Published Jun 26, 2012Sao Paolo rhythm alchemist Curumin has taken four years to blend the right ingredients into gold, but he's now well positioned to take it to Canadian stages. And he'll do just that this week, as Curumin will play Vancouver tonight (June 26) and Montreal on Friday (June 29).
Venerable world music label Six Degrees Records is Curumin's new home, and the label released his latest album Arrocha earlier this month. The record is light years more accomplished than the album that broke him in America in 2008, JapanPopShow, leading Curumin to capitalize on the goodwill generated by that album.
"We're coming back to some big cities like Chicago and New York, and people said, 'Wow, we've been waiting for you since 2008,'" Curumin tells Exclaim! "For me it's great. I'm building something. I'm getting some crowds."
Though he's self-deprecating about the long wait between albums ("My rhythm's a bit slow," he jokes), it has definitely paid off in Arrocha. Mixing his characteristically breezy, Brazilian singer-songwriter foundation with stiff, old-school drum machines, three-dimensional funk and a whole lot of reggae, Arrocha is a perfect summertime album that has plenty of substance to withstand the heat of the season. Reggae in particular is key to the album's old-meets-new sounds.
"I always think in melodies but melodies within rhythms," Curumin says. "I think that's why it sounds so reggae, or at least what I think of reggae."
There's a bit of all the music that's affected Brazil in Curumin's songs, from Tropicália to samba to hip-hop (he was discovered by Blackalicious, after all), though he consciously stops short of getting into manic and militant baile funk territory. Contributors to the album include Arnaldo Antunes, one of Brazil's most eclectic and renowned songwriters of the past two decades, and labelmate Céu. But for the most part Arrocha was a spare, sometimes solitary effort, crafted with a mind to effective performance in the live settings he's getting into now.
Check July's issue of Exclaim! for more of our interview with Curumin.