NAMM 2024: Beetronics has sought to shake up the fuzz pedal game with the Abelha Tropical Fuzz – a stealthy, sleek-looking pedalboard entry that takes inspiration from a far more colorful, far more extravagant artistic movement.
Specifically, the Abelha is inspired by Brazil’s Tropicália movement from the 1970s, which brought together popular and avant-garde music genres. Perhaps more relevant for the fuzz, it also merged Brazilian and African rhythms with Western psychedelia and pop rock.
It’s a movement that lies close to the heart of Beetronics founder Filipe Pampuri, who was born and raised in Brazil.
“For a while, I've wanted to create a pedal that explored tones inspired by the Tropicalia movement,” he explains. “Brazil in the '70s had some genuinely unique fuzz tones, and that's what we've aimed to capture with this pedal.”
As such, the Abelha (which translates to ‘Bee’) sets its sights on embracing a classic nostalgic vibe while simultaneously integrating modern features to land on a “a unique futuristic fuzz tone”. We've certainly heard that before, but owing to its Brazilian tonal heritage, we suspect this case might be different.
To help it achieve its tropical tonal goals, the Abelha offers three bee-themed modes – Polen, Nectar and Honey – that can be selected via the central toggle switch. While Polen is “sagged and spitty”, reminiscent of a dying battery on a germanium fuzz, Nectar offers a more rounded gain tone. Honey adds even more gain to the mix.
The matte black chassis of the Abelha is deceptively stealthy, and hides a range of fuzz-sculpting controls. Buzz and Loud, for example, adjust fuzz and volume, while Hi and Lo dictate the EQ range shape.
There’s also a multi-function footswitch: one tap to trigger the effect, two taps to switch to hidden Tropical mode, and hold for either momentary engagement or mode switch, depending on if the pedal is bypassed or not.
Further still, these three profile settings can be customized to suit personal player preferences – for example, the speed of momentary effect changes can be set to Immediate, Medium or Lazy.
“There’s no need to be a Brazilian music aficionado to get hooked on this pedal,” Pampuri said. “It's a Beetronics masterpiece, showcasing what we do best – vintage-voiced, forward-thinking sweet fuzz tones.
“Perfect for any music genre or style that craves an outstanding fuzz tone. I'm truly excited with this new bee and can't wait for everyone to try it.”
The Abelha Tropical Fuzz is available now for $289.