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First of all I would like to thank to Shift crew for the invitation to contribute montly with some news about brazilian cultural scene. If you have any specific curiosity related to brazilian culture or if you have any infomation about interesting events feel free to drop me a line:

Bizarre Music?!!?!

People say that it’s a darling of our indie scene!! Enjoy the amazing interview with Carlos Farinha the founder of Bizarre Music. His project by his own words:

R. 24 de maio, 116 _R.A. lj.13 _ Sao Paulo . SP _ Brasil.

In the beginning Bizarre was only (and still is) a record shop. Most of the records we had in the shop were imported and absolutely unknown for almost everyone in Brazil… it was before the Internet and the mp3 stuff. In that days Bizarre became to many people in Brazil, in several ways, a reference in new music. Actually, I just wanted to listen to as many records as I could, and owning a record shop seamed to be a good idea once I could sell all the records after listening to them. It began in 1987 and since then we’re proud to have in the store a sincere good selection of alternative-underground-avantgarde music world-wide as well as the Brazilian
independent music… and, never forget, all kind of crazy-hipster people behind the counter (sometimes I think the customers are more interested in the employees than in records…)

Musik + Design Golden Shower, National + A’, Objeto Arrarelo vs.Femur

Bizarre became a record label in 1998. For a long time I watched several great Brazilian bands born and disappear leaving no trace, most of them couldn’t record or release anything because there was no label interested and that’s why I first decided to start the label. We’re music lovers and the records we release is a bizarre (ops..) and eclectic selection of Brazilian bands.. I mean we almost don’t have any style restrictions, first of all we are interested in the new aesthetic results but sometimes we just don’t give a shit for it so, our criteria is our ears.

The independent music scene in Brasil

It’s a very strange music scene with many different bands and many different styles, depending of the region. It’s getting stronger since a near past. Some years ago, it was all about mainstream music (still is on the radio, by the way). But now, since the Internet became more popular people became more and more interested in it. After that, people noticed that the mainstream artists couldn’t bring them anything new for years and that was a good chance for the independents to grow. Anyway, actually there’s no a real independent scene here yet. Everything is getting started and we’re happy to be part of this. Now there are more labels and they’re becoming more professional, now we have national distribution, independent media, international attention and conscious consumers. Of course it’s only the beginning and there’s still a lot to change but it’s good to see that we’re moving forward.

Bizarre Music releases

We released some of the strangest Brazilian artists such as Objeto Amarelo, National, Tetine and Space Invaders and some of the best, but not so exactly strange ones as Monokini, Sala Especial, Blue Afternoon, Romulo Frues and Transistors. We also released the interactive CD of the Brazilian designer duo Femur, a kind of sound and graphic crossover and lots of great fonts. That experience, after developed, took them to Palais de Tokyo in Paris late last year.

Our forthcoming releases are Tetine’s limited edition ‘Man in Uniform’, Blue Afternoon’s ‘Folxploitation’, Objeto Amarelo’s ‘Deus da Pedrada’, Romulo Frues’ ‘Calado’, Space Invaders’ ‘Continua…’, Ultrasom’s ‘My So Called Wildlife’ and the still untitled Golden Shower’s debut. Oh…and maybe any ten records the freaks of National would bring us at once. We also released some foreign bands such as Stereo Total and Club 8, so many others will come…

VS. and the way Bizarre understands a music þ ý design crossover.

Its obvious for me how design and music are close from each other. I think they have some identical creative process, especially nowadays but present since ever. For example, most of the times you can guess the kind of music of a CD just looking at the cover, without listening to it. What we tried and we’re still trying to do is put design and music even closer, to get it further the record covers, trying to reach a borderline where they could be so close that we could not distinguish what is design and what is music. Maybe it’s utopic or it’s simply stupid but we’re very interested in trying to do it anyway. Last year in Eletronika Festival our showcase presented 3 different ways to mix graphics and sounds, they were ‘Objeto Amarelo vs Femur’, ‘National + A’ ‘ and a bizarre presentation of Golden Shower. In 2003 Mateus one of the partners of Bizarre and the head of the design studio Lobo took to OFFF Festival in Barcelona an idea which was originally conceived to Bizarre’s shows, but entirely developed inside Lobo, which consists in a software that transforms music lines into graphic behaviors for virtual graphic creatures.

Just to mention one more thing, and to show our specific interest in this topic, one guy of Bizarre’s crew, Ronin owns a rough but very interesting website with all the covers of one of more talented brazilian record cover designers of 60’s, CEsar Vilela.

Record Covers: Transistor + Objeto Arrarelo + Bizarre, Sampler + Tetiene

Why Bizarre’s record covers have been considered so special in the BR design

Thanks… maybe because we like record covers. I don’t know why but I know many of the most creative brazilian graphic designers, and they are all my friends. most of the times I invite someone to do a record cover for one of our releases, then we put together the band and the designer (when they are not the same person…) to discuss the artwork. Just to mention some designers who made record covers for us,
Rafael Lain,
Julio Dui,
Alexandre Suanes, Guilherme Marcondes, Carlos Issa and Carlos Billa. I must tell that sometimes we had no choice and the cover simply came with the record… no one is perfect…

Thanks very much for your interview. As you are giving this interview to a japanese site could you tell us if there is any japanese artist/band that you (Bizarre Music) would like to release ?

Yeah, of course. I love Takako Minekawa and Nobukazu Takemura. I try to love Merzbow.

Bizarre Musik
Address: R.24 de Maio, 116 R.A. lj13 Sao Paulo, Brazil
Tel: +55-1133331-7933

Text and Photos: Clarissa Tossin from A’ and
Carlos Farinha from Bizarre Music

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