After last year's spectacular debut festival featuring the likes of Murcof and Com Truise, Novas Frequências returns to Ipanema's Oi Futuro with another impressive armoury of international experimental noisesmiths. If huge, bleeping banks of audio equipment, fizzing laptops and sturdy beards get your juices flowing, you are in for a treat.
Opening up proceedings, Prince Rama's (princerama.tumblr.com) psychedelic rock sets the tone nicely for the unpredictable aural assault to follow through the week in the normally placid environs of Oi's cultural space. The brotherly duo Taraka and Nimai Larson lived in a Florida Hare Krishna community before moving to New York to uncork their musical proclivities, causing rumbles on the underground with the unpredictable energy of their live shows.
German producer Pole (pole-music.com) steps into the fray on Wednesday, a man whose own musical bent is at least in part given away by the titles of his first four albums; 1, 2, 3 and, just to mix things up a bit, R. Dub heavy and minimal, his newer material, set for release in early 2013, has seen Pole up the funk factor and embrace live sounds, not in the form of instruments per se, but recordings of the wind and rain.
Actress, aka Darren Cunningham, has already nailed remixes for the masterful Joy Orbison, and to date has released two albums on West London imprint Honest Jon's Records. Intriguingly labelled as 'r'n'b concrete' by the man himself, Actress' sound swings from heavy, beat driven electronica to beatless ambient sound, so get ready for a journey through his most recent record R.I.P (2012) on Thursday night.
Born in the Estonian city of Tallinn, 24 year-old Maria Minerva (soundcloud.com/mariaminerva) has carved out a strong reputation as both singer and producer thanks to a series of releases on Not Not Fun's more danceable offshoot label 100% Silk. Prolific and pop-centric, the underlying depth of the girl's grooves can transport you into a digital dreamland from fifty paces, making Friday night the perfect chance to see exactly why she is leading the new school of East European cool.
A double bill on Saturday and Sunday opens up with Spanish multi-instrumentalist Albert Zaragoza Gas, aka Lenticular Clouds (lenticularclouds.net). Bundled into the chillwave camp, the tiny electronic details of his work drew the masses into his world at this year's Sonar Festival in Barcelona. He is followed by US singer Julianna Barwick (juliannabarwick.com), a former chorister-turned-dream haunter whose deft way with loops and reverbs creates an emotion-filled soundscape.
Seeing out the festival on Sunday night are Brazil's own Cadu Tenório and the UK's Hype Williams. Tenório delivers a barrage of chaos and droning darkness rarely associated with the carioca musical map he forms a refreshing part of, whilst the notoriously aloof Hype Williams duo walks the thin line between hipster and underground, but simply let their dub-fuelled sounds do the talking. Expect live re-workings of tracks from the album One Nation released early last year, and a host of new material that defies categorisation, preferring instead to freewheel across the musical map and take the listener with it.