DWART, or D. W. Art, a collaborative project from António Duarte and Manuela Duarte, is the subject of a new Strangelove retrospective. Having explored the new wave-tinged avante-pop of Lisbon native Lena D’Águ in 2018, their latest offering is comparatively experimental and esoteric as the Antipodean archivists return to Portugal.
Emerging out Portugal’s then-burgeoning avant-garde scene, Electricidade Estética is an assemblage of DWART’s earlier work – mostly unreleased material, not counting a remastered, first-time vinyl reissue of cult favourite, ‘Mate’, the nine-tracker explores various dualities: the aural and physical, organic and synthetic, the symbiosis of music and performance art.
Just as likely found drawing from their immediate surroundings as the mind-bending output of Manuel Göttsching’s Ash Ra Temple, ‘Keep In Touch (Far East Mix)’ is evocative of Macau, the South Chinese city they called home between ’89 and ’93. It plays like a series of hazy reveries, a collection of memories from their time in China, out-of-focus. As synthetic sounds imitating traditional acoustic instruments coalesce with field recordings possibly procured during some state ceremony in Tiananmen Square, DWART’s enveloping tapestry induces a smudged, cinematic dream-state.
Electricidade Estética is out September 20th on Strangelove – pre-order here.