Music Review | posted 02.04.2020
Guilherme Coutinho E O Grupo Stalo
Guilherme Coutinho E O Grupo Stalo
Mad About, 2020
Text Nils Schlechtriemen
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Cover Guilherme Coutinho E O Grupo Stalo - Guilherme Coutinho E O Grupo Stalo

»Oh my God! I’ve been wanting to reissue this thing for years!« Joaquim Paulo yells at the screen. That’s probably how it often happens when the boss of Mad About online stumbles across an obscure Brazilian record from the late seventies – his notorious specialty after all. As expected, Paulo didn’t leave any stone unturned to find out about Guilherme Coutinho’s last album, which he recorded with a small band of friends in the North Brazilian town of Belém some 40 years ago. »One of Gilles Peterson’s favourite records, but I had no idea who owned the rights«. After many emails and phone calls with Guilhermes daughter Alice Ignez, Paulo finally found an almost flawless copy of the first pressing in Belém’s library. But »Guilherme Coutinho e o grupo Stalo« is not just an archive find that has never been available anywhere before, saturated with intoxicating lo-fi tropicalia along with funky organs and budding double basses. In order to make the analog sound of this record completely enjoyable, Lisbon sound engineers together with Mad About have worked in great detail to extract subtle percussion and bass variations from the groove of the old original vinyl. They went about it so cleanly that the quality of the recording now almost sounds like a modern album, to which a certain crackling was deliberately added by slenderly produced vocals and vintage tonality to trigger retro-affine listeners. But it was not like that. The sound could of course grow, then as now.

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