Here at Cat On The Wall we believe that the future of great music lies in the hands of the small (and very much internet savvy) independent labels. Cloud Chapel Records certainly fits the ‘independent’ description focusing on experimental and lo-fi D.I.Y artists. Based in Sao Paulo City, Brazil, Cloud Chapel Records is still quite a young label but with new artists already in the pipeline it looks like the label has a very bright future. COTW’s Jo Whitby caught up with label owner Stan Molina for a quick chat about the current roster of artists, the Sao Paulo music scene and his future plans…
Cat On The Wall: How and why did Cloud Chapel Records come about? Why is the label called Cloud Chapel?
Stan Molina: Some friends and I were creating and recording songs in our rooms and I thought they were great so I conceived a label to release them.
I myself have built and kept the website. The headquarters are in fact where I live with mates (Península Fernandes is one of them) and we started to do concerts in the living room with a bar set up in the kitchen.
The posters and album/site artworks are made by the musicians themselves and/or artists we like. The discs are homemade with these artworks and other surprises and sent worldwide by me.
The truth about the name is that I just find it beautiful, though the fact that the headquarters are located at the highest point of the neighbourhood may have influenced me.
COTW: In the UK we don’t know very much about the Sao Paulo City music scene. Are there many experimental/lo-fi musicians in the area or is it more of an underground scene at the moment?
SM: There are some amazing things happening in Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro but all of them are isolated artists or micro-scenes.
For example, near the Cloud Chapel way (and geographical location) there is the Perdizes Dream label (perdizesdream.wordpress.com), home for ‘Babe, Terror’ and ‘Buon Giorno Luamada’. Also from the neighbourhood is the pioneer (www.openfield.org), that released many and varied records from 2004 to 2008, and hosted great little concerts too.
As I said, the scene is made of isolated cool things and outside of it tons of socio-political-oriented crap, traditional-Brazilian-public-money-grabbers and new-CSS-wannabes. Believe me, it’s ugly, but somehow we’ll survive.
COTW: You currently have Acessórios Essenciais and Península Fernandes represented on the label. How did you get involved with these artists?
SM: Acessórios Essenciais (a.k.a. Augusto Malbouisson) was a friend of some friends of mine from Rio de Janeiro. Then I listened to some of his recordings on MySpace and started to talk about them to everyone like a crazy man. They are among the motives for the creation of Cloud Chapel as I said above.
Península Fernandes (a.k.a. Daniel Monteiro) is my flatmate and friend. We use to drink and watch TV in the living room. He suddenly began to make records. In a period of three months he recorded three freaky EPs and when he showed me the first tracks of ‘Malta’ I was totally convinced.
COTW: Do you hope to add more artists in the future? What do you look for in an artist?
SM: Yes. I already have more artists. One of them happens to be myself. They are recording their albums now. I’ll let you know when they come about.
I don’t think I have some precise thing that I look for in an artist. I’ll just know when I see it.
COTW: The Cloud Chapel Records website states that the label releases records made in bedrooms. Why the preference for more ‘do-it-yourself’ productions?
SM: When you record in your bedroom you have a freewheeling spirit you can’t have recording on a studio with a sound engineer and time appointment. And the records convey that.
COTW: What are you listening to at the moment? Any artists we should be looking out for?
SM: Well. For these last days I’m listening again to the 2008 Mount Eerie’s album, ‘Lost Wisdom’, the new one by Ariel Pink and some Elton John classic songs. But these ones you and your readers already know, so I’ll point out some artists from Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro:
- In Rio de Janeiro there’s a guy who calls himself Bonifrate (www.myspace.com/bonifrate). He makes great songs and use to play them in company of Giraknob, a fella who creates textures with a guitar and lots of electronic devices,
- A band from Rio called Filme (www.myspace.com/filmebanda),
- From Sao Paulo, an 18-year old girl named Stephanie Toth (http://www.myspace.com/stephanietothmusic) who has a very personal voice and style,
- From the past, there is a guy from Sao Paulo who released three awesome high-pop records from 1976 to 1978 and then started to compose songs for very popular TV soap operas. His name is Guilherme Arantes. Try to find these records. It must be those three ones.
COTW: Finally, what are your plans for the near future?
SM: For now the plan is making Cloud Chapel and the good Sao Paulo/Rio known for music fans worldwide then release the new records that are being prepared.
Next I intend to look for agents in Europe/US/Canada/Australia/New Zealand and go on tour with my artists. If someone is interested please contact me at email@example.com
In parallel I’ll keep hosting concerts at my living room. If you are a music fan and come to Sao Paulo, contact me, or check on the website, and show up!