Thursday, 16 February 2012

***Tom Ze & Gilberto Assis -Santagustin (Brazil 2002) -This is GREEAAT!!***

The reviewer below also says "I can say that I have yet to hear a bad record by the guy, including his 90s comeback albums Hips of Tradition (1992) and Fabrication Defect: Com Defeito de Fabricao (1998). Strike that. I have yet to hear a Zé record that wasn't pretty great-- and in light of Animal Collective's recent Brazilian odd-ysseys, now is as good a time as any to seek out one of the country's original outsiders."

"Santagustin finds Zé returning to his roots in theater, as he teams with composer Gilberto Assis to provide music for the ballet troupe Grupo Corpo. Ballet? Yes, but check it: It's got homemade answering machine IDM, discordant guitars and flutes with "Tom Sawyer" drums, non-discordant guitars and mandolins that will appeal to the same sect of Brazilian music lovers who dug Sung Tongs, guys and gals going, "Gee-ahhh, oh-way-oh-way, oh-waaayyy!", and lots of pitter patter Brazilian percussion. Apparently, Zé based his music on the ideas of Christian philosopher Saint Augustine, though to read a translation of his comments in the CD booklet is to enter a convoluted world of whimsical theory: "The technique of inducing a controlled infection in order to produce an antidote is well known. In this instance, through controlled error in the tonal functions we create a ferment ranging by degrees between rage and inoculation." It goes on like this. Fortunately, most of this (wordless) music is its own reward.

Opener "Marco da Era" begins as a cold, repetitive cell-phone ring, moving subtly into tones from other phones and eventually morphing into micro-beat electronica. The high pitches and digital precision sound closer to Mille Plateaux than Bahia, and when the messy splatter of brass that ends the piece hits, I wonder if I somehow managed to insert the wrong CD. However, "Ayres da Mantiqueira"-- with synth-flute, off-key whistling, pizzicato plucking and counterpoint of acoustic and electric guitar-- betrays Zé as the heart of this music. Likewise, the bouncy, classically tinged "Nogueira do Monte" sounds practically lifted from one of Zé's mid-70s LPs, with immediately distinctive guitar figures and a vocal melody fit for restless kings.

"Pixinguim-Rasqueira" also features a Zé trademark of short, wordless vocal accents like "oh!" and "ah!" used as percussive thuds and pings, amid more intricate acoustic guitar arpeggios and bizarre horn lines sounding part of a demented circus orchestra. Throughout the CD, there is a faux-chamber orchestral feel (which gets the better of my interest on the fairly tedious "Ciro-Gberto"), though its best moments are invariably the bubbliest and most infectiously catchy. I wouldn't recommend anyone start with Santagustin as an entry into Zé's music, but fans will easily pick out the joyous, eccentric strains of his stuff."

01 - Choro 1: Marco da Era
02 - Choro 2: Ayres da Mantiqueira
03 Choro 3 Nogueira do Monte
04 -Choro 4 Moura-Sion
05 - Choro 5 Pixiguim-Rasqueira Marky-Patifório - Hermetório - Joãogilbertório - Yamanduzório
06 - Choro 6 Ciro-Gberto
07 - Choro 7 Bate-Boca