Since their formation in 2016, Ricardo Jacinto (cello), Nuno Morão (drums) and Gonçalo Almeida (double bass) have been testing the narrative possibilities that their instruments can create together. The Selva has proven to be the right name, if the hints were there in the eponymous album of 2017 (Clean Feed), the underlying idea of mixing was confirmed in the following chapters, “Canícula Rosa” (Clean Feed, 2019) and, above all, with “Barbatrama” (Shhpuma, 2021), the joint album with Machinefabriek. The enthusiasm is born by the way they interweave different genres, without the thing boiling down to a formula or a simple thesis of experimentation. The acoustic base of the project allows them to try various possibilities, whether by default jazz is the most present element and, above all, the one that often feels like a root of everything. But from there it drifts to many things, whether it’s concrete music, folk, contemporary chamber music, or even post-rock.
With a fourth album in the making (some of the new tracks can be heard tonight), The Selva, by their acoustic essence and volume of production, can fit into the tidying up of easy associations as a Portuguese The Necks. Knowing that it is easy to get caught in the traps of associations, the trio discards that possibility in the music itself. Although the nature of the unpredictable is there at the beginning of each composition, the metamorphosis of genres in The Selva happens in a coordinated manner, albeit without predictability. The coordination allows the music to breathe and be breathed, to travel without geography or limit to ambitions, and to be listened to with the innocence of the unexpected: and each listener will find the characteristics that are most personal or close to his or her taste in each composition. In other words, there is a permanent will for inclusion in The Selva’s music. Six years clearing the way. AS