Sep 06 2002

Suba: Tributo



TributoSuba Tributo is the obvious title of a CD that leaves very little surprise about its contents. Although it is remarkable that the artist himself is included on his tribute album, too. Mitar Subotic was born in 1961 in Yugoslavia, where he graduated in composition and orchestration. After doing research on Eastern European ethnic music, he decided to try his luck in Paris, France (late 80’s). With an UNESCO scholarship in his pocket, he arrived in Brazil (May 15, 1990). Between 1990 and his death on November 2nd, 1999, Suba left his mark on experimental Brazilian music. He worked with and for Marina Lima, Bebel Gilberto, João Donato, João Parahyba, Mestre Ambrósio and others. His São Paulo Confessions CD was well received all over the world. Suba was killed during a fire in his São Paulo apartment, where he also had a recording studio.

This CD has some of Suba’s work, but there are also musicians performing their tribute to the master of colors. Three very interesting tracks are the live recordings made in Rio (Centro Cultural do Banco do Brasil, 1996). Duets by Suba and his partner in crime João Parahyba (of Trio Mocotó). This percussionist loves to experiment with sounds as much as Suba, and that resulted in a creativity that’s amazing. The percussion by Parahyba is transformed into different shapes and textures instantly by Suba and his computers. You’ve got to hear it to know what that means. These recordings are kind of the basis for what the music of Suba stands for. The remaining 13 tracks on this CD give further clues. Friend-musicians pay tribute to the master in a clever way. Vinícius de Moraes and Antonio Carlos Jobim’s “Felicidade” is performed in three different cuts by singer Cibelle (wonderful voice, also featured on SP Confessions) and percussionist João Parahyba. The original takes are mixed in a way Suba would have agreed with. The song “Segredo” from the São Paulo Confessions CD is remade. Unfortunately I’m far happier with the original take. Co-written by Suba and Kátia B (Bronstein), the pearl “Segredo” lost a lot of its original beauty. Fortunately Kátia B gets a wonderful chance to show us her talents during the haunting “Are You Sleeping.” Her beautiful voice seems the perfect accompaniment for Suba’s electronics. Kátia B finished the unfinished song with the help of BiD, the producer who worked with Chico Science. That song is a highlight on this CD. As is the opening track “Sereia, Amor d’Água,” with a great mix between acoustic and electronic instruments. Featured here are the wonderful voice and organ playing of Cibelle, the acoustic bass by Sandro Hack and of course João Parahyba. Mônica Vasconcelos is the featured vocalist on “Samba do Gringo Paulista.” That sounds too much like house for (old fashioned) me. This unfortunate thing seems inevitable while experimenting with electronic music, I’m afraid. Marina Lima finished a tune (“Lagoa Pinheiros”) that she started with Suba. Due to too busy working schedules by Marina Lima, the song wasn’t finished in time to be included on the São Paulo Confessions album. The singer plays only keyboards on this track.

In short, on this CD the spirit of Suba’s music is omnipresent, which makes this a successful tribute! The booklet is pleasant and informative, designed by Zoran Janjetov, a long time friend of Suba, whose first produced album was one of Janjetov’s (early 80’s).



Ziriguiboom/ Crammed Discs ZIR13 (2002)
Time: 66’42”


  1. Sereia, Amor D’Água (Suba – Cibelle – Béco Dranoff) perfomed by Cibelle (remake)
  2. Futuro Primitivo 1 (João Parahyba) performed by João Parahyba/Suba (live)
  3. Felicidade (Vinícius de Moraes – Antonio Carlos Jobim) performed by Buscemi (mix)
  4. Segredo (Suba – Kátia Bronstein) performed by Boyz From Brazil (remake)
  5. Tantos Desejos (Suba – Taciana Barros) performed by Modern Quartet & Cibelle (mix)
  6. Nightly Sins (Suba – João Parahyba) performed by João Parahyba (tribute)
  7. Samba do Gringo Paulista (Suba) performed by Zero dB (reconstruction)
  8. Futuro Primitivo 2 (João Parahyba) performed by João Parahyba/Suba (live)
  9. Lagoa Pinheiros (Suba – Marina Lima) performed by Suba and Marina Lima
  10. Você Gosta (Suba – Barros – Paiva) performed by Phil Asher (mix)
  11. Are You Sleeping (Suba – Kátia Bronstein – BiD) performed by Suba, Kátia B and BiD
  12. Felicidade (Vinícius de Moraes – Antonio Carlos Jobim) performed by The Funky Lowlives (mix)
  13. Na Neblina dos Sonhos (Suba – Barros) performed by Taciana and Apollo 9 (tribute)
  14. Samba do Gringo Paulista (Suba) performed by Bigga Bush (reconstruction)
  15. Futuro Primitivo 2 (João Parahyba) performed by João Parahyba/Suba (live)
  16. Felicidade (Vinícius de Moraes – Antonio Carlos Jobim) performed by Juryman (mix)