Brazilian Girls @ The Ottobar - 8/8/2015

Though more international than many other bands (singer Sabina Sciubba is Italian, while keyboardist Didi Gutman is Argentinian), no one in Brazilian Girls is actually Brazilian, and only one of them is female.  But regardless of any questions raised by their name, one thing is certain – they’re a band that knows how to have a good time.  Last Saturday night, the New York-based quartet brought their world music-influenced electronic dance-punk to the Ottobar in Baltimore for a show that kept everyone in the venue moving for the entire show. 

Dancing and pacing the stage in a multi-faced mask for the first several songs, Sciubba seemed like someone from another world.  Gutman provided most of the melody, while drummer Aaron Johnston and bassist Jesse Murphy held down the often-complex rhythms to keep the party going. 

 The many faces of Sabina Sciubba of Brazilian Girls (photo by Matt Condon)

The many faces of Sabina Sciubba of Brazilian Girls (photo by Matt Condon)

It’s been seven years since the band last released an album, but as Sciubba noted at one point during the set, they have a new one coming next year.   “If we make a new record, what are you going to do with it?” she asked (answers varied from “buy it!” to “steal it!:” – at least they were honest?).  To that end, they played several new songs, including “Pirates” and “The Critic.”  But of course the band didn’t skimp on the popular tracks from their earlier albums, playing extended versions of “Jique” and “Pussy,” along with “Don’t Stop,” “Berlin,” and “Sirènes de la Fête.”

Helado Negro, the project of Ecuadorian-American producer Roberto Carlos Lange, opened the show.  Performing largely with pre-sequenced backing tracks, Lange focused primarily on his vocals, playing tracks from his latest album Double Youth, along with a recently released new track titled “Young, Latin and Proud.”