Cibelle: The Rise and Fall

11 06 2014

Cibelle is the wispy Sao Paulo model who started her musical career with a sultry trip hop record, then created an alltime ilbonito classic with a lovely rendition of the Tom Waits tune Green Grass, before covering Caetano Veloso with Devandra Banhart and then released an art-pop concept album under the name Sonja Khalecallon, flirting with the Abranavista cultural movement and glamming it up in single “The Blue Shoes“.

So its fair to say she is a bit of a chameleon.

Her latest, which I’m a little late to catch up on, sees the restless early adopter with a harder-edged new sound and ‘Second life’-inspired visuals. And – crucially – TUNES!

“The Fall” is a case in point.

A Meeting of Two Giants

11 06 2014

I’m hanging out to see which Brazilian artists perform at the World Cup Opening Ceremony in a few days time. Cup fever and the hot weather have put me in a Lusophone musical mood. And just who will emerge to wow the world on Friday night – Gaby? Marisa Monte? Vanessa da Mata? Caetano Veloso, dare I hope? This year’s breakout Rordrigo Amarante, or the return of the old-time queen: Xuxa?

But regardless of this there is another great muscial event on its way to Brazil: perhaps the greatest of the nation’s current crop of musical talent, Criolo, is to tour with the mystical Milton Nascimento.


Songs from the South

12 05 2014

The joyous new clip from Rodrigo Amarente, freshly graduated from popular rock group Los Hermanos with his solo record, Cavalo. This video features footage his parents took on a home video camera in the mid 1970s – a perfect fit for his mellow psychedelic Carnival rock.

Meanwhile, one of the quirkier talents of recent Brazilian pop is back: Fernanda Takai.

The future is here: sound of young Belem

7 05 2014

In the 1970s the tropicalistas promised to shake up the world of Brazilian pop forever, with a multi-racial, pan-sexual celebration of camp references (Carmen Miranda), homegrown sounds (samba, folk music) and modern pop sheen – topped off with surrealist lyrics, zinging melodies and above all, a burning and beautiful commitment to personal freedom. They embraced the modern, the tacky, the artificial and played it with soul.

Singer Jaloo is the heir to that tradition – his cover version of the classic “Baby” by original tropicalista goddess Gal Costa serving to underscore the point.

He is the new star of technobrega, the borderline cheesy/ hipster-ironic synth-folk music which had previously made Gaby Amarantes a star. And it comes not from bleeding edge tattoos-and-street-art-and-dirty-sex Mecca Sao Paulo, but from the steaming jungles of the Amazon.

Who knew the future of music lay with a Miley Cyrus and Rihanna-referencing androgynous hipster from Belem, a city on the banks of the mighty Amazon in Para state?

And you can download two of his EPs from his facebook page here. One, “Female plus Brega” is a mixtape of unauthorised remixes, giving the likes of Bjork and Beyonce a (very welcome) Amazonian synth make-over. Insane.

Criolo is back

2 04 2014

New, dystopian future-hop from the most exciting Brazilian artist of recent years, Criolo.

Morning of the Carnaval

4 03 2014

It has been a big weekend. While Mum was here in Hong Kong, Sydney celebrated its Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras (under grey skies), Lupita Nyong’o swept to stardom at the Oscars and in Rio, the Carnaval began.

So far my favourite of the escolas do samba  in competition in the Sambadrome was Beija-flor (the Humming Bird) with its 2014 theme “History of Brazilian Communication”.

Manha do carnaval

4 03 2014

For Louis x


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