Norberto Lobo is a prodigious acoustic and electric guitar player from Lisbon with a career hitting upon his first decade. He’s done his profound reading of the most auspicious and melancholic melodies (a place where Steve Reich, Jim O’Rourke, Paulinho da Viola and Carlos Paredes all make sense together unto one existence), has been deeply enriched by the harmonic depth & richness of the samba/bossa heritage (which he knows by heart), and his composition in both short and longer-form is nothing short of remarkable - a sense of structure, narrative and storytelling complete by a total absence of any tics or theatrical antics, in which every turn is revised and remade for maximum fascination for both musician and audience. That and he has one of the best left-hands around - for a right-hand guitar player. Jack Rose and Ben Chasny said so. His fans include Gary Lucas, the late great Naná Vasconcelos and the tragically defunct Llasa de Sela.
‘Muxama', out this September on the swiss label Three:Four records, is the newest accomplished chapter of Norberto’s artistic expression on guitar, once again a result of his rich inner world, his puissant curiosity for life and people – fellow musicians, his peers, and audiences, other countries, languages and cultures – and a particular aesthetic disquietude to the musical language that he has been blessing us with his six strings. The style and spirit that inhabit the 9 tracks of “Muxama”, composed pieces assembled intertwining the written and the improvised or chance aspect embraced while performing, guides us the ways of access to the harmony and the musicality inherent of otherworldly places, unidentified spaces where dream and myth make themselves heard, in each brief narrative, with their strange and obsessive voice. His most ‘electric’ album till date, Norberto now makes use of effects pedals and filters in real time so that with his mercurial technique can fine tune and give form to his musical ideas, offering an inspired prismatic dimension to the produced oeuvre, shaping notions of time, timbre and phrases in a brilliant manner, simultaneously classic and for coming.
Norberto Lobo - Fornalha
Text by Eric Chenaux
“Talking to yourself is more about listening than speaking.”
Alice In The Cities – Wim Wenders
Fornalha sounds more like the work of an open format radio program or some Root-strata summer mix tape than a document of a guitar recital. The image of a musician as DJ is one that allows us to think about the musician as a listener, rather than a performer; listening rather than reciting.
Norberto Lobo is a mind-bending musician, strangely and effortlessly modulating psychedelic ideas to the guitar. (...)