Setting a “record” straight…
RE is a Revisited, Remixed and Remastered version of Arrefole’s debut album “Veículo Climatizado” from 2006.
It comprises the natural evolution of more than 15 years of Arrefole performing its repertoire with all kinds of different ensembles, instruments, set-ups, and guest musicians.
Featuring João Conceição as their full-time percussionist, RE tries to close the gap between what fans recognize as “arrefole Live” and the debut album. It presents a renewed and fresh take on an established record, winking at their hardcore fans.
ARREFOLE 20 Years
Fifteen years after the release of the album “Veículo Climatizado” – recorded during the golden age of the folk movement in the city of Porto – the band relaunched this historical work, remixed, remastered and with some bonus and extras, on June 4th, 2021.
Why to RE?
REvisit | REmix | REmaster
Arrefole music sprouts from pure practice and intuition.
While making music together, their emotions, feelings, and sensations are weaved into this fabric of songs and musical statements.
The collective kept playing most of the themes from “Veículo Climatizado” in their live performances. These songs grew up with the musicians, maturing through 15 years of playing, adapting, and living on stage. They were never meant to be “carved in stone”.
RE is the emancipation of those themes. A recognition that, although born in 2006, they are quite alive and present today. The debut album deserved this rite of passage into better representing the collective in its present form.
15 years Setting the beat
Joining arrefole soon after 2006’s album release, João Conceição took over the rhythmic and percussive duties of their live performances.
With a fine balance between innovating and remaining faithful to the previously recorded rhythmic patterns, his style soon took hold of the other musicians. It grew to become an undeniable presence in the collective’s musical aesthetics.
Equipped with an extensive set of drums and percussions, João presents himself on stage with a slightly different setup at every gig. This brings a continuous sense of novelty into every concert, leaving everyone (musicians included) guessing what new rhythmic fragrance will emerge from behind the set.
Producing your own music…
It was not about questioning or reassessing the work done in 2006, but rather having artistic freedom again. It was important to start with a clean slate. Thus, all mixing and mastering work was discarded, picking only the raw captures from the original project.
Then, there was this long process of putting everything back together, letting the current trends, tastes and influences drive the work towards a freshened and more lively sounding experience.
There was a gentle smirk at the naivety of some early musical decisions, now seen through the lived musician’s eyes (and ears). Yet, there was the concern of not rebuking those decisions but reinstating them and making them richer.
The soul of the music would still be there, only louder and clearer.
Indie label, 2021
Capture | Overdub | New instruments:
D. Pereira | G. Cruz | J. Conceição | N. Flores | R. Ferreira
Mix: Nuno Flores
Master: Helder Costa
All music composed, arranged & performed by arrefole
Original capture was done by Emiliano Toste, Estudios Toste in 2006
In-House AUDIO production
by Nuno Flores
Everybody can create music. Not everybody can produce music.
Nevertheless, we live in an age where, for the first time, music production resources and skills are at the grasp of the average person.
Since its inception, the collective had in Nuno, not only a skilled musician and arranger but an audio production aficionado. 15 years past and arrefole’s skills are good enough to take matters into their own hands and let Nuno produce this release.
graphic design: Gonçalo Cruz | photography: Abel Andrade
All music composed, arranged & performed by arrefole
Why no soundscape this time?
The original 2006 album featured 13 tracks glued together with transportation soundscape into a continuous full-length journey, intended as a 1h listening experience. It was as close to a conceptual album, as the young arrefole collective could have accomplished in 2006.
With “RE”, the purpose was never to re-create the debut album or make a new album inspired on “Veiculo Climatizado”.
The focus now was to finalize, record, and studio produce some of the best live experiences/versions of the repertoire, to be released during the celebration of their 20 years.
The body of live performance work that had only been fully enjoyed by the most die-hard fans, over a span of a decade, could now be somewhat experienced by listening to RE.
Starting from scratch, with the raw capture of 2006, Nuno committed to reconstructing the songs from the ground up. It was his concern to strike a fine balance between a possible “refurbishing” of the album and producing a truly REvisited repertoire while keeping it faithful to its conception and history.
That is why the soundscape materials, that gave the debut album its original identity, and integrity as a multi-art piece, are now absent.
All musicians were free to contribute as they saw fit and they all had full artistic liberty to manipulate the repertoire.
RE was released on the digital platforms, no longer intended to be listened as a full 1h journey, but rather to be enjoyed one song at a time.
As with all work of art, some pieces are more matured than others, and some themes ask for more care and attention than others.
To experience the raw original listening journey you should try to get your hands into a copy of the 2006 work.
Side by side listening to the two albums is a worthwhile experience. An insight into the mind of the musicians after 20 years.
“Saia Velhinha” is the live performance version of the a-cappella song already present in the 2006 album. It represents the most updated version of an ever-evolving theme which, throughout 15 years of stage performances, the collective kept adapting and adjusting until reaching a satisfiable concert theme.
“Metro_shred” is Nuno’s early hard rock/metal influences applied at “Metro_nomo”. Most often than not, Nuno would return home from rehearsing and these off-genre versions of arrefole themes would just pop up in his head. This one was so clear, that he had to produce it and record it. It just goes to prove that their musical minds are quite open to embrace all existing influences, even those that seem quite distant in terms of sounding landscape.
From free “jamming” to remote composing
When considering kicking off the RE endeavour, the collective had to come to terms that not only was Gonçalo living in Finland, but we were all stranded by the COVID pandemic.
However, all of them had the means to capture, listen and work together remotely. So instead of solitary work, they shifted from jamming to back and forth composing, like pen-friends writing letters.
The world kept turning. “Life”, by just “happening”, had given the arrefole project the tools for artistic “closure”.
In 2021 the collective has turned a new page. It’s the end of an artistic cycle and the beginning of a new incredible creative journey.
There is definitely a “before” and “after” RE…