Bruxas – “Más Profundo” (2017) review
Bruxas’ debut EP, Más Profundo, is a psychedelic romp through bewitching Balearic house music. Portuguese for witches, Bruxas is enchanting yet playful. After performing as backup artists together, Jacco Gardner and Nic Mauscoviçunited in Portugal to form Bruxas, a duo inspired by Balearic house, ‘70s funk, and Brazilian tropicália. Jacco Gardner is a Dutch multi-instrumentalist known for his baroque psych pop, in a similar style to ‘60s classics like The Zombies and Sagittarius. Nic Mauscoviç is a producer, drummer, and DJ with a fondness for Latin music and Afrobeat.
Gardner and Mauscoviç describe Bruxas as “groovy psychedelic soundtracks for your holidays”. “Más Profundo”, the title and opening track, is one of the strongest and sets the stage for the EP’s tropical, disco-inspired sound. “Más Profundo” is funky, has plenty of cowbell, and also features some squiggly and spooky electronica. Heavily reverbed vocals are interspersed into what would otherwise be purely instrumental. To further set the atmosphere, tropical birds chirp in the background. The following track, “Tropicaçovas”, begins with eerie synths, which reminded me a bit of the Suspiria soundtrack. Bongos and a steady bass line are soon incorporated, while synths continue to drone in the background.
Meaning “cosmic jungle,” “Selva Cósmica” emulates the sounds of a rainforest; animal calls sound here and there throughout eclectic instrumentals and electronic effects, some of which seem to mimic the noises of animals themselves. This track has the most to listen for and pick apart, as new sounds are constantly layered to and subtracted from the main rollicking melody. Up next, “Plantas Falsas” wraps up the EP. This track includes even more synths than the previous ones and is both funky and upbeat yet haunting. The songs seem to become increasingly eerie as the EP progresses, and the synths on “Plantas Falsas” also bear resemblance to Goblin and similar Italian horror movie synth artists.
Más Profundo is incredibly ambient and laid-back, but also great to dance to with its catchy, funky rhythms. While a great mixture of styles went into the EP, the influence of psychedelia is highly prominent throughout. And despite the strong vibes of summer and sun, there’s always a sense of something ominous lurking behind the upbeat melodies and catchy percussion.
– Maggie Danna
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