Alejandra and Aeron | Porto (Folklore Fragments Volume 2)

Lucky Kitchen | CD

"A common hairstyle of local men is given by barbers using two stainless steel scissors, one in each hand. Instead of using an electric razor to thin the hair in neat layers, they use a rapid snip-snip motion like Edward Scissorhands."

Alejandra and Aeron

'Porto' opens with the snip, snip, snip rhythms of a Salão Ferreira barber, the first of 24 short, but action-packed recordings that sparkle with scintillating detail. The second volume of Alejandra and Aeron's Folklore Fragments – the first 'La Rioja' won them widespread praise – 'Porto' recontextualises the everyday and rescues the commonplace from obscurity, bringing it sparkling back to life.

Alejandra and Aeron's folklore fragments extend far beyond the narrow confines of 'music'. These are cultural documents, detailed anthropological notebooks which couple carefully crafted field recordings with meticulous sleeve notes, sharp observations of landscapes that are in danger of being forgotten in the media obsessiveness of our current televisual age.

'Porto' gathers together communal songs that float on the shimmering heat haze of warm summer evenings, religious chants, the clatter and chatter of local craftsmen, the rasp of hand tools that are long forgotten in the city... a true fanfare for the common man.

Every track is exceptional, but one track shines through – 'Rosário', a relgious chant stumbled over in a Miragaia neighbourhood – features an informal incantation by "eleven older women, dressed in faded black scarves" about which Alejandra and Aeron poignantly note:

"Apparently the women meet informally like this for at least an hour, several times a week. Since all the women looked well over 60, this practice will probably not continue for much longer."

[CM]



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