From the Founders of the Manguebeat
This is the third album by Nação Zumbi after Chico Science, already one more than they recorded with the late musical innovator. The group has a reputation to hold since they were kind of the founders of the manguebeat, the revolutionary music from Pernambuco. This new album is released on the young label Trama, a label that gives the musicians more than the usual freedom. That resulted in this outstanding CD. Nação proves here that the band grew up to a powerful unit, that should even be able to gain success outside Brazil.
The familiar Nação Zumbi sound opens the album with “Blunt of Judah”; strong beat and the monotonous voice of Jorge du Peixe, perfectly fitting the rock tradition. Rodrigo Brandão lends his voice in “Propaganda,” one of the CD highlights. The typical manguebeat rhythm forms a solid base for the complicated vocals. Three songs were written in English. The weird “Amnesia Express” is one of them. It’s another highlight. The vocal approach as well as the music remind me of the band Oysterhead (Stewart Copeland, Trey Anastasio and Les Claypool). Distorted voices, funky beat and strange electronic sounds. Another English sung composition features John Medeski on organ, “Know Now,” proving Nação is looking across the borders. The song has a very strong beat with the addition of Scott Hard on guitar (who’s also responsible for the mix on this album).
“Meu Maracatu Pesa Uma Tonelada” is a short hard rock gem, but with always the heavy percussion laying down the groove. “Faz Tempo” takes it a little easier, although the rhythm is crazy. A jazzy guitar in “Prato de Flores” is like an oasis in the force we hear on the rest of the album. Same can be said about “Ogan Di Belê” with beautiful percussion behind the unique voices. Dona Cila is a guest with what you can describe as a “third world voice” on “Caldo de Cana,” an up tempo song where the berimbau sets the beat. “O Fogo Anda Comigo” is the third song with English lyrics. Portuguese and English, rather. It’s a difficult piece of music, strange melodic breaks, the beautiful voice of Nina Miranda. The closing “Tempo Amarelo” makes it all clear again: powerful almost heavy metal.
A surprisingly contemporary album, where Nação Zumbi keeps on exploring and pushing back the borders of what they started in the early 90’s. All songs are original compositions by the group: Pupillo drums and percussion; Lúcio Maia guitars; Jorge du Peixe vocals percussion and scratches; Gilmar Bolla 8 tambor and voice; Dengue on bass and Toca Ogan percussion and voices.
Trama T005/568-2 (2002)
- Blunt of Judah (Nação Zumbi)
- Mormaço (Nação Zumbi)
- Propaganda (Nação Zumbi)
- Amnesia Express (Nação Zumbi)
- Meu Maracatu Pesa Uma Tonelada (Nação Zumbi)
- Faz Tempo (Nação Zumbi)
- Prato de Flores (Nação Zumbi)
- Know Now (Nação Zumbi)
- Ogan Di Belê (Nação Zumbi)
- Caldo de Cana (Nação Zumbi)
- O Fogo Anda Comigo (Nação Zumbi)
- Tempo Amarelo (Nação Zumbi)