Coletivo Casa Amarela
with Rui P. Andrade & Aires (Vítor Bruno Pereira)
The MUDAS stage got filled with plants to welcome the music of Rui P. Andrade & Aires (the stage name of Vítor Bruno Pereira), both born in Madeiran and co-founders of the Coletivo Casa Amarela (CCA). They presented Dreaming of Sailing Further West live, an album where one can sense the island territory through ambient, drone and noise sounds. The album title derives from an illustrated article dated from the 19th century, mentioning Columbus’ presence on the Island, as part of his preparations for the journey that would lead him to the discovery of the American continent.
Experimental electronic music tends to be abstract. Nevertheless, the record Dreaming of Sailing Further West, of your project entitled Ulnar, has some sharp references to the territory, in tracks like Sapphire Harbor, Volcanic Ash and Canberra, in which you state that is possible to foresee the island territory through references to the island and migratory flows. I would like you to comment on that.
Bruno – The most explicit references to Madeira are indeed on that record, which works like a “musicatalog” of the region.
Did you map the sounds of the island?
Rui – I would not call it mapping. We simply had a recorder on a couple of occasions and we recorded different sounds, from a levada on the north coast, to the sound of the sea in Funchal. The starting point was randomly chosen and we realized that we could aggregate the sounds coherently in those tracks we were working on. It was not calculated, it came about naturally.
Did MADEIRADiG, as the island’s most prominent international fest, contribute to your music somehow?
Rui – It did, indirectly. Bruno is visiting the Festival for the first time, but I had already been here in 2011. It’s been seven years now. Yet, it is the first time I’m experiencing the festival in this context. Back then, I was not old enough to buy a beer, my mom had to drive me there and I went home after the concerts. I was not aware of the rest of the festival, which is outstanding. It must be one of the few in the world that can provide this sense of intimacy between artists, promoters, the audience and the press.
Bruno – I have been living in Lisbon for twelve years now and, around this time, (late November, early December), I’m never in Madeira. For the first time, I’m available to visit the Festival. Naturally, musicians like Tim Hecker or Ben Frost have influenced me, and so did Damien Dubrovnik, founders of the label Posh Isolation, whom I admire and will play tomorrow. We grew up in Madeira and we know the desert this island can be, therefore, having a festival like MADEIRADiG, which gathers the best experimental electronic music in the island, ends up as an indirect influence.
Since you are from Madeira, and taking into account the fest’s pedigree, how did you receive the invitation from Rafael Biscoito and what did you feel when you played on the MUDAS stage?
Bruno – It is the best thing we have achieved so far. Perhaps, it was the most important stage and the most meaningful validation. We are from this place and, playing on the same stage where most of our influences have performed as well, is quite significant. Even more when the dialogue with Rafael precedes that invitation, it started some time ago and things became possible this year.
What was the beginning of Coletivo Casa Amarela?
Bruno – It emerged in 2014 and the original vision was to create this juxtaposition of a label/digital platform with op-ed cultural articles. However, we then realized that, above anything else, we wanted it to be producer/publisher and to work on our projects, excluding everything related to reviews and op-ed pieces. We started with four people and now we are three, me, Rui and Mafalda, who is responsible for the design. Our releases are mostly digital and cassettes. The cassette is now popular again and we do 50-cassette editions. Its unique texture and dirtiness are something that interests us. Nevertheless, my favourite format is MP3. I’m 31 years old and all the music I listen to is in MP3 format.
Rui – (laughs) MP3, 190 KB/s.
You also have several solo projects.
Rui: Yes, our solo efforts are much more numerous than the ones we have together.
Bruno – As a solo artist, I have two alter-egos right now, Aires being the main one. The MADEIRADiG performance was about that alter-ego. I also have another project entitled Gallo’84 with a blatant kitschy aesthetic.
Bruno – Kitsch in the sense that I wanted to make something over the top, combining the vaporwave aesthetic with what I’m acquainted: ambient and drone. Conceptually speaking, it was to create the soundtrack for a 90s summer, where I basically condensed my youth in three or four tracks. At the same time, the album’s cover is drenched with that vaporwave aesthetic: Cristiano Ronaldo’s bust that resembles some Greek god in shades of pink and blue.
Is that an admiration for Cristiano Ronaldo or are you actually mocking CR7?
Bruno – I don’t even know, it’s both things really, we just cannot stop ourselves from doing it. I think it’s someone who we can admire, love and reject. And that’s the concept of Gallo. With Aires, my concerns are different, a little more serious, maybe. The last solo album, Naturalismo, came out in November 2017 and is made of self-referential and meta-referential tracks that communicate between them. Like a game of mirrors between three huge songs that quote each other. It was the most aggressive album I ever did. It delves into noise and ambient, being quite dense.
Rui, tell us now about your solo endeavours.
Rui – All Lovers Go To Heaven was my last solo album so far, released on September 11, 2017, by ACR, a London label that I’m very close with. Lately, I have collaborated mainly in the HRNS project, alongside Afonso Ferreira (FARWARMTH). In 2018, we released three EPs, two of them on ACR and one on Pale Blue (USA).
Why didn’t you release them on your label?
Rui – Because Coletivo Casa Amarela has partially become a vehicle for my solo project or for our projects together. And, honestly, we don’t have the funds to release everything we want, the way we want it.
How do you fund it?
Rui – It’s 100% from our pockets. We still lack the structure that allows us to have state support.
Rui lives in Porto and Bruno resides in Lisbon. Can you tell us what your process is, considering the distance?
Bruno – For this performance, we already had an idea of what we wanted to do. We conceived the show in the most elegant way possible and, from that point, we gathered from our body of work everything that matched that concept. We managed to rehearse three days in Lisbon and we only met again during the soundcheck.
What are your current perspectives?
Bruno – I’m redoing a solo album to be released in March/April 2019. Until then, I think we will try to play as much as possible.