Telebossa – Garagen Aurora

Posted: 10 May 2016 in Albums
Tags: , , , , ,

Staubgold – 3rd June 2016

Christopher Nosnibor

It’s an immense claim that heralds the arrival of Telebossa’s second album, namely that they’ve achieved what many artists have failed to achieve during an entire lifetime of work in creating their own musical language. It’s a claim which almost inevitably colours my first hearings of the album. However, putting this line of discussion aside momentarily, it’s clear that the duo, consisting of Chico Mello and Nicholas Bussmann have evolved beyond the Brazilian Bossa Nova tradition, earning the support of Van Dyke Parks in the process. Parks’ previous collaborations are wide-ranging, and include Randy Newman, Brian Wilson, Joanna Newsom and Skrillex. It’s in this context that it’s perhaps easier to get a handle on the kind of musical progression that Garagen Aurora represents, drawing as it does on a vast range of different inspirations, while retaining links to tradition, and Parks’ woodwind contributions on ‘Nao So’ add depth.

The album begins with some vaguely jazzy scrapes, but the tone and mood soon alters on ‘Basta’ as a lone piano forms a delicate backdrop to Chico Mello’s haunting vocals. Whereas cello and guitar formerly defined the Telebossa sound, vocals and (‘robot’) piano are now the core features. The tension builds as woodwind discreetly enters the field.

The rhythms which pulse and thrum on ‘Funeral De Um Lavrador’ provide an unusual and unexpectedly contemporary feel to a more traditional sounding composition.

The interludes – there are four short instrumental fragments in all, which punctuate the album to good effect – are radically different in style from one another and from the songs themselves.

The chamber-jazz instrumentation in the first half of ‘O Luar’ has a certain swing to it which again contrasts with Mello’s affecting voice, which takes the lead as the tracks drifts into a hazy, woozy, sedated state. ‘Chevrolet’ shimmers and shudders, rippling oscillations build a languid, shady atmosphere, and hints of Scott Walker permeate the production.

The words are taken from the texts of ‘metaphysical engineer’ Fernando Pessoa, and appear in the booklet that accompanies the disc in English translation, and are worth engaging with, as they do add further dimensions to the work.

If the notion of a new musical language seems to suggest something unfamiliar and inaccessible, then on the surface, Garagem Aurora appears not to fulfil this: the sounds are familiar, the forms are immediately recognisable not only as music, with melodic motifs, rhythmic order and a certain sense of dynamic flow all inbuilt, but as songs, with structure, form, melodic and rich in emotion, steeped in longing. But in its carefully-composed and intuitively balanced approach to the incorporation of so many disparate elements, Telebossa really do offer something new.




Telebossa – Garagen Aurora at Staubgold Online

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