Felipe Zenicola is a Brazilian electric bass player, composer, sound designer and producer based in Lisbon. Born in 1981 in Rio de Janeiro, Felipe started playing the electric bass at the age of 15. Coming essentially from a rock background, in 2000 he started drawing interest for experimental music, free jazz and free forms of improvisation. Few years later, supported by the exponential growth of Rio´s exploratory music scene, Zenicola was able to deepen his research towards improvisation and different ways of handling the instrument.
In 2010, together with Marcos Campello and Renato Godoy, Zenicola started Chinese Cookie Poets, one of the most acclaimed experimental music bands in Brazil. The CCP experience, mixing improvised and previously composed material in a mostly fierce sonic environment, was key for consolidating his unique playing known today for mixing extended techniques, a heavy, frantic and cathartic way of dealing with the bass strings, low ambient/drones, minimal ostinatos and complex rhythmic patterns: a blend which makes him a very singular voice in the electric bass language today.
Since 2014 Felipe has been collaborating regularly with Norwegian drummer Paal Nilssen-Love, with whom has released two albums so far: Botafogo (Bocian/QTV) and New Brazilian Funk (PNL). After moving to Lisbon in 2019 Zenicola was able to broaden even more his spectrum of collaborations. Some of those new partnerships include the quartet Anthropic Neglect, with portugueses João Valinho, José Lencastre and Jorge Nuno and the trio Baiaku, with Brazilian brothers Yedo Gibson and Marcio Gibson.
For the past 15 years Zenicola has collaborated in several projects, records and concerts with great minds from different sonic planets and parts of the globe, such as Zbigniew Karkowski, Yoshihide Otomo, Negro Leo, Paal Nilssen-Love , Julie Kjær, Tetuzi Akiyama, J-P Caron, Frode Gjerstad, Arto Lindsay, José Lencastre, Marcela Lucatelli, Cadu Tenório, Lars Greve, Ava Rocha, Jards Macalé, and Bill Orcutt.
“Zenicola´s bass grumbles and twangs like a demonic berimbau.”- Stewart Smith, The Wire Magazine
“Electric bass by Felipe Zenicola is based on search of new timbres, experimental ways of playing and bright tunes. Soft and gentle mood is against ambient tunes, strange timbres, gorgeous noises, electronics, modified timbres and other special effects. His electric bass forms beautiful and contrasting background, has effective and deep sound.”- Rodrigo Bosard, Avant Scena