Pimbaú is a project by João and Bernardo, two friends whose aim is to recover records and cassettes from other times, in a tribute to Portuguese popular music.
Bernardo told The Portugal News that he does not remember when the project initially started. He only knows that, during a vacation, he went to a fair that was taking place in Ponte de Lima and found “cassettes that had funny covers”, which aroused his interest. A friend of João's for several years, Bernardo remembered all the cassette digitizing equipment that João had. As the songs found on the cassettes were not available online, Bernardo and João created the YouTube channel Pimbaú, where they share their discoveries.
During the interview, Bernardo revealed that initially, it all started as a joke, something they did “to torment the neighbours, for us to dance”, however, the taste for everything that the project encompassed grew and is now accompanied by “a dose of seriousness.”
The growth of the vault
In addition to online sharing, Pimbaú also has a podcast and, from time to time, DJ sets. The DJ sets are moments of celebration and animation, with popular Portuguese music, from the best known to the least heard by the public. Although they are not “the main focus of Pimbaú”, João admits that this may be the reason why they are better known by the public.
The audience on YouTube is mostly made up of people between 50 and 60 years old, who sometimes leave the most random comments on songs that they probably did not remember. For example, João said between laughs that a lady commented “God, help my husband to stop drinking”, in the video of a song about moments of drunkenness and alcoholism.
As for the DJ sets, the youngest are the most interested in showing up, with a mixture of curiosity and interest in Pimba music and the project itself.
In the podcast, people from the music industry are interviewed, who may be of particular interest to the project, as was the case with Ernesto Cedovim, who was received with some nervousness due to the singer's opinion concerning pimba music.
The Anthropology of Pimba
Bernardo studied in the field of Anthropology and ended up realising that Pimbaú could have an anthropological connotation, noting that “the context of music can represent a generation of music that contains an enormous cultural value.”
Despite the connotation that João and Bernardo attribute to their work, João reveals to The Portugal News that “there are a lot of people, especially from the underground, who do not take our work seriously, but there are people, for example, hip hop artists, who are fascinated by the way we work with music and grateful for the service we bring to the public.”
When asked about the most impressive discovery, João began by saying that opinions could differ. João believes that the most impressive discovery was the Ivan Raimundo album, “because it is genuinely fascinating”, adding that it deserved to have had more success. It is an album of Portuguese gypsy music that João considers “unique”.
For Bernardo, the most important discovery was the album “24 Tomates” by Ele e Ela, where they discovered “the greatest pimba dynasty of all years.” In a family that together actively participates in the creation of music, with some of the descendants of José Crispim and Lena Silva adopting other artistic names, to distance themselves from the work of their predecessors.
Plans for the future
João and Bernardo proclaim themselves as “pimba nerds” and intend to continue with Pimbaú in different ways. Despite not wanting to reveal some of their plans, they told The Portugal News that they would like to collaborate with other musicians, or even “enter the circle of popular festivals”, despite knowing the possible difficulties they may face.
For now, they will continue with their podcast and try to interview people. They will continue to torment family members, like João's mother who asks them to close the door while they work on their project because the music is too loud!
The podcast can be heard on YouTube, as well as all the discoveries that João and Bernardo have made.