Nov 12, 2008 - 9:10 PM
Born in Brazil to Spanish and Japanese parents, multi-instrumentalist Curumin is expected to have a broad musical pallet. Pouring all of his influences into one album would seem like an astonishing feat, yet on his latest release, JapanPopShow, Curumin tackles this cumbersome task and succeeds.
It is impossible to pigeonhole Curumin (born Luciano Nakata Albuquerque) into one genre, or even two. Samba and bossa nova intermingle with funk, jazz, dub, and electro-pop. So if my hand was held to the fire, I’d call it funky-bossa-samba-hippity-jazz-tinged-electro-dub-hop. For the sake of simplicity, let’s just call it genius. Quannum Projects label mates Lateef and Gift of Gab of Blackalicious lend some rhymes on the head nod friendly “Kyoto.” It’s the only track with English lyrics; The rest are in Portuguese. Não é importante—Curumin’s tone and delivery is so warm and wispy that the language barrier is a nonissue.
Instrumental “Salto No Vacuo Com Joelhada” utilizes music box notes and a haunting trumpet and somehow manages not to sound the least bit creepy. The smooth “Misterio Stereo” would fit perfectly in KKSF’s jazz playlist while the organ driven “Fumanchu” seals JapanPopShow with a kiss. Thank goodness he decided to pursue music instead of futbol.
With a little bit of the familiar mixed with the foreign, JapanPopShow sounds like everything and nothing you’ve ever heard before.
Kimberly Turner is Oh Dang!'s resident music critic and pastry fiend. And No, she's not fat.