Atrópico (Atropic) 1: Outside the tropics, marginal, unwell, restless.
Outside the geographical area bounded by the tropics. The opposite of quiet.
Atrópico (Atropic) 2: Qualifying of an acid extracted from Belladonna. Used as a hallucinogen to shake off sad thoughts.
On their first new album in five years, the long-running Brazilian ensemble takes its instrumental sound to a new strength.
Active since 2003, the band Constantina has a kind of mystique around it that brings rapturous reunions in every new album released. "Atrópico", the most recent effort from the band, comes with a new sense of growth while its members had to deal with major transformations in their personal lives.
The loss of a father, a battle against a cancer and the born of a new child; all these struggles and blessings gathering in these five years of hiatus help to shape the sound pieces that we found in the new album.
"Atrópico" does nothing that you haven’t heard them do before—all of their peculiar melodies are there, but only this time, they have done it with a more emphatically and dramatically way. Using more horns sections and a new approach in the guitar work, the band made a step forward in its atmospheric ambiences. It sounds darker than any previous work from the band, and yet, full of hopefulness.
Although, we can hear some new inspirations like in the brief piece called "Frida"; a beautiful homage made only by horns, bandoneon, and vibraphone. In here, the band surprises the older listeners, sounding almost like a piece of chamber music, and leaves us wondering where all this could lead in the near future.
Speaking about the visual graphics related to the band, we can see that there is a great deal of attention given to details. For this time, the band invited the artist Claudio Silvano to create the concept for the album cover. Silvano is a Brazilian photographer based in Paris, France. This partnership was a longtime wish that it is now fulfilled.
His work has this memory appeal that suits perfectly for the tone of the songs. As Silvano's himself describes; "–I like to think that all my pictures are reactions. I react to the world around me and I try not to interfere too much with the environment or the people I photograph. After a while, these reactions become memories and I rediscover them while I’m editing the pictures."
His analogic and black & white pictures received the Grand Prize of Hariban Award, Japan, in 2016.
In the end, "Atrópico" sounds more restive, with a stronger message than the previous albums. An amazing addition to their discography and history as a group. In times of hatred, they persist in kindness.
/ / /
"The way that they transition musically from more traditional rock set up to electronics and then jazz is very fluid and natural. Atrópico is the kind of album that is multi-dimensional and will not overstay it’s welcome."
– Drifting, Almost Falling
released October 29, 2019
Recorded at Atelier Pequeno Quarto, between 2017 & 2018. Belo Horizonte, Brazil.
“O Rio Corre Para o Mar” live session recorded at C.A.S.A. - Centro de Arte Suspensa & Armatrux. Nova Lima, Brazil.
“Frida” & “Frida (Reprise)” live session recorded at FEA - Fundação de Educação Artística. Belo Horizonte, Brazil.
Performers: Andre Veloso, Bruno Nunes, Daniel Nunes, Lucas Morais & Viquitor Burgos.
Alex Fernandino plays guitar and synth on “Ensinando a Ser Sombra”.
Francisco Cesar plays Bandoneon on “Frida”.
Mixing and Mastering by Andre Veloso.
Cover photograph by Claudio Silvano.