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- Siria – Mestre Cupijo e Seu Ritmo by Various
9/10 Mark Customer review, 11th September 2014
One great thing that the internet has done for music is to allow small labels to find and re-issue music that (skint) mortals like myself had no chance of hearing before. Analog Africa are one of those labels doing just that and here they have really hit the jackpot. Bought on the strength of the labels previous compilations, I took a punt on this and it is fast becoming my album of the year. (At least for the first six months anyway.) The extensive sleeve notes and accompanying imagery show that this music has a complex history, but in a nutshell Siria is a compilation of late 70s early 80s recordings by Mestre Cupijó who re-imagined the unique sound of 'Siria' - a traditional style originating from African slaves (Quilombos folk, apparently) and the indigenous tribes of the Amazon rainforest. Retro North Brazillian music to you and me. The story gets a lot more complicated and is in many ways irrelevant as it's the music that I (and you) should be getting down your calypso necks.
How does it sound? Tropical, jazzy and despite most of the tracks being short almost trance like in their repetition. I'm not sure it can be classed as 'psychedelic', but after repeated plays it almost seems to share that mindset.
The vinyl packaging is beautiful with background information and stunning photography to boot, and although it might be too late to let it soundtrack this Summer, that's no excuse not to invest for the future. BUY.
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