Gonzo – the band of the album – is one of the first bold sonic declarations of the newly-founded Portuguese DIY label Coração de Boi and features four of the label founders – alto sax and electronics player Daniel Sousa, trumpeter and electronics player João Almeida (who plays in this band no-input mixing board), guitarist José Vale and drummer and sampling man Miguel Fernandez. The quartet calls its debut album «an audio hallucinatory tablet that potentiates the individual to experience raw violence». The album was released in a limited edition of 50 cassettes and a download option.
The album, recorded at Sonoscopia in Porto in January 2022, offers a series of ten fast and nervous, brutal and merciless attacks of wild free jazz, raw punk energy and extreme noise, often spiced with distorted and processed voice recordings. Gonzo says that it is the «result of projections, desires and fetishisms for the brutality that its instruments can cause». It sure leads to unsettling but addictive sonic confrontations in its weird way, obviously, once you surrender to Gonzo’s countless and resourceful ways of producing such intense levels of stimulating noise. Gonzo’s inspired collaboration with Norwegian mezzo-soprano vocalist Aleksandra Nygaard Djordjevic on «Fire ft. Saltimbanco» is simply hilarious.
Hocus is the solo project of João Almeida where he plays heavily processed trumpet and electronics (he also has a trio that is called Pocus with bassist Gonçalo Almeida and drummer João Lobo). Almeida multiplies the brutal, noisy aesthetics of Gonzo with five short, insistent pieces where he grinds simple motifs until they rich a total sonic meltdown. The fifth piece «its real» brings to mind a theme of Ethiopian folk song but its violent grind trashes it to pieces.
Daniel Sousa (alto saxophone, live processing, sampling), João Almeida (no-input mixing board, effects, trumpet, electronics), José Vale (guitar, effects), Miguel Fernandez (drums, sampling), Aleksandra Nygaard Djordjevic (vocals)