Posts Tagged ‘Bossa Nova’

The Secret Warehouse of Sound Recordings – 23rd September 2020

Christopher Nosnibor

Maybe it’s just me, perhaps I’m tired and emotional or perhaps I’m just feeling particularly sensitive as the long-term effects of an absence of live music and being generally cut off from people bites harder as the nights draw in and the days grow shorter, but I’ve started to feel a real heavy-hearted ache lately for the things I miss. Maybe these are my October Blues, which means the arrival of this single is perfectly timed – not to lift the spirits, but to reflect that inward-facing melancholy that comes with the urge to hibernate or hunker down by a log fire.

Admittedly, it’s been a long time since I spent lazy evenings in basement bars listening to live blues, and it’s perhaps precisely because of that that Muca & La Marquise’s latest single, fills me with pangs of nostalgia.

Stripped-back and simple, primarily an acoustic guitar and voice, it evokes simpler times – while at the same time being absolutely timeless – of late-night smoky basement bars, with its jazz-tinged blues and laid back laconic delivery. La Marquise has a magnificent voice – timeless, classic, smooth. The guitar-playing is similarly understated, but follows a nice, chilled slow blues chord sequence and there’s an exquisite break, too, that draws you in and drifts away on a magnificent wave of melancholy.

The Secret Warehouse of Sound Recordings – 23rd September 2020

Christopher Nosnibor

‘Blue Moon Bossa’ is the follow-up to Muca & La Marquise’s debut, ‘London’, and I have to confess this isn’t my regular bag and certainly not regular Aural Aggro fodder. In a fit of antagonism, I’d ordinarily dismiss the majority of jazzy / bossa stuff a bunch of muso wank and sonic wallpaper, but for every rule there is, and has to be an exception.

Moreover, jazz, like blues, has a certain place, and I began to develop my appreciation of both back in the days of smoke-filled basement bars putting on late-night shows where the emphasis was on slowing things down, relaxing and cutting loose a bit. These aren’t things I’m especially good at, but given the right ambience, the right soundtrack, and the right whisky, it turns out even I can chill a little.

‘Blue Moon Bossa’ is the epitome of chill – or even chiiiiiiill. It’s smooth as smooth gets, muffled, smoky, laid back to horizontal, hypnotic mid-tempo, and mellow as, with sultry vocals accompanied by acoustic instrumentation of guitar and hand-drums that’s understated and subtly melts together to create something a shade soporific, it’s one of those cuts that lowers the heart rate and transports the listener to a calm place, real or imagined. A little escapism goes a long way in a world of pressure and stress, and this is just nice.

Blue Moon Bossa_ ARTWORK FINAL

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

 

Telebossa – Garagen Aurora at Staubgold Online