Gordon com Alyssa Aquino, nas sessões de gravação da Audac. Foto Gabriel Franco, Divulgação
Não foi bem um daqueles veranicos de outono, mas a temporada de duas semanas do produtor americano Gordon Raphael no Sul da Ilha rendeu não só boas histórias para o gringo contar, mas também um diamante lapidado por ele. Raphael produziu muita gente boa do rock, a começar pelo disco que deu a ignição ao sucesso da banda The Strokes (This Is It), a cantora Regina Spektor e agora a banda Curitiba Audac, liderada por Allessandro Oliveira (ex-Copacabana Club). O produtor chegou no início do mês à cidade para uma breve temporada a convite do estúdio Ouié Tohosound, da dupla Paulo Costa Franco e Martin Misenta, no Sul da Ilha. E partiu ontem, levando mais expectativas do que quando chegou.
Duas semanas de quase isolamento, de workshops com produtores de todo o país, mas com tempo para se dedicar ao projeto de gravar a Audac _ a banda conseguiu levantar recursos por meio de uma campanha de crowdfunding pelo portal Catarse. Foram seis dias de gravações, onde o staff do Ouié se empenhou em prepara o ambiente para o setup pouco usual utilizado por Gordon, que colocou um PA aberto dentro do estúdio e colocou a banda para tocar junta. “Deu uma trabalheira, mas ele levou a coisa pra um lado que eu gosto muito: deixou mais quente e orgânico”, disse Franco.
O resultado foi um EP que deixou Raphael entusiasmado com “aquela vibe Porthshead” da Audac e particularmente encantado com a dupla de vozes (Alyssa e Debbie). Esperem pelo melhor. Toda a “ação” com Gordon foi gravada por Gabriel Franco e deve virar um programa piloto que o Ouié pretende disponibilizar em breve no Vimeo.
Abaixo vai o e-mail que Gordon enviou ao Paulo comentando a temporada dele no Sul da Ilha:
“How a rainstorm changed my entire production of Audac.
I was invited to Florianopolis, Brazil to produce a very interesting young band called Audac. The recording studio Tohosound Estudio, located right there on the beach- had gotten in touch with me thru Facebook and hooked me up with this great producer job.
When I heard the songs of Audac (they’re from Curitiba, Brazil) I was impressed with the moody quality in the singing, and the electronic sounds which were offset by a very natural and moving set of rhythms. It quicky reminded me of a very well presented Portishead vibe, with the great singing from Allyssa and Debbie.
I knew right away that I wanted to go visit Brazil for the first time, to work at a studio right on the beach, and that Audac was going to be fun to work with, making a kind of music that I really like and understand. Or thought I understood!
I’d been having a good number or emails and Facebook communcations with the band it’s individual members as well. They worked hard and decided to use a crowd-funding website “Catorse” to raise the funds to do their project with me and Tohosound. I’d sent them a funny photo of me holding up a quickly handmade sign saying “Go Audac”, and had been discussing some of the particulars of the recording sessions, mostly things like “how many days, how many songs?”.
Things went up and down a few times, becuase the funding sometimes seemed to be going well, yet late in the game there was still a long way to go. Finally we agreed on dates, and an approach to recording- and I got my ticket to Florianopolis Brazil- which turned out, as described by Martin and Paolo (from the studio) as a true chunk of Paradise right here on Earth! I had a producer workshop 2 days after I arrived, where I recorded a quirky-cool band called Adam y Juliet in front of 8 other record producers. It was great, but after one of the nights -about midnight I opened my mails to see a message from Audac saying “Hey we are in Florianopolis (5 days before I expected them) playing a show at a gorgeous club outside in a garden, wont you please come by, we want to meet you, and for you to see us play!”. The time of the show was 8 pm, which meant I missed it by about 4 hours, and I was pretty disappointed, because they were so near, and I missed my chance to see them, and meet them, after all our Skypes and messages back and forth.
The next day was a day off for me, and I was happy to see Facebook message from Audac saying “aw, a big rainstorm came last night, and we had to postpone the show til today, can you make it?”. Yes I could, and Yes I did. I was picked up by the band (Audac) and we had lunch at Nutri, the all you can eat buffet 2 blocks from the studio- which had all the fresh vegan vegetable things I could ever want.
(I went there ever day during the 2 weeks I was in Brazil!)
When I went to the show, indoors this time at the amazing garden space/nightclub I saw two young men busy setting up a small PA, and there were two new looking Brazilian amps, one for bass, one for guitar and a shiny small drumkit that looked quite stylish and new, actually. Audac began to play and I noticed many things I had not considered before, from the songs they sent me, and from the circumstances of this gig. 1) The two women who front the band, Debbie on bass+singing, and Alyssa on keyboards+singing were way more energetic and outgoing onstage than I expected. I thought they’d be shoegazers who just shyly looked down and kind of whisper/sang their parts. I had no idea they’d be really pushing alot of energy and sound with their instruments, while at the same time filling up the room with the central themes of their singing. That was a great surprise, and so were the powerful drum hitting and incredible rolling beats of Pablo, and the absolutely rocking guitar parts from Allesandro. I thought this was a kind of Berlin-y laptop band with one girl singer in front– and I never expected a really well developed live show from a band who could really project and play so well, so big and so hard. I realized that my sessions in the studio were going to be much more energetic and alot more fun than I had previously thought.
I also realized something else very quickly: The odd, modern Brazilian rental gear they had hired for the show from JZ Producoes (the logo was on the drumkit!) actually sounded quite amazing and just about perfect for this band! Every other production I do relies on Fender and Marshall tube amps, Ampeg Bass equipment and Name-Brand analog synthesizers from the venerated and hoary 1970′s and 80′s– but here was this modern Brazilian (inexpensive?) rental gear sounding exactly perfect for the music of Audac. I noticed this right away, and it disturbed me a little. Was I going to substitute Tohosound’s amazing collection of Vintage synths instead of using Allysa’s laptop plug in sofware things? Well…. er, NO, in fact I wouldn’t! There was no need and I could imagine absolutely nothing gained by doing so in her case. Alyssa had really crafted great sounds and parts which in many songs were the central idea setting the stage for the singing/storyline. Wouldn’t a nice warm Fender 1970′s Twin Reverb amp be better for Allesandro’s ideas than this solid-state inexpensive thing he was playing thru, designed and manufactured iin 2013?? Well, in a word… NO– for the sounds he had created with his Telecaster and wisely selected pedals- was exactly correct (in my mind) as i was hearing them in the room from the JZ Producoes rental amp! Geeez, there’s many of my theories about sound, going right down the drain in one 45 minute concert! What didnt go down the drain was my inherent trust in my own ears, and my huge belief in improvisation in all matters musical. Improvisation for me extends beyone just notes and rhythms, as a Jazz player or Blues artist would do it, it includes just about everything in life where a momentary inspired decision based on the “here-and-now” can be utilized and effective as an approach and a way forward. This was the kind of moment I had, thanks to a very gracious and perfectly timed rainstorm in Florianopolis, Brazil.
I rented the PA (which became a huge part of the room sound for the computer-synths and the electronic drum pads as well!) the drums, the bass amp and the little modern guitar amp, and this became the sounds heard on Audac’s amazing 6 song EP we made in 6 days at Tohosound Estudio. It was a real joy working with this band, and in this studio– and I want to say think you to everyone involved!