Patife Band – Corredor Polones (WEA Records) 1987. Alriiiighhht. Have you fuckin’ heard this? It’s insane. That’s right. INSANE. I don’t even know how to describe it and I generally can ramble on about anything. But this album leaves me speechless. It’s that good. If I were able to somehow shape my impressions of this into words I guess I would start with the musicianship, which is some of the best I’ve ever heard anywhere. But this isn’t wankery for wankery’s sake. None of these songs crack the four minute mark. These songs are tight and compact but within their self-imposed constraints they go all over the place. Poema Eem Linha Reta for instance, sounds like The Stickmen at their most crazed with the loopy punk-funk bassline and shouted vocals. This is followed by the traditional song Teu Bem, which sounds (kinda) like traditional Brazilian music, except for every once in a while when they get all syncopated and shit.
The few things I could find on the Patife Band, generally try to paint them as a No-Wave / Post Punk type band. They were on The Sexual Life of Savages comp released on Soul Jazz a few years back (a must have). In fact, that’s singer and main man Paulo Barnabe on the cover of that album. Definitely these guys were post-punk in the sense they were taking basic punk rock approaches and going in new directions with them. At the same time, there are so many other elements to this (James Blood Ulmer style free jazz, rockabilly vocal stylings, Country & Western, Gaucho music, traditional Brazilian music, Bad Brains-style hardcore, avant swing) that it is probably unfair to limit it as merely post-punk.
According to the Patife Band MySpace:
Patife Band is a project by the musician/composer Paulo Barnabe, that started in 1985, when they recorded their 1st EP. Initially founded as “Paulo Patife Band”, had its name reduced to “Patife Band”, and recording their 2nd album, named “Corredor Polones” (WEA/1987) Paulo Barnabe is influenced by classical composition techniques leading to asymmetrical rhythms, atonal cells, dodecaphonic series. Also there’s confessed punk-rock, jazz and Brazilian rhythms influences, that makes the “joke” even more spicy!
So there you have it.