“…my tradition is the mix, the different places, the diversity. My soul is connected to the rhythm.”
“One of the smarter young musicians in São Paulo, Curumin is a fully paid-up scholar of both Brazilian and American funk from the 70′s.” Ben Ratcliff – The New York Times
Some 40 years after tropicalismo emerged in Brazil with its avant-garde melting pot philosophy that the rest of the world only started catching up to decades later, Brazil is still turning out cutting edge music with 21st century variations. Among the latest artists to hit these shores is Luciano Nakata Albuquerque, a.k.a Curumin (KOO-roo-mean), a São Paulo singer/composer/multi-instrumentalist of Spanish and Japanese heritage.
In September 2005, Californian hip-hop duo Blackalicious discovered Curumin while touring Brazil and released his first album, Achados e Perdidos, worldwide on Quannum Projects. Curumin made his debut US performance during CMJ 2005. He continued performing around the States over the next year, including the M3 Conference, the World Music Festival in Chicago and the Quannum Ao Vivo tour with Tommy Guerrero and Honeycut. Cummin’s song Tudo Bern Malandro” is featured on Big Change: Songs for FINCA, compiled by Natalie Portman and on french Radio Nova’s “Brasil do Futuro” 2006 compilation by Remi Kolpa Kopoul. The song “Guerreiro” was featured in a Nike commercial aired during the FIFA World Cup 2006. Most recently, this same song appeared on a Miller Beer US TV ad campaign. “Guerreiro” also appears representing Brazil in the soundtrack of the game FIFA Street II. “Vem Menina” featured on french Radio Nova compilation “Nova Tunes 1.3″
His second album, JapanPopShow (Quannum), released in 2008, is a head-spinning amalgamation of MPB (musica popular Brasileira), Brazilian roots, samba-reggae, dub, hip hop, electronica, funk, rock, and pop along with hints of Brazilian jazz and the kind of samba rock pioneered by 70s Sound Of Brazil’s stars like Jorge Ben and Tim Maia. . It’s to Curumin’s credit that he kneaded this thick sonic dough into something not just digestible but delicious. JapanPopShow includes some of the catchiest music released last year, including a single, “Compacto,” that rates as an ideal song of summer. He comes across as a inspired experimentalist with an innate pop sense who manages to project a unified vision even while ricocheting among hard-funk workouts (“Caixa Preta”), tuneful rock anthems (“Magrela Fever”/representing Brazil in the soundtrack of the game FIFA 09), breezy ballads full of soul (“Misterio Stereo”), off-kilter noir-samba-reggae grease-fests like the title track, and collage-like, politically charged mashes of dub, rap, funk, and electronica like on “Kyoto”. The album featuring guest appearances of artists like Blackalicious, Tommy Guerero, General Electriks and Turbo Trio.