Words by Russ Slater
A major international release for the eclectic Brazilians
One of Brazil’s most unclassifiable bands is back with a major international release. Bringing together Cabruêra’s two most recent albums (only previously released in Brazil), Colors of Brazil is a two-CD tour de force highlighting the group’s mastery of multiple styles and the infectious percussive swing that drives their sound. The first CD is the most upbeat: a constant stream of solid grooves, taking in elements of samba, funk, Afrobeat and ska, as well as their own never-ending supply of north-eastern Brazilian rhythms.
The second CD, originally released as the album Nordeste Oculto, is the most fascinating of the two – an album that should have received far more recognition on its first release. Aided by both the words and sitar playing of one time-Ravi Shankar student Alberto Marsicano – the man who introduced the sitar to Brazil – it’s an intoxicating listen that explores connections between Brazil, India and Celtic music, manifesting itself in glorious tunes like the reggae-meets-raga of ‘Nordeste Oculto’, the transcendental psych-folk of ‘Beira Mar’ and their strongest Afrobeat-fuelled track to date, ‘Jurema’. From the first CD’s effervescent Brazilian ska-funk to the second’s explorations into new musical territory, this is music for both the head and hips to get lost in.