Nomade Orquestra came together in Sao Paolo in the year 2012, though they could just as easily have emerged fully formed into our world from a mystical land where spaced out jazz soundtracks daily life and the passing of time is rhythm and groove… such is their elusive, ethereal yet highly accomplished and deeply funky otherness. The time is ripe for ten of the most talented and daring musicians working in Brazil today to deliver their fully formed debut. Effortlessly weaving through the disparate sounds of Brazil’s diverse musical diaspora, the group describe themselves and their shared project as ‘the point where different musical expressions and strands meet and interact in a unique way.’ From funk and soul to Afrobeat, Ethiogrooves, dub and hip hop, their sound remains firmly anchored in the world of jazz while taking off to the cosmic stratosphere and incorporating electronic elements, alongside traditional Brazilian styles along the way. In line with the bands’ musical and spiritual influences, adopted from age old lineages of the global east, the album’s opening track ‘Samurai’ kicks off the psychedelic party with the strike of a gong. Dreamlike synths, Marcos Mauricio’s arresting piano and André Calixto’s beautifully expressive Tenor saxophone shed the first light on this enchanting new incarnation of global roots music. ‘Sonhos de Tokyo’s hypnotic grooving bassline is complimented with psychedelic guitar riffs and ominous synth washes, building a sound both tranquil and unsettling. Bobby Mcferrin makes an appearance in spirit on ‘Bedum’, possibly the album’s most directly expressive track. ‘Morning Birds’, features the talents of Otis Trio’s Beto Montag, who brings his deft Marimba playing to the party for an Afrobeat-tinged beauty that further highlights the varied and deep roots of Nomade’s musical influences. Album closer ‘Garuda’ finds Nomade Orchestra in a more contemplative, mood. Bringing together soaring Chinese flutes, Hawaiian style fuzz guitar, snake charming saxophone and some world class Oud playing from guest musician Luciano Sallun, the track is a spiritual wonder. It is a fitting conclusion to a highly sensory journey that recalls the mystical jazz musings of Herbie Hancock and Pharoah Sanders while sounding like the Brazilian take on Taoism. Making music like none other in Brazil, or indeed the world, Nomade Orquestra lead the way.
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Joseph Abajian (DJ Jab) founded Fat Beats in 1994 with nothing more than a shoestring budget and an earnest obsession with the music, the culture, and the brotherhood of New York’s burgeoning rap scene. What began as a simple vinyl shop in Manhattan’s Lower East Side quickly became an integral hub for artists, both aspiring and established, to convene and collaborate on new projects. Joseph’s timing couldn’t have been more impeccable. When the 90’s cultural zeitgeist – and, in turn, the music industry establishment – chose hip-hop as its new arbiter of cool.
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