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Waxing Brazilian 

Wednesday, Jan 21 2009
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Curumin's 2005 debut album, Achados e Perdidos, established the Brazilian multi-instrumentalist as a global alt.pop up-and-comer. He fused funk and soul influences into bossa-nova– and samba-tinged originals, along with what is perhaps the definitive Portuguese-language version of Stevie Wonder's "You Haven't Done Nothin'." On 2008's follow-up, Japan Pop Show, Curumin got even more eclectic. Spaghetti Western guitars and synthesized flute lines combine on the title track; the single "Kyoto" — featuring Quannum labelmates Lateef, Gift of Gab, Chief Xcel, and RV Salters — mixes conscious raps, funky beats, and quasi-dancehall sound effects; and "Esperança" updates a tropicalismo classic into a downtempo dream.

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Eric K. Arnold

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