Since February, I’ve been following a local rock band called Eletrocactus. I met them while they were working in a recording studio as they started mastering their first CD. I was attracted to the way they drew on regional imagery in their music. Almost everything they do refers to the sertão, the semi-arid hinterland, of the Brazilian Northeast. One of the members of the band explained to me that they use regional rhythms like the baião to musically evoke Ceará’s interior, and maracatu cearense for Fortaleza and urban life. Songs have names like “Calango Eletrônico” (Electronic Lizard), “Fogo do Sertão” (Fire of the Sertão), and “Seco Sertão Sangrado” (Bled Dry Sertão). The title track of their new album is called, “O Dia em que a Fome Morreu de Sede” (The Day that Hunger Died of Thirst). At times the singers’ vocal style mimics rural traditions like cantoria and embolada, and the melodic and harmonic foundations are mostly blues and rock. They’re constantly combining images of the city and the sertão, tradition and modernity, local and global.
I filmed their CD release party in June at the Theatro José de Alencar. Here’s my video of their song, “Eu Sou o Sol” (I am the Sun), for which the lead singer changed into a yellow shirt.