Sunday, June 19, 2005

Netlabel Profile: Fronha Records

Fronha Records was originally formed in 2002 to release the work of a group of artists living in Rio de Janeiro, who had been producing work since the 80s. Since forming, the label has broadened to include a number of new artists - all loosely grouped in the experimental electronic bracket

I spoke to MMeNDES, who plays an active role in both running the label and contributing to the various projects the label works on

What's the independent label scene like at the moment in Brazil?
As my interest is basically focused to experimental/industrial/noise music and of course for bizarre weird sounds I can't say that there's a "scene" of independent labels of this genre working right now in Brazil. I know here in Rio de Janeiro the following ones: Fronha Records, Menthe de Chat (the new weblabel created recently by Fernando STorres aka KKFS ), Truma Records that's the home of the anti-music project Lavajato, and Speculum Records that launches old school and noise from the artist Lucas Pires

Is it hard getting noticed on the international stage?
The attention of the public isn't too focused on electronic-experimental projects, so it's easier to find interest outside Brazil

Do consciously try to maintain a specific image for the label (ie. only release certain types of music)?
I think it happens naturally. As there's no money involved in it, the reason for releasing an artist is just personal taste

What made you decide in 2004 to include artists that lived outside Rio de Janeiro on your label?
Our objective is to give exposure to brazilian experimental music in as many places as possible. In 2003/2004 we made many contacts with independent artists out of Brazil. It's a way that we found to make Fronha Records grow up, collecting more people out of the country

Do you play live shows outside of Brazil?
No. But we would like to a lot. Is that an invitation?

What place do you think the netlabel has in the future of music in Brazil, and in the wider world?
I believe that the interest for our kind of music is increasing, but I really don't believe that there will be a place for our kind of sound in the future of brazilian music


These mp3s are the highest encodings offered by the label, but they do offer lower bit rates too. Go here for their entire catalogue, where you can select your quality

Debussy Bach Restaurant - Prelude (JS Bach).mp3
Debussy Bach Restaurant - Dream (CA Debussy).mp3
Debussy Bach Restaurant - Snow Is Dancing (CA Debussy).mp3

Analogue versions of classical tunes - works wonderfully. I've had this album for a while and it's something I come back to quite often

Junkers - I Was Thinking To Kill You (dell.tree remix).mp3
Junkers - I Was Thinking To Kill You (Monjope version).mp3

The Junkers release is Fronha's latest. Junkers comprises of MMeNDES (vocal, computer and synth), Cláudio Monjope (bass, synth and electronic drum) and Fernando STorres (computer, bass and Casio SK1). Each member of the band made their own mix of the title track, and I've included two of these here. The dell.tree remix reminds me of Roots Manuva's Evil Rabbit with its dark bassline...

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