When it comes to dance music, Brazil seems to be the place to be searching for the next big thing. In the last year or so, it's pumped out some hot albums from CSS, Bonde Do Role, Telepathique, and DJ Dolores. And now, to end the year in style, Curumin is releasing his sophomore effort, Japanpopshow. Curumin is the stage name of Brazilian musician Luciano Nakata Albuquerque, an artist who's been involved with making music since the age of eight.
His style starts in his native Latin sounds of samba and bossa nova (as well as Portugese lyrics for the most part), but heavily incorporates a diverse collection of world influences such as jazz, hip-hop, dub, and afro-beat, leaving the listener wondering what's gonna hit them next. The album opens with the title track, a dark number with an almost spoken word thread running over an Encino Morricone guitar line and bird calls via The Orb. Yea, there's a lot going on there for sure, and that's only the first track. Then you move on to Compacto, a laid back number that will make you picture Curumin strolling along a boardwalk in California strumming a guitar along the way.
The third cut, Kyoto, features Curumin rapping (in Portugese) alongside Blackalicious and Lateed the Turthseeker (in English) over a throw-back hip-hop beat reminiscent of the Fabolous' track Can't Deny It. Then it's on to the trip-hop lo-fi Dancando No Escuro, the thick and heavy technoesque Salto No Vacuo Com Joelhada (resplendent with delicate music box accompanyment), and the more traditional Latin tinged Magrela Fever.
I could honestly go track by track like this, with each having a completely unique flavor. Instead I'll offer Sambito (Totaru Shock) below, a song that starts out as a lo-fi AM radio sounding Latin track that quickly picks up some juice with a retro remix feel. Also below is Cadê O Mocotó? (Essa Coisa), a heavier number from his debut album.
and one from his first album: