Augustine Azul, Lombramorfose: At the Beginning of the Journey (Plus Full Album Stream)

Posted in audiObelisk, Reviews on August 9th, 2016 by JJ Koczan


[Click play above to stream Augustine Azul’s Lombramorfose in full. Album out Aug. 16 on More Fuzz Records.]

There’s a jagged current to the rhythmic changes of Brazilian newcomers Augustine Azul, but the trio set considerable momentum throughout the six tracks of their debut full-length, Lombramorfose, released by the also-newcomer More Fuzz Records with a number of digital bonus items. Based in João Pessoa along the country’s coastline, the band is comprised of guitarist João Yor, bassist Jonathan Beltrão and drummer Edgard Moreira, and their progressive structuring, angularity and natural chemistry remind right away on opener and longest track (immediate points) “Amônia” of Fatso Jetson in how the music seems to be truly spontaneous. I don’t know what the exact recording circumstances were for Lombramorfose, but I’d assume just from how the songs play out that it was at least in some measure tracked live.

The band produced at Estúdio Peixe Boi and had a hand in the mixing and mastering as well, so while it’s their first record and they’re clearly just beginning a longer journey into what their sound can become, there’s also the sense that when the guitar comes forward on “Amônia” and then steps back to let the low end lead the groove on the subsequent “Jurubeba,” there’s something more than happenstance at play. That underlying consciousness — the fact that while they may sound like they’re just plugging in and going for it, they actually have plotted direction — makes Lombramorfose more enticing in terms the band’s future prospects, but it’s via the chemistry between them that they make their most resonant impact, their quick turns and noise-jazz semi-psychedelic rock — fuzzed out and brimming with energy looking to expand — executed with subtle precision across the board.

It’s also telling that the record is so short. Clocking in at 30 minutes flat, Augustine Azul‘s first outing seems to acknowledge the ask that some of its proggier stretches are making of its audience’s attention, and that too speaks to the band reaching out to their listenership in meaningful ways. Later cuts like “Pixo” and closer “Intéra” have some boogie to their rhythm, but it’s not like Augustine Azul are playing raw ’70s rock. Their arrangements are fairly stripped down — guitar, bass, drums — as they were on their 2015 debut EP, simply titled EP, but as “Amônia” pushes past the seven-minute mark with Earthless-esque solo swirl and start-stop lines that cut right into the fuzzier start of “Jurubeba,” Augustine Azul make it clear they’re looking to establish themselves as a progressive heavy rock act. And they do.

augustine azul

“Cogumelo” rounds out the first half of Lombramorfose with a shorter but more psychedelic and exploratory vibe, some airier guitar atop a still-solid rhythm, but by then the primary modus for the band is well established and it really just becomes a matter of continuing to build on the strong foundation they almost immediately put forth. This is accomplished via the transitions between the songs, so that by the time “Cogumelo” gets funky in its second half, Augustine Azul have already nailed down a fluid momentum for the first 15 minutes (-ish) of the album, and that will be something they continue to build on as the bluesy opening strains of “Mamatica” take hold to launch side B, immediately expanding the stylistic context of what’s come before, but doing so in a way taht makes sense and doesn’t seem at all out of place.

It’s worth taking the time to highlight Yor‘s guitar playing as being particularly stunning at points. Beltrão and Moreirap prove more than capable of holding their own, as the bounce beneath the soloing of “Mamatica” demonstrates, but in place of vocals, it’s the guitar entrusted to carry the melodic crux and set the mood of these tracks, and Yor shines in that forward role. His dynamic as a lead player bolstered by the rhythm section is perhaps the most classic thing about Augustine Azul‘s approach, but to go with the technically-minded shred at the end of “Pixo,” which follows “Mamatica” as the penultimate inclusion here, there’s a preceding moment of quiet, as though the band were gearing up for the charge still to come, so it’s not as though the entirety of Lombramorfose is just about one player.

Rather, as “Intéra” picks up with Augustine Azul‘s version of what might otherwise be motor-ready riffing, the trio as a whole seem to be the focus, and while Yor takes a quick noodling solo in the foreground, it’s Beltrão‘s bassline that really shines between what might be the verses if there were vocals to accompany. A break of airier-toned guitar gives way to a last thrust, but the band ultimately ends quietly, finishing the at-times intense rush of Lombramorfose with a sort of sonic asterisk as if to remind listeners they’re just getting going. That’s fair enough given some of the loud/quiet tradeoffs preceding, and while I wouldn’t necessarily speculate as to how the trio would continue to develop, they do strike as a band interested in pushing forward into real progression of their sound. However that might play out in the longer term, it will be working from a solid start.

Augustine Azul on Thee Facebooks

Augustine Azul on Bandcamp

More Fuzz Records on Thee Facebooks

More Fuzz Records on Bandcamp

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Augustine Azul to Release Lombramorfose Next Month on More Fuzz Records

Posted in Whathaveyou on July 27th, 2016 by JJ Koczan

Brazilian boogie rockers Augustine Azul have inked a deal to release their debut album through the newly-minded More Fuzz Records. The band released their first EP — aptly-titled EP — last year and made a considerable impact thereby, enough to catch the ear of Tanguy SeFi Dupré of More Fuzz, who has set an Aug. 16 release date for the full-length. Preorders for the digital edition are up now with physical pressings reportedly to follow.

More to come on this one as we get closer to the release, but I wanted to make sure the info was out there now, so here’s background off the PR wire:

augustine azul Lombramorfose

Augustine Azul Sign to More Fuzz Records for their debut album “Lombramorfose”

Be ready for a unique blend of Instrumental Fuzziness, Insane Grooves & Progish/Bluesy Vibes!

Augustine Azul is a kickass instrumental trio from João Pessoa, Brazil consisting of João Yor (guitar), Jonathan Beltrão (Bass) and Edgard Moreira (drums). Their unique sound (yes you never heard something like that before) is focused on the progressive side of the moon, but still retains that “Heavy & Fuzzy DNA” that makes your neighbors call the cops.

After a well-acclaimed EP released in 2015, Augustine Azul come back in 2016 with their debut album “Lombramorfose”. This time even more ready to blast their fuzzy grooves to the world by signing with the newly born label of the More Fuzz blog: More Fuzz Records. The digital-only release date is set for August 16th and is already in Pre-Order on Bandcamp, physical options will come in a near future.

More Fuzz Records was created by Tanguy Dupré, also the creator of the Stoner Rock blog More Fuzz. After 2 years reviewing albums and sharing news about this Fuzzy music scene, it was the next logical step to launch a label in order to support and be even more active in this awesome community. Our Motto: “Your Fuzz Dealer.”

Augustine Azul, EP (2015)

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