After wearing out the shine on my copy of their ‘Lick My Favela’ CD, it’s good to have Tetine back with a new release. The Brazilian duo are dropping a full length for choice UK label Soul Jazz Records on April 29th, preceded right at this moment by the Deize Tigrona voiced-single ‘I Go To The Doctor’ (featuring a tidy electro remix from local neighbours CSS).
Unless my thick fingers are deceiving me, ‘Let Your Xs Be Ys’ is Tetine’s eighth album, rollercoasting on a journey that began with 1996’s ‘Alexander’s Grave’, a release which drew musical comparisons with Philip Glass and theatrical similarities to Antonin Artaud – quite a combination. Yet this experimental hyrbid of music and performance has come to define Bruno Verner and Eliete Mejorado over the last 12 years – taking them from their Brazilian home to a long-standing residence in the UK and creative partnerships with Robin Rimbaud (Scanner), Sophie Calle and Igloo, and appearances at Sao Paulo’s Sonar, Whitechapel Art Gallery, Barbican Centre, Miami Music Conference and London’s South Bank.
Trying to pin down Tetine’s sound is almost an artform in itself – veering from the Clash’n’Kraftwerk beds that make up their largely funk-focussed aforementioned Favela EP, to the electronic rumble of last year’s single ‘A Historia Da Garca’, to the mix of electro, baile funk, minimal, new wave and sparse post punk on this latest release.
It’s perhaps no surprise that Tetine played curatorial duties on two important Brazilian compilations a few years back – ‘Slam Dunk Presents Funk Carioca’ (the first funk compilation released outside of Brazil) and ‘The Sexual Life Of Savages’ (also on Soul Jazz) – a near-defintive history of early 80s Brazilian post punk.
Ingested with their history in mind, ‘Let Your Xs Be Ys’ feels as playful as it is relaxed – soundtracking an artistic project that wears its authenticity, confidence and continuing need for experimentation proudly on its sleeve. Less ‘we do not give a fuck’, more ‘we do not need to give a fuck’ – a crucial difference in a music market riddled with attitude, desperately seeking substance.