Fresh, contemporary, avant-garde, soulful and bossa-based — not an impossible (but admittedly unlikely) combination as this album proves
Who doesn’t like a trilogy and this is the final instalment in the +2 series, which has seen three Brazilian innovators take turns in the captain’s chair. The resulting albums led by Kassin, Moreno and Domenico reflect not what is happening on the streets — directly — as much as the artful exploratory end of the spectrum (influenced of course by the street). As such in spirit it is close to Tropicalismo for its intellectual magpie ways.
Futurismo is a misleading title for this friendly gem as Kassin readily admits, “The title is actually the opposite of what this project is about. This time I wanted to make something that is clean, melodic and calm.” ‘Tranquilo’ (calm) stakes the easy-going territory from the off with its gently loping gate, softly sung vocals and steel guitar flourishes.
Although Kassin has worked with Bebel Gilberto (and the +2 project will be supporting her London gig in April, see below), do not mistake Kassin’s emphasis on accessibility for lack of invention or insipidity. This is an album full of ideas and surprises, recorded by impatient men trying to stay cool and succeeding. Perhaps a better comparison would be with the man he has accompanied live with his bass, Caetano Veloso, the king of the effortlessly complex.
Stand out tracks, too many to mention but try ‘Samba Machine’ for what could pass as Air’s lost Brazilian classic. Vocoder madness at the beach. And legend Joao Donato adds even more smoothness with softly sung lyrics over a classic bossa beat livened by funky synths and what sounds like birdsong.
Kassin +2 — Futurismo is out in the UK on 16 April on Luaka Bop Records
27 April – Kassin – Moreno – Domenico +2 Support Bebel Gilberto at The Roundhouse, London