Kassin +2 | Futurismo
Most Likely To: spruce up any space-age bachelor pad.
Kassin +2 is a strange name for a band. What’s even stranger (and is probably an affront to their publicist) is that the band keeps changing its name. Brazilian trio Moreno Veloso, Domenico Lancelloti, and Alexandre Kassin rename themselves each time they release a CD depending on which member of the band is featured. They debuted as Moreno +2 with Music Typewriter in 2001 followed by Sincerely Hot as Domenico +2 in 2004. Four years later it’s finally Kassin’s turn to take the lead role on Futurismo.
Sung entirely in Portuguese, Futurismo plays on traditional Brazilian music, taking a base of Sergio Mendes-inspired samba and mixing in touches of electronica and country-tinged rock. Throughout the record, vocals and percussion are immediately recognizable as Brazilian pop music, even if, like mine, your experience with the genre doesn’t stretch much beyond “Girl from Ipanema.”
It’s what Kassin +2 does with the rest of the instrumentation that moves Futurismo beyond being a well-executed regurgitation of samba. “Ponto Final” buries quirky electronic buzzing sounds throughout the tight, percussive jam. Next up is the title track, which features a prominent flute solo. “Simbioticos” leads smoothly into “Homen Ao Mar,” and both songs use the wide-open twang of the slide guitar to darken the mood, creating a distinct feeling that differs from samba’s gentle vocals and complicated, but generally upbeat, melodies. “Samba Machine,” the most daring track, combines an elaborate keyboard line, vocoder, and bird-like vocal cries then fades out over a smokin’ guitar solo.
While listening to Futurismo, the music recedes into the background until the album’s final track, the extremely catchy, “Ya Ya Ya.” It caps things off as joyous, drunken singing might end a party in the wee hours. Will there be a fourth Moreno Domenico Kassin collaboration? Hopefully the answer is yes, regardless of what they decide to call themselves.