Jungle reviews: the best of Brazilian music in 2012

Jungledrums readers who have been following the new music being made on the Brazilian shores know that the scene is just about celebrate the closing of the year with a special note. We believe that 2012 will be considered a “vintage year” when we people look back in the future.

Céu, who has recently toured the UK and released what is tipped to be one of the best albums of the year, “Caravana Sereia Boom”, and Lucas Santana who has also recently been in London presenting his cutting-edge piece “O Deus Que Devasta Também Cura”, are just a few examples.

There are other artists little known inside and outside Brazil that you should listen. Check below some of our picks for 2012.

São Paulo

  • MetaL MetaL

“Paulista” Kiko Dinucci has been creating little gems in the form of albums for a while and it is about time the rest of the world (and in fact the rest of Brazil apart from São Paulo) catch up.

Influenced by avant-garde artists like Itamar Assumpção and popular- afro-brazilian cultural expressions, Kiko has established himself also works as an illustrator. When he teamed up with Thiago França on the sax and Juçara Marcal on the leading vocal, Kiki promptly went back  to his afro roots, with rock and roll swindle to it – the nine songs in MetaL MetaL make explicit references to orishas (a spirit or deity in the Yoruba religion). You can download it for free from their official website (http://kikodinucci.com.br/)

  • Tulipa

After the success of her first album Efêmera two years ago, Tulipa (pictured above) treats us with the surprising Tudo Tanto. Produced by her brother, Gustavo Ruiz, the album shows off Tulipa’s confidence in experimental sounds and beats.Having a very powerful voice, Tulipa Ruiz is probably one of the best singers of her generation and proves her talent right in the second album, a new step forward, more mature and daring.

With the likes of Criolo, Lulu Santos, Kassin and many more, the new album promises to make way for success.  Highlights include the bluesy and dense “Víbora”. You can also download her album for free by clicking here.

Wanna dig deeper? Try this:

Rio de Janeiro

  • Nina Becker e Marcelo Callado

Nina from Orquestra Imperial fame and husband Marcelo Callado (Caetano Veloso’s drummer and member of one of Jungle’s favorite bands Do Amor), released Gambito Budapeste. Recorded in the flat they share, and with friends and great musicians such as guitarists Pedro Sá and Rubinho Jacobina, the album has Beatlesque melodies and the vocal harmony of bands like the Beach Boys or UK-indie Stereolab.

There is also a hint of Mutantes here and there (check “Marco Zero”).The album feels intimate and homely, yet open and welcoming to all listeners. There is also a song in English “Package to Leave” for those not initiated on Portuguese.

  • Tono

Formed by five young and inventive musicians, Tono has been through the stages of Rio de Janeiro in the past two years presenting a show considered outstanding for the originality of its songs, melodies and arrangements. Bem Gil (son of legend Gilbert Gil) has come out of age with a gentle and touching electric guitar in the band Tono. He is also the band producer while drummer Rafael Rocha is the singer.

Tono’s album was not released in 2012, but they feature on our list because of their incredible live shows around Brazil this year.  The band toured extensively around Brazil in 2012 and created a cult following. They’ve recently played with Criolo shook a large audience at Circo Voador (one of the top cultural landmarks of Rio).

Listen to Tono here: http://www.tono.mus.br/press.aspx

Wanna dig deeper? Try this:

Keep checking Jungle’s website for more 2012 highlights and best albums from artists from other estates in Brazil.

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