Friday, April 13, 2012

Os Magrelos on Electric Cowbell Records

Another single on Electric Cowbell has been dying to hit the turntable. This one from Os Magrelos, which features a couple of members of Bio Ritmo and a cover of Irani Barros and Nelson Cavaquinho’s “Luz Negra” which is the A-Side track.

Not familiar with the original, this one starts out with a cool, slow beat, real funky and a swirling mysterious electronic tone in there, like a church organ for a spy, detective soundtrack. It's an old radio show theme updated with horns and funk put together, the story is writing itself. The horns get more prevalent while those Farfisa breathy organ jabs take this from being a creeping Pink Panther homage into a smooth slick cool cat '70s jam somewhere in harlem. A windy effect comes back and it's a completely deserted street again. Fantastic instrumental, this great beat driving the entire thing and subtly working in unusual elements in what should be a straight up funk this delayed reverb chime melody...the pieces so seemingly separate it could be a DJ Shadow cut and paste.

The B-Side has two cuts starting with "Seja Como For" which features the band backing vocalist, Laura Ann. This side is a real shaker, an organ based salsa track. That smooth jazz slathered with muted trumpets, sort of an authentic mad men era track, when the US was sort of in love with those mysterious foreign sounds. It was hip to French stuff, south of the border stuff....forget zu zu, this captures all of that weird optimism perfectly, in a more subtle way. The congo rhtyhm and those sultry vocals from Laura...what a missed opportunity that show has with authentic bands like this around.
Next up "Canada Drive" with it's crazy drum machine beat, heavy sine wave sytnh saw blade sounds, pitch wheel siren, bossanova 2001. Kraftwerk salsa. Like those automaton displays at the Epcot center... for this alien band. Here's their soundtrack.

If you want to read a real review, go check out Notes and Bolts, this guy knows what he's talking about.

Paper sleeve, big hole, thick as a frisbee 45 from Electric Cowbell Records.
You could fill a jukebox.

Taking the classic samba by Nelson-Cavaquinho, Os Magrelos turn Luz Negra into a hypnotizing, bass heavy instrumental that samples the full spectrum of sounds from a vintage Farfisa organ. On Side B, you’ll feel the “saudade” or nostalgia, in the original bossa nova “Seja Como For” which features the classy voice of Laura Ann Singh accompanied by the mellow trombone of Tobias Whitaker (Bio Ritmo). The surprise bonus track, Canada Drive, is the solo project of leader Magrela Rose (aka Marlysse of Bio Ritmo). It’s a minute and a half of samba drum-machine madness beneath layers of lost sounds from a Juno 106. We are excited to debut the ‘samba rock’ of Os Magrelos.

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