Illegal Planet is the title of the fourth album by singer and multi-instrumentalist Rita Braga, with the Comets Coming label and released on 8 September 2023.
On Illegal Planet, Rita crosses sci-fi pop with synthesised, dreamlike folk, in a futuristic flavour – as if we were on a trip to space, but in a caravan. Incursions into the fantastic that sometimes intersect with mundane or dystopian aspects of modern life, such as Ikea’s white furniture and global warming (in Ikea Snow), smartphone apps (Rádio Pardal) or the devaluation of music consumption on digital platforms (Unclassified). These modern tales of transcendence and doom are filtered through a kosmische haze of synthesisers, 60s/70s rhythm boxes and instruments from different parts of the world. Rita’s vocal timbre is inspired by her passion for early jazz and classic cinema, bringing a nostalgic tone to these mini-narratives: pop-noir for the end of times.
Co-produced by Rita Braga and Rodrigo Cardoso at Sonoscopia studios, the disc features a range of guests with enviable CVs, such as Nik Phelps (Tom Waits/Frank Zappa), Phil MFU (Vanishing Twin) and some of the leading figures in Invicta’s sound experimentation (Gustavo Costa, Luís Bittencourt, O Gringo Sou Eu). Tó Pinheiro da Silva was in charge of the mastering.
With an eclectic discography and hundreds of performances in Europe, the USA, Brazil, Japan and Australia over the last 15 years, Rita Braga is a rare example of musical reinvention throughout her career. Other recent projects include a collaboration in 2022 with Ana da Silva (from the post-punk group The Raincoats); Planet Sardiniax (a collaboration with German composer and producer Felix Kubin presented on the night of São João in Porto in 2023, at the Cultura em Expansão festival); and a residency in Brussels in July this year, which ended with a first drawing expo and acoustic concert.
Illegal Planet‘s live performances have already taken place in Portugal, the Czech Republic, Serbia, Bulgaria, Italy, and the United Kingdom.