sábado, 14 de junho de 2008

Curumin - Japan Pop show (2008)

He may very well be this generation's Tom Zè, but I think Brazil's Curumin is having too much fun being himself. JapanPopShow is his forthcoming album, his second for Quannum, and it is easily one of the more original albums I've heard this year so far. Here is a guy who combines not only the music of Brazil, but all of the elements that made the music what it is. You will hear shades of Africa, you will hear something that sounds like a cross between Kraftwerk, M.I.A., and Salt-N-Pepa ("Caixa Preta"), or even some downhome funk ("Saido Bangu"). Curumin shares his romantic side in "Misterio Stereo", which could be about a woman in waiting, or falling in love with the sounds coming out of a stereo system, or both. "Compacto" is also about the joys of falling for a "compact record" (a 7" 45rpm record for the vinyl illiterate), as he sings (in Portuguese) 45!, cause I just want to listen/45!, restful/45!, at my place, at my side/45!, one delicate, one rare/45!, so let it drop/45!, cause I want to listen/45!, at my place, at my side/45!, calm, restful. While music and the joy of records are one of the appealing things about his music, Curumin also touches on the political side. As is the case with a lot of Brazilian music throughout the country, one has to read between the lines but with lines such as where is my piece of the steak?/the bone is hard to chew/share the dough/share the dough (from "Mal Estar Card"), it couldn't be any more direct. The life of his country is not in a ritzy hotel, but amongst the people. Those who have enjoyed Brazilian music of the last 40 years will find Curumin to be the bright light every fan looks forward to finding. It's a music that's proud by an artist who is honored to share his music with the world, but not without acknowledging the people and the land he calls home. It's fun and funky, and it's the kind of music that will move the most rigid asses on Earth. There are also some English lyrics scattered throughout, including a cameo from Lateef The Truth Speaker and Gift Of Gab in "Kyoto", which could help carry Curumin over to hip-hop audiences. The track was mixed by none other than Scott "Scotty Hard" Harding, so you know things are hitting when they're supposed to be. While there are other established guests on JapanPopShow, including RV Walters, and Tommy Guerrero, most of the instruments are played by Curumin himself, someone who is determined to craft his own sound and history in his own way, complete with analog instruments and recording techniques, complete with friendly tape hiss throughout (YES!) It's an album with a retro feel but with a feeling that has today's issues in mind. It has the right amount of quirk and strangeness that makes these type of Brazilian albums slow burners. Or at least, you want to let it simmer for maximum satisfaction, so that you don't get audio heartburn or indigestion. For anyone who thought the state of music has been dead for the last few years, JapanPopShow is the album that will bring life to anyone that allows themselves to take it in.

Taken from 193rd edition of The Run-Off Groove March 8, 2008

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