The Charque Side Of The Moon
Have you ever wondered what would Pink Floyd sound like if they were from the Amazon? Probably not, but it totally happened. Sort of.
In 2007, several musicians based in Belém, Brasil joined a project helmed by Félix Robatto (ex-La Pupuña) and producer Fabrício Jomar. The goal was to reproduce what is arguably the best album in Pink Floyd’s catalogue – The Dark Side Of The Moon – while giving it a distinctly paraense flavor. After 45 days of intense work, including 15 guest artists and the spending of the hefty sum of $170, The Charque Side Of The Moon was born. In Belém, charque is not only a very popular type of beef jerky, commonly consumed with açaí and farinha as sides; it is also an affectionate nickname for the female genitalia. Hence the name and the NSFW cover art of the project.
This record is a labour of love for both the British band and my region’s sounds. The original compositions and lyrics were preserved almost intact, with the most notable changes being made in the rhythm section and some of the guitar work. Jam their rendition of “Money” to see what I mean. Sammliz (ex-Madame Saatan) handles the vox on this one.
In “Time”, for example, the percussion is provided by carimbó band Os Baioaras. “The Great Gig In The Sky” went through a tecnobrega makeover, featuring its characteristic beat and the voice of Gaby Amarantos, who would later on become the genre’s main exponent. Charmingly, the trinkets and samples of the album were also replaced by regional tidbits, like the bells of Círio de Nazaré in “Time” and Fafá de Belém‘s unique laughter on “Brain Damage”.
I realize the majority of the artists and musical styles mentioned here, most likely all of them, are completely unknown to you. This fact shan’t be detrimental to your enjoyment of The Charque Side Of The Moon, one of my favorite reimaginings of one of my favorite records. You can download the project by stabbing here.
Félix Robatto recently released a solo album entitled Equatorial, Quente & Úmido. It is a very interesting blend of traditional Pará rhythms and modern pop rock. Peep the visuals for “Eu Quero Cerveja” (I Want Beer) and if you jam, stream the entire record on Deezer.