Lisbon has a unique flavour.
A historic port, the city has accepted people of all creed and colour for centuries. A hotbed of culture, the area has produced all manner of artists, with newcomers Pega Monstro helping to spearhead a new generation.
Intrigued, Clash asked the dream-punk duo to guide us around their hometown.
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The other day a review came out for Pega Monstro’s record saying that the Portuguese music scene was basically Fado, Sara Tavares and a nasty no longer existing band called Fonzie. But it really is not, especially in Lisbon, a city where, as a friend of ours says – everybody's gone, except for old people and musicians.
We started making music because we saw others doing it and that was a big deal – to not start from – and be a part of a community that inspire and makes you want to do more.
And there is very much so a Lisbon feeling to every band/artist/djs that we're about to mention. It's not like if you're not from here you won't understand, because you can if you enjoy good music, it's just that it's our thing. And that's exciting. It's was kind of hard to only pick five but we're mentioning other cool stuff, too.
Rabu Mastah aka Leonardo Bindilatti.
Besides from being the drummer of Putas Bêbadas, one of the minds behind Go Suck A Fuck, and the producer to almost every music project in Lisbon right now (including our record Alfarroba) he’s one of the best beat makers and sound wizards that we know. Calma Calma Baby, Txuca, Não há Luta – lots of footwork, Brazilian funk, drum ’n’ bass and jungle influences. Like a version 3.0 of Goldie. In his live set he does this crazy distortion sound control hazard reminiscent of Black Dice. He also has this collab with a great new young musician and our friend, Van Ayres.
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There’s this two guys that were Lisbon based but moved to Glasgow called Yong Yong, this kid that is living in Faro right now COTRIM, this young girl that we saw few nights ago called Bleiddwn and our good friend Jejuno that are also in this wave of sound experience, beat making, good producing.
Putas Bebadas – Bandcamp
It's translated Drunken Whores. They are close friends of ours – Noria (guitar), Leonardo (drums) Sushi (guitar) and Abras (bass and lead singer). They also are a part of our record label that we started in 2010 – check out the rest of the artists HERE. The latest release LP Jovem Excelso Happy that came out in 2013 it’s without a doubt the weirdest sounding punk, rocking hard, demented lyrics and songwriting that's out there. From Leila, to Gonorreia, Maravilha and the craziest that closes up the record Long Live the Mullet – it is full on gone nuts. And live they're even more out of control – the guitar riffs the drum beats the singing moaning like. It’s all very disturbing in an awesome way.
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There’s also a big jazz, improv noise rock scene in Lisbon filled with great musicians like Pedro Sousa (saxophone), Gabriel Ferrandini (drums), Pedro Gomes (guitar), Miguel Mira (cello), Manuel Mota (guitar) and others. They’re an older generation from us; we weren’t playing when it all started. Also bands like TROPA MACACA – Joana da Conceição (keys) and Andre Abel (guitar) they released a LP with Siltbrezze in 2009 Sensação do Principio and they’re still around, and Caveira, a noise rock band that had changes in the formation and right now it’s Pedro Gomes, Gabriel Ferrandini, Pedro Sousa and Miguel Abras (from Putas Bebadas) so it’s an ongoing project. It’s really exciting to see them live every time.
Also Gala Drop, they’ve been around for ten years now I think! It has changed formation a lot too – I (Maria) played with them last year for about 6 months and learned a lot – and right now it’s Nelson (Synths), Afonso (drums), Rex (bass), Canhão (guitar) and Jerry the Cat (percussion and vocals). It’s like a African-Latin jam based sound with kraut rock influences as well. Check them out.
Principe Discos – SoundCloud
It’s a Lisbon based label for young DJs and producers of kuduro, afro house Tarraxo, etc from the periphery of Lisbon. Each month there’s a party in Musicbox (venue in Cais do sodré) and every time you get to see and dance to DJs like Nigga Fox, Marfox, Puto Anderson, Maboku, Dj Nino, Niagara and so many others. So this particular scene of dance music it’s really exploding and the international media is really picking them up and is right to do so because it is so new, exciting and good.
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Since the 60/70’s there’s been a scene of singer-songwriters and the biggest name was Zeca Afonso. B Fachada is a direct descendent from him but with a lot of other references – Brazilian, African, North American also. And he was the first Portuguese guy to release two records a year since he released his first LP. He’s not joking around. You could say that he’s like a popstar here in Portugal but he has his own place in the industry that he built for himself – PROPS!
He’s a hardworking guy and he has gained a lot of respect and love from the Portuguese audience because of that – and also because the songs are great. He was the producer to our first LP self-titled in 2012. From this particular singer songwriting scene you also have Éme (from our label Cafetra), this girl Sallim and Lourenço Crespo (also from Cafetra).
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Catch Pega Monstro at the following shows:
14 Bournemouth TBA
15 London Victoria
16 Manchester Pop Festival
20 Liverpool Kazimier
21 Glasgow Old Hairdresser's
22 York Please Please You
23 Ramsgate Pop In Opposition Festival
25 London Tufnell Park Dome (w/Deerhoof)