(photo by alexdecarvalho)
Not too many of the artists on this CD borrow heavily from the Tropicalia movement that marked Brazilian music out as not only cool, but aware, active and exciting. That was of course almost 40 years ago, but given that such Tropicalismo titans as Os Mutantes, Caetano Veloso and Tom Zé are still performing and are well respected, something can be said of the short-lived genre's lasting impact.
Rica Amabis, or at least his track on the Rough Guide CD (Mulata Assanhada), owes a lot to the movement without being unpleasantly derivative. There's the same samba/funk-based, highly eclectic backing with Amabis' slightly out-there vocal style cackling over the top, there's the sultry girl singer, the butt-shaking grooves so redolent of party time in Rio. Or how one would imagine it to be.
The song is taken from the 2000 album Sambadelic, apparently seen as something of a touchstone in modern Brazilian music. I have to confess to not having heard the album in it's entirety, but Amazon's handy pre-listen device can give you some sort of idea. It sounds a lot of fun, a real mixed bag of ideas, by no means operating entirely in an electronica field. Most of this album seems far too diverse to be considered in that category, but there are certainly moments which justify selecting Amabis to feature on the Rough Guide: Vozes De Seca is rough and beaty,
Elsewhere, Marcio Leonardo e Telmo features Brazilian soul legend Tim Maia, and A Falsa Baia is a classic MPB number from the late 60's. All in all, sounds worth investigating.
Rica Amabis - Mulata Assanhada
Artist: Rica Amabis
Buy: Amazon; Rough Guide
More: Hype Machine; elbo.ws
If you like this you might like: Andrea Marquee - Zumbi
Tags: electronica; Brazil; Rica Amabis; Tropicalia