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Gang 90 & Absurdettes

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‘Yesterday night I dreamed I was Jack Keroac’

The story of São Paulo’s underground dates back from the early 80’s and owes a lot to pop militant, poet, lead singer, DJ and full-time dreamer Julio Barroso and his Gang 90 & As Absurdettes.

Julio was a larger than life character, a die-hard fan of black music who was also a ‘living bible’ of Brazilian popular music and a great admirer of acts such as Kid Creolle & The Coconuts, B52’s and Pere Ubu. After living for some time in New York, by the late 70’s where he worked as a barman, Julio used to check out the No Wave scene via Arto Lindsay. Back to São Paulo in the early 80’s with a bag full of brand new records for the opening of Paulicéia Desvairada, São Paulo’s first new wave club run by pop journalist Nelson Mota and entrepreneur Ricardo Amaral, he formed Gang 90.

The band made its debut at the club and some time later in 1981, they recorded Perdidos Na Selva (Lost in The Jungle), a 7 inch single for Nelson Mota’s label Hot. Perdidos Na Selva was written in collaboration with pop maverick Guilherme Arantes and amazingly it became a hit around Brazil due to Gang 90’s participation at MPB Shell Festival and their unexpected nomination to be amongst the finalists of the contest. Gang 90 e As Absurdettes were made up of Julio Barroso on vocals, his loyal local divas May East, Alice Pink Pank, Lolita Renaux and Luiza Maria on backing vocals, including young musicians such as Gigante Brasil on drums, Lee Marcutti (formerly of Tutti Frutti) on bass, Wander Taffo on guitars and Guilherme Arantes on keyboards. Their B-side brought a funny version of ‘Christine’ of British outfit Siouxsie and The Banshees named Liliki Lamê.

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