Every Monday through Friday, we deliver a different song as part our Song of the Day podcast subscription. This podcast features exclusive KEXP in-studio performances, unreleased songs, and recordings from independent artists that our DJs think you should hear. Today’s featured selection, chosen by Midday Show host Cheryl Waters, is “Compacto” by Curumin from his 2008 album JapanPopShow on Quannum Records.
Curumin - Compacto (MP3)
Defining Curumin’s style of music as “samba-funk” is about as on-point as can be -- with one foot deep in the tropical rhythms of his Brazilian homeland and the other trailing through the grit of Detroit’s Motown scenesters, Curumin might just be the definition of that term. Born in Sao Paolo in the 1970s to Spanish and Japanese parents, Luciano Albuquerque, who took the name “Curumin” (the Brazilian term for a precocious child), seemed to have absorbed music of all types straight from the womb. By the time he was 7, he had already formed his own band with the help of a pots and pans rigged drum set. At 14, Curumin was recognized as one the city’s up and coming percussionists. A chance meeting with Quannum mainstay Chief Xcel set the stage for his music to enter the minds, and dancefloors, of the world. “Compacto,” his ode to compact, or 7″ 45 rpm, records, kicks off with the sort of warm bass you’d expect on a track backed by The Funk Brothers and a twangy guitar lick more G. Love and Special Sauce than Os Mutantes. Moments later, the Brazilian aspect of Curumin’s sound kicks in as his crystal clear Portuguese vocals ring out. Amid scratched records and deep rocking bass, one thing is made abundantly clear: this is a slow-riding funk jam that’ll get your hips shaking, no matter what country you call home.
Curumin is currently on tour through the U.S. and will play Nectar in Seattle on January 24. Check his MySpace page for more dates and information. For now, here’s Curumin performing his song “Sambajapa” on Brazilian television: