Thursday, August 26, 2010

Abstract Index Playlist - August 19/10

What a long, strange trip it's been for Marcos Valle.

Sometimes called the Brazilian Brian Wilson, who'd have thunk he'd produce one of the great albums of his career some forty-plus years down the road.

He set the standard for breezy Brazilian pop with Samba 68. That effort (apparently his last album to be released domestically in America!) was the epitome of deft melody combined with just enough funkin' backbone to stick with you - as if Burt Bacharach decided to make a play for the dancefloor, or at least the beach. And yet, just 3 years (like Brian Wilson's troubled post Pet Sounds years) later he was in a weird prog-samba-funk-rock zone with albums like Vento Sul and Previsao Do Tempo . Throughout his stylistic changes, he's always maintained an ear for good hooks.

Even his most recent albums for Far Out are greater than the sum of parts. To describe them as a grizzled bossa vet (this old beach bum has hit a few bumps along the road) combining his stock-in-trade with drum machines and electronics would make most people run screaming. But damned if he didn't succeed with that template as well, though it helped to have pals like 4 Hero doing remixes.

I thought this latest album, his first in five years, would be in that mold. It's actually a wide-screen affair with deft string, horn and rhythm arrangements. The songs are evergreen, light yet substantial, and the moods change frequently though always logically. I like how, despite the care in the arrangements, it doesn't sound perfect. There are little inconsistencies in the playing, and some of the synth sounds are used once too often, but these elements humanize the music that much more. This has every bit of the feeling of his grand, late 60s work; if a little more mellow. But the funk is still there, implicit in everything, and the strings especially bring a dramatic edge that hasn't been present in his most recent work.

I'm not done with Mr. Valle, I hope to interview him soon in anticipation of this album's release in October - stay tuned for updates.


yamba - amadou balake (sacodis)
abuelo regalame - dogliotti (vampisoul)
extraordinary woman - psychedelic aliens (academy)
which way - the presidents (vampisoul)
leave it in the hands of love - phyllis dillon (trojan)
kings and queens - patrick adams institute (p&p)
deep dark dub - dubmatix (seven arts)
call gyptian - gyptian (vp)
night shade - matt shadetek (dutty artz)
stars - system (rump)
duhaney park - john horniak (no label)
eu vou - marcos valle (far out)
agua - manzanita y su conjunto (barbes)
nwa gezani my love - zinja hlungwani (honest jons)
ghana lady - appietus feat mframa (akwaaba)
la revolucion del cuerpo - havana cultura rmx by michael cleis (brownswood)
the nervous track - nuyorican soul (talkin loud)
zut alore - zorch (no label)
dropoff - christine jensen jazz orchestra (justin time)
blinks - the rent (ambiances magnetiques)
makena - embassadeurs rmx by mark ernestus (nonplace)
jasmine - islet/dam mantle dub (no label)
loituma - erick rincon 3ball experimental version (no label)
novias - el guincho (xl)
constant raw - the dirty sample (nefariu)

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Blogger Digexart Creative Inc said...

I like this post. The show keeps getting better. Good selection. Even after some../all these../many many../many many many years. Could it be the Music? Hmmm.

11:46 a.m.  
Blogger Dacks said...

Yeah, let's leave it at "many"!

3:08 p.m.  

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