The Upshot: Quirky pictures of sound, using busy percussion, found sound speeches, electronic noises and Rob Mazurek’s probing cornet as colors.
BY MICHAEL TOLAND
Sao Paulo Underground consists of Chicago cornetist/keyboardist Rob Mazurek (Chicago Underground Duo/Trio/Quartet), Brazilian drummer/electronicist Mauricio Takara (Hurtmold, Pharaoh Sanders, Paulo Santos) and Brazilian keyboardist/electronicist Guilherme Granado (Hurtmold, Bold and Elefantes). For Cantos Invisiveis, the trio’s fifth LP, the musicians are joined by Swiss woodwind artist Thomas Rohrer, in case anyone felt the band wasn’t trans-continental enough.
Anyone looking at the lineup and expecting either freewheeling jazz, Brazilian tropicalia or groovy eletronica may be disappointed. Instead, the foursome paints quirky pictures of sound, using busy percussion, found sound speeches, electronic noises and Mazurek’s probing cornet as colors. Riffs and rhythms fall into the mix at the same level as everything else, letting tracks like “Fire and Chime” and “Lost Corners Boogie” stand as audio sculptures more than songs. Opening and closing epics “Estrada Para o Oeste” and “Falling Down From the Sky Like Some Damned Ghost” operate as sound collages, combining every musician’s bits into constructions that require multiple listens in order to catch every nuance. The riffy “Olhaluai” and balladic “Of Golden Summer” display accessible presence, serving as the hooks amongst the more demanding fare.
Cantos Invisiveis isn’t for anyone looking for easy listening, but it will challenge tastes without being obnoxious about it.
DOWNLOAD: “Falling Down From the Sky Like Some Damned Ghost,” “Of Golden Summer,” “Olhaluai”