Two Brothers

4 05 2016

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“Two Brothers” is a comic book from Gabriel Ba (who also co-authored the superlative¬†Daytripper) adopted from a well-known Brazilian novel by Milton Hatoum. It tells the age-old story of sibling rivalry, in this case between two Lebanese brothers growing up in 1940s Manaus. Which is interesting, given that Gabriel is a twin.

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The story twists and turns through the years, with a surprise ending and a fabulous setting in the steamy Amazonian city – reading it sent me back fifteen years to my own time in the city, waiting for a missing suitcase to arrive and sailing on boats down the Rio Negro, walking past the slums on stilts where little vultures picked through the refuse and children swam in the shallows, and past the gleaming dome of the Opera House, watching the clouds drift over the river and the overripe fruit fall from the trees in the town square, while music played in tacky open-air bars. Good times!

 





Two worlds collide: Manha do carnaval

7 02 2016

This year Chinese New Year coincides with Carnaval in Brazil: I spent the first day of the Chinese New Year break cleaning my house to this, the samba theme from Rio de Janeiro’s ‘escola da samba’ Mangueira, featuring Maria Bethania on lead vocals.





Princesa!

1 02 2016

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Paola de Orleans e Braganza, Princessa de Sapieha-Rozanski e Swiatopolk-Czetwertynski, the fantastically-named Brazilian princess (now resident of London) here seen resplendent not only in her title but in new season Gucci, at Brazilian Vogue’s Carnaval party this week in Rio de Janeiro.





Neighbouring sounds

31 01 2016

New from Brazil, hipsterish gay hip hop from gritty S√£o Paulo and dreamy indie bossa-rock from Rio.





Modernist

31 01 2016

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The famous staircase at the Itamaraty Palace in Brasilia, home of the Brazilian Foreign Ministry, and below, an underpass in Pok Fu Lam.

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2015 – a playlist

20 12 2015

My single and video of 2015

…and arguably the best album

…and the album I’m still waiting for.

My Khon Khaen to Nog Khai train song.

And also

And two great Latin artists who were new to me this year, even if their ongs were released earlier:





Gal Costa: Tropicalismo rocks

15 12 2015

New – well, newish – (it came out earlier this year, but I missed it) Gal Costa! Her astonishing “Recanto” record put the 1970s tropicalista diva back on my personal map with one of 2012’s great singles, the pounding Miami Maculele and an appealing and well-executed blend of Brazilian melody and up-to-the-minute electronic production.

Estratosferica treads a similar path with adventurous production and a who-is-who of Brazilian pop on writing and production credits. Mallu Magalhaes wrote the first single, Milton Nascimento and Criolo pop up as does Mallu’s boyfriend, Marcelo Camelo, plus Tom Ze. The whole thing is produced by Moreno Veloso (son of Caetano) and Alexandre Kassin.








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