Bandua takes the centuries-old, traditional music from the Beira Baixa region of Portugal, and re-imagines it with an electronic folk reinterpretation. Conceived by native sound- explorer and eclectic producer Tempura (aka. Tempura the Purple Boy) and Portuguese singer and all-round musician Edgar Valente, Bandua represents the first time that these sounds and songs have been repurposed as a melancholic, Portuguese-language electronic record.
Influenced by pagan and Moorish traditions, Beira Baixa is a central region of Portugal steeped in ancient culture with a rugged, hyper- regionalised history of folk music. With both artists having roots in the region, it felt right for them to collaborate and produce this love- letter to their homes. “Bandua is a reinterpretation of traditional Portuguese songs from the Beira Baixa region, bringing them into the modern world,” explains Tempura “we wanted to create something new, while not forgetting where we came from.”
Starting out as a bass player working in different genres, Tempura has been sculpting an electronic sound aesthetic that fuses the traditionally organic with the more mellow-paced club sounds throughout his career. He credits the likes of Nicolas Jaar, Acid Pauli, and GYRL as influences, artists whose sound can be heard permeating throughout the album.
Like the duo Darkside, a band whose sounds can be easily identified to those within Bandua, Valente plays the Harrington to Tempura's Jaar.
Valente is the embodiment of the region’s spirit, and was chosen as a collaborator due to the fact that he has a strong foothold into the area
and its traditions. His extremely pronounced vocals waver from that of a stooping village man, to something akin to a multi-toned shaman priest.
It’s a vocal range and style he’s acquired by immersing himself into the culture of Beira Baixa, and studying the music and craftsmanship of the region for many years. Valente, who also plays in Portuguese folk-act Criatura, plays on multiple instruments across the record, including the Adufe, a 1,400 year old spiritual drum that is unique to the region.
Indeed, this particular piece of percussion is aligned to the region’s deeper spiritual consciousness. For as long as it has been around the Adufe has been played the Adufeiras — a group of female musicians who would chant along with their playing during ceremonies and religious events. “In Beira Baixa, there is a specific style of singing, instrumentation with lyrics that refer specifically to towns in that
region, and a lot of it is played and sung by women,” explains Tempura.
"O espírito da Beira Baixa desceu até Lisboa para um concerto magnífico, na noite de lançamento do álbum de estreia dos Bandua. Têm tudo para dar certo".
Por Vítor Balenciano em Público
"Bandua é um daqueles disco que escutamos com doses generosas de estranheza e familiaridade, sendo essa a primeira das razões que nos faz voltar uma e outra vez a cada uma das canções. Damos por nós a ouvir algo realmente novo, distinto e intrigante, mas que ao mesmo tempo nos soa familiar, natural e instintivo".
Por João Mineiro em Rimas & Batidas