Exposé Online banner

São Paolo Underground — Beija Flors Velho e Sujo
(Cuneiform Rune 359, 2013, CD)

by Paul Hightower, Published 2014-02-06

Beija Flors Velho e Sujo Cover artConsidering this is São Paulo Underground’s fourth release, I can only assume the musical chemistry is still working for this trio. As on past albums, Chicago-based horn player Rob Mazurek and Brazilian musicians Guilherme Granado (keys and electronics) and Mauricio Takara (cavaquinho - essentially a Portuguese ukulele, drums and electronics) have concocted a vibrant multi-cultural stew that goes well beyond merely infusing American jazz into Brazilian Tropicalia and Carnival traditions. The group seems to be operating on planes both celestial and temporal with several of the pieces achieving an almost shamanistic power while still firmly grounded in the heat and sweat of everyday urban reality. They embrace distortion, noise, and aren’t afraid to experiment with signal processing, synthesis and sonic manipulation to the point where it’s impossible to tell what instrument you’re actually hearing. That this can happen while they still deliver a tune is simply amazing, as on “Evetch” and “Basilio’s Crazy Wedding Song.” Elsewhere they embark on studies in improvised electronic chaos, as on “Annus Husar” and “Six-Handed Casio,” though even here the group are sharing a conversation that’s uniquely their own. Where they really click for me are on the Sun Ra-inspired cosmic voyages, as on “Into the Rising Sun” or “The Love I Feel for You Is More Real Than Ever.” Every song is an example of why it’s important for musicians to leave their comfort zones. The results can be unpredictable, but they can also be utterly rewarding for both the musician and the listener.

Filed under: New releases, 2013 releases

Related artist(s): São Paolo Underground, Rob Mazurek

Latest news

2018-04-05
OBEY Convention XI Set for May 24-28 in Halifax – As the 2018 festival season rapidly approaches, we’d like you to be aware of a real treasure of diverse and creative music that’s going to take place in Halifax, Nova Scotia, next month. The OBEY Convention is on its 11th outing, and features a wide range of artists from around the world. From avant-industrial noise to experimental takes on Classical Chinese music, from chamber jazz to doom metal, from ambient soundscapes to Canadian First Nations drumming, you’d be hard pressed to find a festival with more variety in sound anywhere in the world. » Read more

2018-04-04
Close to the Rain Festival in Bergen Announces Lineup – Now in its second year, the Close to the Rain Festival of progressive music is scheduled to take place in Bergen, Norway, on June 7 - 9. They've got an amazing slate of bands lined up, including such powerhouses as Anekdoten, Major Parkinson, Arabs in Aspic, Tusmørke, and many more. » Read more

2018-03-01
Seaprog 2018 Artist Announcements Raise Festival's Profile – Seattle's Seaprog festival has been going since 2013, and the 2018 edition features a slate of artists that's sure to bring more attention to the event. Cheer-Accident, Bubblemath, and Free Salamander Exhibit are in the first round announcement of performers. In keeping with their tradition of focusing on regional artists, they will also present a number of artists from Washington and Oregon. [Edit: Just added: Inner Ear Brigade] » Read more

2018-02-26
Adelbert von Deyen RIP – Word reaches us that German electronic musician Adelbert von Deyen has died. His recorded legacy reaches back to 1978, when Sky Records released Sternzeit. Von Deyen, who was born October 25, 1953 in Süderbrarup, was also known as a painter and graphic artist. » Read more

2018-02-18
Didier Lockwood RIP – Word reaches us today of the death of one of France's great jazz musicians, violinist Didier Lockwood. His playing bridged many worlds, from traditional jazz to fusion to progressive rock, and his talent can be heard on recordings by Magma, Clearlight, Pierre Moerlen's Gong, and many more. Lockwood was 62. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Birdsongs of the Mesozoic - Dancing on A'a – What started out as an arty project composed mostly of ex-members of Boston noise-band Mission of Burma seems to have become primarily the vehicle for keyboardist/composer Erik Lindgren. Lindgren...  (1995) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues