Veraopop - Veraopop (Etched Traumas)

Portuguese psychedelic/drone duo issue compelling debut release

Released Sep 23rd, 2014 via Etched Traumas / By Erick Mertz
Veraopop - Veraopop (Etched Traumas) Minimalism is tricky to assess in ambient music. With a veritable universe of sound at any composer’s disposal, what to make with that dark space between, itself even more limitless, becomes an endless quandary. Complete utilization of the form may occur between waterfalls of effect, and if so, Verãopop are one of the genre’s burgeoning masters.

Veraopop are a Portuguese psychedelic/drone duo, led by keyboardist Vitor Peirera with a self-titled offering on the Greek label, Etched Traumas. Their debut consists of three untitled tracks, each utilizing a smart blend of synthesizers, haunting Theremin and a series of warbling, technological samples that should be eerily familiar. And a whole lot of haunting negative space, which is key, as it turns out, in making Verãopop a repeat worthy, background séance session listen.

Recorded live at jam session in Lisbon, Spain, Veraopop is an unexpectedly tight, cohesive piece of music (at least I absorb this record as a single piece of music). The tracks, while fully fleshed out, come across as raw, filled with a decidedly autumnal mood. The impromptu aspect works as well, lending spontaneity to the album’s overall uneven feeling. Tracks don’t really fade in or out; they break in with an unrivaled urgency, rare on a work of such arresting texture.

As a band, Verãopop is still breaking. With this effort though, it should not be long at all before they’ve established a prominent place on the dark side of the electronic street.