Sunday, July 15, 2012

A Curva Da Cintura

I recently stumbled onto this really excellent cross-cultural collaboration that came about, apparently at Rio de Janeiro's Back2Black Festival in 2010. Master Kora player Toumani Diabate hooked up with singer composer Arnoldo Antunes (best known for Titas and his collaborations with Marisa Monte) and left-handed guitar virtuoso Edgard Scandurra and, eventually, made this album.

I am, personally, a bit out of my depth once I've finished saying how lovely this album is, so I'm going to reference a review from Sam Backer of Afro-Pop Worldwide, who wrote:

Recorded primarily on electric/acoustic guitars and koras, Curva offers a listening experience that is subtle and yet remarkably rich, full of complexly layered arrangements that reveal more of their details with every listen. Many of these songs only give up their sweetness with effort, as the intricate structures and complex chords tangle with Arnaldo’s dead-pan vocals to create a peculiar, yet ultimately thrilling flavor of pop music. Focusing on a handful of primarily acoustic instruments allows for an intimate style of recording, one in which the sonic field is small and uncluttered, the backbones of the songs emerge from the simple interplay of one or two acoustic guitars. This feeling is maintained even when the guitar parts that form these backbones are draped in overdubs- the percussive sound of fingers plucking strings makes up a crucial part of the album’s soundscape, effortlessly replacing the absent rhythm section.

You can read the rest of the review here.

Here's some footage from the Back2Black Festival

Everyone seems to think this is the best track.

But I like "Bamako's Blues" better.

No comments: