Far Out recordings are the place to go if you want cutting edge Brazilian music, and they’ve come up with the goods once again with a sensual marriage of bossa nova and programmed beats (with just a hint of Indian folk) from this new London-based collective. Democustico are the brainchild of Mauro Berman (the bassist with Brazilian rapper Marcelo D2) and his other half, the feisty but captivatingly feminine Azymuth vocalist Gabriela Geluda. With Far Out in-house producer Roc Hunter at the controls, this is a fine set of snappy bossa-beats featuring the seductive vocals of Geluda with guitar, bass, keyboards, flute, percussion, piano and just the odd whisper of tambura (Indian lute) lending smooth sonic support. The effective use of acoustic guitar adds a welcome bite to many tracks, and there are some atmospheric sound affects programmed by the inventive Hunter.
You may have already heard A Sereia, the Indian-infused single that announced the band’s arrival on the scene. With its shimmering tambura and rain stick effects, funky guitar picking, tough beats and Gabriela riding the waves of sound with an exultant vocal, it’ll please everyone from hardened bossa fans to the more sonically adventurous club-goer. It’ll certainly appeal to fans of Belgium’s Think Of One’s latest cross-over album, Tràfico as well.
Brasil is another highlight, with a rhythm as hot and seductive as the country after which it’s named, and a cool melodic chorus and bubbling beat keeping a lid on the temperature. Vaga-lume is the other track that might be familiar to some. There’s almost a folk feel to Gabriela’s voice, it’s high-pitched and double-tracked and dodges in and out of those Indian textures, as well as rushes of sexy sixties Hammond organ. Democustico can really deliver the funk as well — Pêra in particular has some really brisk, funky bass and heavy break-beats, with Gabriela’s voice just about tough enough to compete with it all.
All in all, an album to warm and lighten the cold dark nights of the coming winter.