Maria João / OGRE trio @ Santiago Alquimista – Review


Crítica do concerto dos OGRE (em versão trio) no Santiago Alquimista, em Lisboa, no passado dia 22 de Novembro, no blog HardMusica.


Last friday, (Nov. 22nd), OGRE played as a trio at Santiago Alquimista in Lisbon. HardMusica blog reviewed the gig. Here’s an English translation for non-Portuguese speakers!


“OGRE presented new songs from their upcoming album in what was a unique event.

Once again, this band shows that the symbiosis between jazz and electronic is very beneficial – and desirable.

With João Farinha on Fender Rhodes and André Nascimento on electronics, guided by the voice of Maria João, OGRE, performing as a trio, made their debut at the Santiago Alquimista venue in Lisbon.

This project, which began in 2009, focuses on a rather unorthodox experimentation with unusual sonorities, creating an imaginary world seemingly brewed from a cocktail mix that includes Herbie Hancock’s piano, Prokofiev’s compositions, synthesizer sounds from Crystal Fighters, and a taste of Sigur Rós.

Maria João, with her well-known expression, makes her voice go from bass to treble, delicately, quickly and flawlessly in songs like “Parrots and lions” and Djavan’s “Ilha” (“Island”) , tracks from the 2012 debut ” Electrodoméstico”. OGRE can literally carry us to an island, evoking songs of sirens with their sounds with each word being sung with uniqueness and depth.

On new tracks “Fome” (” Hunger “) and ” Gobbledygook “, synthesizers are juxtaposed with Maria João’s voice, sometimes in a seemingly casual blend and others with a precise coordination as the music evolves – OGRE takes nourishment from pandemonium and the fickleness of these mixtures, creating an unexpected unison.

The sensuality of João Farinha’s synth on ” I get a kick” finds Maria João in an androgynous mood, and original song “Jeronimo ‘s Tooth” – dedicated to the singer’s own pet, a Rhodesian dog – is mashed up with the Beatles’ “Black Bird”, through a song bridge very efficiently built by André Nascimento and Farinha.

The exploration of feelings and arousal of the audience’s emotions is attained in a unique show where cacophony becomes harmony, full of improvisation and musicality.

In the end, an encore contrasted with the concert’s previous music: a vocal, a cappella performance of “The lion sleeps tonight”.


Tiago Pereira

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