Source: Bandcamp Daily.
Thiago Nassif’s superb, richly varied new album Mente reflects the new sound of Rio de Janeiro’s experimental scene. Its 10 songs artfully blend pop songcraft with noise, art-rock, and local styles like bossa nova. This shouldn’t be surprising—few countries in the world possess a more variegated and vibrant music culture than Brazil. But the global music industry has a nasty habit of boiling the output of any nation down to a single sound or two; in the case of Brazil, we rarely encounter anything beyond samba and bossa nova, which for decades were the primary modes of expression in the country’s artistic center of Rio. But things have been changing over the last two decades, with musicians openly experimenting with noise, hip-hop, hardcore, and pop in a manner that recalls the innovations of the Tropicália movement of the late ’60s, when Caetano Veloso, Gilberto Gil, Gal Costa, Tom Zé, and Os Mutantes hybridized international artistic influences with native traditions. In 2000 the +2’s—the collective consisting of Domenico Lancellotti, Kassin, and Caetano’s son Moreno Veloso—began working as an egalitarian trio; each musician would make an album of their own songs while the others would serve as the backing band. This heralded a new era in adventurous pop music, quietly sowing the seeds for an omnivorous music scene.