Vinyl Corner is a feature where we take a look at vinyl pressings of various albums and weigh them up to see just how good they sound, how well they’re pressed and what sort of packaging to expect – as well as giving a brief overview of the music itself. Today, we’re taking a look at the latest release from German archival label Analogue Africa: Camarão‘s ‘The Imaginary Soundtrack to a Brazilian Western Movie’.
A compilation of recordings from Brazilian accordion player Camarão, ‘The Imaginary Soundtrack to a Brazilian Western Movie’ collects together recordings from a ten year period, covering 1964 to 1974. Although Camarão released records well into the ’80s, none of his albums appear to have ever been reissued and original copies are highly scarce, making this release the first to bring his work to a modern audience. It’s a sprightly collection, with jaunty, fluid accordion work leading a band which places high emphasis on a strong rhythm. Most pieces are short – hovering around the two minute mark – but with 8 tracks per side, there’s plenty of content to sink your teeth into here.
This is a fantastic pressing and presents Camarão in very likely the highest fidelity possible – though, admittedly, we haven’t heard pressings of his original albums. The record is pressed on thick, good quality vinyl – it’s very sturdy and our copy is completely flat. Pressing quality is very strong with a practically inaudible noise floor and not a single crackle or pop on our copy. Although – as we said before – there’re 16 songs spread over one single LP, they’re all very short so this pressing avoids the inner groove distortion often found on records with too much music squeezed onto one disc. Beautifully remastered, this release presents these vintage records with impressive clarity, the instruments sounding full-bodied and the recordings having considerable presence.
If the pressing sets a high bar, then it’s one that ‘The Imaginary Soundtrack to a Brazilian Western Movie’s packaging comfortably lives up to. Housed in a gatefold sleeve replete with chunky spine, presentation and layout is attractive throughout with nicely reproduced vintage photographs and tasteful font choices. The record is sleeved in a nonpolylined generic black inner so it may be advisable to swap that out for something more protective but, other than that, there’s nothing to fault here. The labels are classy, prominently featuring the Analog Africa logo and laid-out in such a way that they nod toward the late ’50s to early ’70s halcyon days of striking label design. Also included is a full-sized, full-colour 12 page booklet containing a surprisingly large amount of reading as well as some good quality photos from that era. It’s a really nice addition to the set and one that cements this as a very well presented release.
The past decade or so has seen a huge upsurge in labels specialising in reissues of rare or previously unreleased music, and Analog Africa have put out one of the best we’ve yet seen with ‘The Imaginary Soundtrack to a Brazilian Western Movie’. The pressing is fantastic, a quiet play surface and sturdy pressing being huge pluses. The mastering is impressive given the vintage of the material released here and the packaging and presentation is equally beguiling. All in all, this is a quality reissue and one that’s released at a reasonable price given the consideration and effort that’s gone into its creation.