Transfusão Noise Records, Brazil
by Carlos Reyes
Unlike album length, individual track timings are often discarded as narrative tools, even by the bands that employ them. Rather than swallowing the idea of it being pure personal choice, I prefer to romanticize this palpable artistic preference. In his debut film Asi, Mexican filmmaker Jesus Mario Lozano applied a 32-second margin to all of the shots of his film, on the studied notion that that's the amount of time needed to breach someone’s attention span. Hailing from the lovely lo-fi house of Transfusão Noise Records (our favorite Brazilian print), Babe Florida's latest EP, Depois Eu Te Explico Melhor, approaches track timing with that same celebratory tone of glowing, short-lived experiences.
Pointing to the same pocket-sized narrative structures of bands like Argentina’s 107 Faunos and Spain’s SraSrSra, all the eight tracks that comprise Babe Florida’s sophomore release are about a minute long. The title of the album (“I’ll explain better later”) immediately suggests these intentional exercises of cursory melodies (in exceptionally tiny pieces) are only strips of something bigger to come. Babe Florida is the vehicle and the excuse for a group of friends to create fuzzy and compelling music, one they have so fittingly described as an “organized mess.” Opening track “Gigante Vermelha” does a fine job introducing the band’s forte: stomping rock harmonies and ascending chord progressions. The oomph is carried on to the next few tracks, but, eventually, it’s hard to come to terms with some tracks that lack narrative appendages and fall into the interlude archetype.
With such shortened conditions, the band exploits its own survival with the same urgency that is felt in our youth. For the band members, living and dying next to your music siblings is the only option. These might be tiny songs, but they’re wholehearted. It may not seem like a reasonable number, but the band member credits enlists a total of 14 names that include Lê Almeida, Wallace Costa, and I would assume everyone involved in the music production and mesmerizing aesthetic work. The album’s most accomplished tracks, “Balas Mastigaveis” and “Coleção de Amigos," succeed because of the vigorous disposition to carry on with a concept as well the tremendous use of group-like backing vocals. According to the label, this EP was conceived as a chapter of a soon-to-arrive full-length. If the preliminary plan is still in action, we can confidently say Depois Eu Te Explico Melhor is a confident 10-minute contribution of ecstatic lo-fi.