Published Jun 08, 2012The critical success of Santigold's Master of My Make Believe was perhaps the first sign of a détente towards world fusion this year. As much as dubstep, moombathon and other aggressive mid-tempo forms continue to lead the way in cross-cultural musical exchange, there remains a flipside of easier-going gumbo music. Curumin impressed with JapanPopShow in 2008, an eclectic if uneven manifestation of his Spanish-Japanese Brazilian state of mind. Arrocha does everything better. Like Santigold, this pressure sound has a reggae pulse animating it. "Vestido De Prata" (with label mate Céu) captures the sound of dancehall, circa 1982, except with sunnier chord changes giving greater purpose to the ricocheting dub shots. "Doce" follows with an oscillating keyboard sound akin to much West African funk of a certain vintage, only to dive even deeper into the dub end. There's an economy to all the ideas and rhythms, keeping these experiments focused for non-stoners. The pop of "Passirinho" wouldn't sound out of place on the Slakadeliqs' debut album from earlier this year, demonstrating Curumin's hip-hop-derived mixing approaches. Old-timey rhythm boxes, à la Sly Stone, and sour-toned electronics create occasional dark synth ambience for tracks like "Accorda." Arrocha is cosmopolitan album with substance.
Read an interview with Curumin here. (Six Degrees)