long-time confederates Pedro Sousa (saxophone), along with Gabriel Ferrandini (drums) and Miguel Abras (electric bass) - Gomes unleashes CAVEIRA's most formidable, febrile and fully-realised offering yet.

Across three expansive tracks, recorded at Lisbon's Namouche Studios and mastered by ground-breaking Portuguese sound engineer To Pinheiro da Silva, Ficar Vivo (a title which, when translated, means 'Stay Alive') teeters continually on the precipice of a sensory overload, riding an expressway to your skull, fuelled by fulminating hotwire fissions and resolutely jagged interplays.

A portentous triptych of swarming, phantasmal subpoenas to inner and outer energies, this remarkable set marks the inauguration of CAVEIRA's auspicious new chapter, providing both postscript and primer, crackling with a nefarious lifeforce and delirious strains of curdling chaos, a glorious sacred purge executed with all the vehemence of a pernicious chemical-peel penance."-Shhpuma



"Recorded and mixed entirely without compression, the abrasive Lisbon quartet's new album goes very, very hard indeed

There are moments on Ficar Vivo which sound like pure electricity, buzzing through wires. It's just electric guitar, bass, drums and sax, but it feels like you're being sucked in, past the microphones and the instruments and their pick-ups, deep into the cables and the circuitry, as if the current itself ran straight into your auditory nerve. Rattling around with the capacitors and the diodes, these tiny little components, somehow this impossibly vast soundstage opens up. It's like Ant-Man in the Quantum Realm. The tiniest spark becomes a forest fire, raging across the landscape, the earth left scorched and ruined in its wake. Time and space lose all meaning here.

Caveira are a Lisbon-based quartet led by guitarist Pedro Gomes, with Pedro Alves Sousa on tenor saxophone, Miguel Abras on bass, and Gabriel Ferrandini playing drums and percussion. They've been knocking around for about twenty years now, releasing mostly on CD-r, mostly 'Not On Label'. In 2015, I saw them play in an old firehouse down by the waterfront of Barreiro, just across the Tagus from the Portuguese capital. At the time, they reminded me of no wave groups like DNA and The Contortions. They resembled, I suggested, "a warzone in fast-forward." This is, I think, their first release to make it through a vinyl pressing plant and it feels like a significant upgrade. What felt fitful and puckish a decade ago, now comes across precisely composed, almost symphonic.

In the early 1960s, the first shots were fired in what would later be known as the 'loudness war'. Enterprising producers like Phil Spector and Berry Gordy, frustrated by the flattening effect of radio compression, sought techniques to make their records pop out of your transistor, sounding that much bigger, fuller, louder than their competitors. Spector doubled up the bass guitars in fifths to create a psychoacoustic phantom of an additional third bass note, deeper than any radio set would then allow. Gordy's Motown records boosted the 8-10 Khz range and filtered out anything under 70 Hz. Over the years, methods like this multiplied to the point where everything just sounded really, really loud all the time, with practically no dynamic range whatsoever. By the late 90s, the waveform for a track like Metallica's 'My Apocalypse' looked like a breeze block.

But for the most part classical labels didn't engage (at least, not at first). Labels like Deutsche Grammophon were prized by collectors for their careful mic placement, the lack of dynamioc range compression used in the recording process. To this day, audiophiles will still wax lyrical on online forums over the 'Big Tulip'-era, when their albums' centre labels came fringed with blue flowers (apparently, the moment when these tulips were replaced by a black and white border roughly corresponds to the moment audio standards started slipping). It was the sound of those early DG records that inspired the production of Ficar Vivo. A note on the Bandcamp page proudly states "Compressão = Zero".

It's this, in part, that makes the record sound so intense, so spacious, so present. But it's not only that. Everyone uses compression these days. Recording engineers apply it to individual tracks then apply it to the whole mix, then they'll whack a bit more on in the mastering process for good measure. It's a means that covers up a multitude of sins. It's difficult to do without it. The strictures of Caveira's chosen recording process ensured that this was an album which took time to produce. You can hear that time and all the thought and care that came with it in the three long tracks gathered here. You can also hear four inventive and highly adept musicians absolutely going at it. This is a fierce record, determined and uncompromising. If you were to look at it the wrong way or for too long, it would probably beat the living shit out of you."-Robert Barry, The Quietus


Get additional information at The Quietus

Artist Biographies

Pedro Gomes, born 1979 in Lisbon, is an electric guitarist. He has worked with Sei Miguel in Turbina Anthem, and is a member of the Portuguese free rock group based in Lisboa, Caveira, formed in 2005 with Pedro Gomes, and originally with Rita Vozone on guitars and Quim Albergaria on drums. This band evolved out of the project Manta Rota.

-Squidco 5/23/2024

Have a better biography or biography source? Please Contact Us so that we can update this biography.

Pedro Sousa is a Portuguese improviser, jazz saxophonist and guitarist, known for the groups Pedro Sousa, Johan Berthling & Gabriel Ferrandini; Canzana; EITR; Falaise (2); ikb; OTO; P‹o; Rajada.

-Discogs (https://www.discogs.com/artist/560912-Pedro-Sousa)
5/23/2024

Have a better biography or biography source? Please Contact Us so that we can update this biography.

Miguel Abras is a Portuguese bass player, sound artist and multi-instrumentalist, best known for his work with saxophonist Pedro Sousa. He has recorded a soundtrack for a film by André Cepeda, and recorded with David Maranha.

-Squidco 5/23/2024

Have a better biography or biography source? Please Contact Us so that we can update this biography.

"He started playing drums at fourteen, when he took up his musical studies at the Crescendo School in São João do Estoril, near Lisbon. At nineteen, he made studies at the Hot Clube Portugal, where he stayed for a year and a half. In 2006 he entered the Academia de Amadores de Música where he studies to this day with Alexandre Frazão as his master. In 2007 he did a workshop with the drummer Paal Nilssen-Love.

Towards the end of 2007 and to date he has taken part in various concerts with multiple projects alongside artists and ensembles like: Nobuyasu Furuya Trio, Rodrigo Amado Motion Trio, Alípio C. Neto, Carlos Zíngaro, DJ Ride, Variable Geometry Orchestra, Riot Trio, Luís Lopes Duo, John Butcher, Jason Stein, Jon Irabagon, Ernesto Rodrigues Septet and the Nikolaus Gerszewski Ensemble."

-Gulbenkian Music (https://gulbenkian.pt/musica/en/biography/gabriel-ferrandini-2/)
5/23/2024

Have a better biography or biography source? Please Contact Us so that we can update this biography.


Track Listing:



SIDE A



1. Brilho 13:40

SIDE B



1. Dolencia 07:04

2. Portal 11:14

Related Categories of Interest:


Vinyl Recordings
Clean Feed
Rock and Related
Improvised Music
Free Improvisation
Improvised Rock
European Improvisation, Composition and Experimental Forms
Quartet Recordings
New in Rock Forms
New in Improvised Music
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