|by Blair Fraipont|
|New York: Funky Soul, Latin & More!
Artist: Brazilian Girls Album: Brazilian Girls
Another act that has emerged from New York is the breathtaking Brazilian Girlswhich reap some of the more lascivious search results from a random check on Google.com. They have seemingly emerged out of nowhere with an amalgam of sounds and inspirations in tow. Their colorful act has garnered a wide following, including a stint with Fela Kuti's son in Central Park. Brazilian pop, jazz, reggae and electronica are all part of their mixed cauldron of sound. Like some international cartoon band they have found their way into many a heart across the globe.
What one can appreciate about Brazilian Girls is that in one song such as "Lazy Lover" they elegantly bow in genuflection at the altar of Astrud Gilberto then deftly soar higher with a song such as the reggae "Pussy" which contain that now oft-quoted chorus, "Pussy, Pussy, Pussy, Marijuana." Lyrically they balance the pop sublime with the ridiculous. With a song such as "Long" which dedicates itself to delicate and dreamy electronica, you'll hear in one chorus, "Longer than your hair in the eighties, longer than the long run, longer than long." Their seemingly fearlessness is addictive for sure.
As alluring as their lyrical bravado are Sabina Sciubba, Brazilian Girls' multi-lingual singer, and rhythm section of Didi Gutman, Jesse Murphy, and Aaron Johnston. The latter three are impressive as they seem to execute musical fluency as easily as Sciubba glides in and out of English, French, German and Spanish. It is clear that these musicians have been heavily influenced by jazz; the textures and colors that shift effortlessly into one another could have originated nowhere else.
Brazilian Girls is a never-ending mine field of aural delight. One will find it hard to resist and will not tire of their songs. They walk that fine line of infusing many influences without losing focus or an edge. One can only hope that Brazilian Girls continue making beautiful music that forges their own individual strengths and creativity.
Artist: Ari Gold Album: Space Under Sun
After one electric performance at the Delaware Pride Festival, Saturday Sept 10th, one could not help but credit Ari Gold with giving a more than valiant effort at motivating the somewhat docile audience to move their feet. Most of the songs performed were from his recent work, Space Under Sun which mixes smooth delectable soul with mature r&b and fun funk sounds.
The opening title track scintillates with subtle effervescent electronic sirens, vocoder-inflected sequences and choruses from a r&b choir. The song is a desire for one's own acceptance of individuality or a "space under sun." This theme reappears throughout the album such as on the pining and almost devotional, "Bashert (Meant to Be)." On the luscious "Intimate" Ari receives some help from legendary songwriter and producer Desmond Child. For Culture Club fans, there is even a smooth and silky rendition of "Do You Really Want 2 Hurt Me"
The balladry is dispersed among a slew of upbeat and fun tracks. "Funk That Ship" is pure-Prince inspired vocals and humorous lyrics that could get a party going. Indeed, many of these dance tracks such as "Wave of You" and "Love Will Take Over" and the hip-hop inflected "Fan-Tastic" invoke the neon glare and club hopping adventures of a night out in New York. One of the highlights of the record is his argumentative duet with Kendra Ross on "He's On My Team."
Overall, the songs of love and yearning stand well next to the ones that bump and grind. Space Under Sun would work well in a car, the dance floor, or even an exciting night out on the streets of the big apple.
LETTERS From CAMP Rehoboth, Vol. 15, No. 13 September 16, 2005