In his recent interview with Maria Minerva, Ze Pequeno divulged a justifiable inkling that Lisbon, Praça dos Restauradores in particular, is becoming the new Berlin, a continental hub of creative energy that pulls and pushes impending talent in a range of fervent, unrestrained directions. With a sudden flurry of musicians swinging by Portugal to record albums and write fresh material, combined with a blossoming collective of local practitioners crafting reputations for themselves as resolute, enterprising producers, it came as little surprise to stumble across projects such as Branches, lingering discreetly under the surface in the country’s second city, Porto.
Pedro Rios has been dropping experimental soundscapes for Solid Melts and UUU Tapes (RIP) over the course of the past six years, with his latest solo outing, Ninguém É Como Tu, hitting virtual shelves in January 2012 and consequentially landing him a spot on microphonesinthetrees’ top cassette releases of the year.
More recently, Rios uploaded Ninguém É Como Tu - reworks for free on his Bandcamp. The album features a slew of equally intriguing Portuguese artists and their interpretations of Branches’ irresistible New Age electronic jams, making this a quintessential release for coming to terms with what is happening on the Iberian peninsula right now. It seems Ze Pequeno was onto something.