photo credit: Nuno Direitinho

Shoegaze from Portugal: ALCATUNE

5 July 2023, by Wendy Morrill


Music recommendations via musicians themselves are my preferred way to discover new music. Usually I like the recommended song and band. To me it also says something good about everyone involved: that the recommender, the recommended and the fan all likely subscribe to a DIY ethos – one that believes in helping others. It’s a decent ethos and precisely how I discovered the latest single from Portugal’s ALCATUNE.


“Go Ahead Mr. Deckard” combines elements of instrumental post-rock, shoegaze and synth wave,” said David Lopes of ALCATUNE. I had enquired about the song after seeing it mentioned by another shoegazer based in Lisbon, just like ALCATUNE.


David continued with a well crafted description of the song, “…creating an immersive and atmospheric soundscape, transporting the listeners to an industry and dystopian setting where the contrasts between humanity and artificiality blend…” before I interrupted him.


“Was there any special inspiration for the song?” I asked.


“There was. In the beginning of the pandemic I moved from Berlin to Ireland and the first work I got was in a food factory. ”


Okay, now we’re getting at something, I thought. 


David continued to explain the impetus for “Go Ahead Mr. Deckard.”


“For almost two months I was working in constant repetition in line, inside a freezer, using ear plugs because of the machine’s loud noises. That’s the inspiration for the drum beat and the whole dystopian atmosphere.”


Mr Deckard refers to the novel David was reading at the time, Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?  


“It just sounded right,” he said.


There is a feel of dystopic weary in “Go Ahead Mr. Deckard.” Layers of perseverance and hope contend with a foreboding undertow. To my mind they ultimately prevail as they triumphantly close the song, empowering humanity to walk away from artificiality.


“Go Ahead Mr. Deckard” is the first single from ALCATUNE’s forthcoming album, The Dust, Over The Years. Second and third singles are expected to be released in August and October and the full album in November.


Get all the ALCATUNE goods on Bandcamp, including a link to their vids on YouTube >>


Thank you to Moon Cowboy for this recommendation – keep flying the flag for Lisbon shoegaze and we’ll hear you on a future episode of _____ mood.