Lugar Alto’s newest project is the idiosyncratic album MUMIA (portuguese for MUMMY). Never released before, it is a work that was originally recorded on cassette and combines elements of post-punk, industrial and ambient music.
Kodiak Bachine and Celso Alves formed the ephemeral and eponymous duo in 1988. The partnership resulted in a single recording derived from improvised sessions using minimal amounts of electronic equipment at Celso’s country house, located in the interior of São Paulo.
Bachine was an important figure in the São Paulo underground. His most renowned project was the band Agentss from 1981, which also consisted of Miguel Barella, Eduardo Amarante, Elias Glik and Lyses Pupo (later replaced by Thomas Susemihl). In its brief duration, the band released only two seven inches that were considered seminal artifacts in the Brazilian post-punk scene: “Agentes / Angra” from 1982 and “Professor Digital / Cidade Industrial” from 1983. These two rare records are highly sought after by collectors and DJs from around the world for their inventiveness and originality.
Similar to Agentss, MUMIA brings with it extreme authenticity, managing to extrapolate the barriers of more traditional Brazilian music and interact with unorthodox elements. The lyrics are a mixture of Portuguese and English and it is still possible to identify picturesque fragments of Spanish, French and German. In addition, sonically, the record portrays aesthetics from the eighties and dialogues with themes relating to LSD. Another notable feature is the fixation on Egyptian post-mortem themes, providing a cinematic and lysergic experience of the desert landscapes from the African country.
It is a recording with comic passages which provokes an unpretentious reaction from the listener. However, it still has more ethereal and atmospheric moments, such as the opening song “Ave do Deserto”. In the final two tracks, it is possible to enjoy a darker MUMIA, which with “Massacre da Serra Elétrica I” and “Massacre da Serra Elétrica II”, provide a sound experience capable of accompanying intense scenes from the macabre productions by Tobe Hooper and George Romero.
The striking new artwork was created by the Sometimes Always studio, a partner of Lugar Alto and responsible for diverse graphic collaborations with artists, venues and parties in Brazil. The album, mastered by the prolific Arthur Joly, also has a booklet containing Kodiak’s texts in Portuguese and English, in addition to the lyrics, which serve as a logical exercise for further understanding of the album.
MUMIA was unearthed by the renowned Brazilian DJ Millos Kaiser, who in addition to kindly curating this album, put together the compilation “Onda de Amor: Synthesized Brazilian Hits That Never Were (1984-94)”, released by Soundway Records.
Now, after 32 years in its tomb, the MUMIA has risen and thanks to Lugar Alto it can finally be celebrated and appreciated.
ESTÚDIOS “MACACOS ME MORDAM” (MMM)
HONEST JON’S (buy at honestjons.com)