SÃO PAULO UNDERGROUND


Each of the musicians is an example of the new vanguard in music; Rob in contemporary jazz and forward-looking rock and the 3 Brazilian musicians in updating and modernizing Brazilian musical forms. São Paulo Underground embodies a fascinating musical mixture of Sun Ra-esque cosmic noise and rhythms and phrasing from samba, maracatu, rock and free jazz traditions.

"...the results are a mix of electric jazz, minimalism, and Brazilian samba, bossa nova, and street sounds. Percolating textures, crackling cornet (smacking of Miles Davis and Don Cherry), and surreal electronica process local riffs and rhythms for music that dances and frolics with all the joy and cheery chaos of a São Paulo street fair." – Icon


CANTOS INVISÍVEIS



RUNE 423

"São Paulo Underground's work - all of Mazurek's work, really - draws from multiple traditions, each of them already porous and absorbent, and combines ideas from each into something utterly new, while keeping it welcoming to almost any curious listener."
– The Wire


"Mixing the opaque with the diffused and blurring the lines between electric and acoustic, Rob Mazurek’s wide ambition continues to race toward the outer limits of what is possible in music."
– Something Else


With their breathtaking fifth album Cantos Invisíveis, the multi- national, multi-ethnic, multi-everything São Paulo Underground sounds more confident and intrepid than ever, with a glorious program of music evoking lost haunts, enduring love, and the sheer delirious joy of making music together.

In many ways the music on Cantos Invisíveis is a celebration of camaraderie and the spaces that allow love and friendship to unfurl. Alchemical aural conspirators for some 10 years, the group has developed its own approach to structure, with slippery forms, unabashedly beautiful melodies and lapidary textures laced with disquieting electronica beats and stutter-stepping improvisation. Rather than evoke a particular time and place, the music inhabits multiple planes simultaneously as "a projection of sound that celebrates as well as mourns past, present and future times," Mazurek says. "The vocal quality of this particular music shouts and hollers for love and compassion, the joy and sorrows of life. It’s a street parade for everybody."

The experience of listening to Cantos Invisíveis often feels like stepping through the fourth wall, as if you’re in the room with the guys, watching the instrumental conversations unfold in real time. The production enhances the intimacy, creating space to enter the music rather than building a protective shell. It’s a communion that can only develop "as a result of a lot of beautiful time spent together working on music and ideas and then travelling together playing throughout the world," Takara says. "I think there´s a certain atmosphere that only living and spending time together bring, and the record captures that beautifully.

These singular players create music unlike any other ensemble in São Paulo Underground, which expands into realms seen and unseen on Cantos Invisíveis. The title translates from Portuguese as "invisible corners" or "invisible songs" or "disappearing corners or songs." This music evokes the elusive nature of these songs, "the way we make our music, always masking it in some kind of way, a disappearing through layering and sound manipulation," Mazurek says. "The songs kind of disappear in a way like a cloud of pink in the sky. We create atmospheres that cause form and melody to disappear, and to reappear", so that savvy sound explorers can join São Paulo Underground on an unforgettable journey.

Cantos Invisíveis press release

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BEIJA FLORS VELHOE E SUJO



RUNE 359

"São Paulo Underground are one mind blowing group and the trio’s stature has risen yet another level with the release of their latest full length... This album is huge and one that I think will grab the ears of many different types of people. Tropicalia never sounded this modern and alive post 70s." – Sound Colour Vibration

São Paulo Underground is an electronica-laced tropicalia funhouse, a secret passage between Chicago’s volatile avant garde jazz scene and Brazil’s teeming creative capital.

Featuring Chicago maestro Rob Mazurek on cornet, harmonium and various effects, and São Paulo’s Guilherme Granado on keyboards, synths, sampler and vocals, and Mauricio Takara on percussion, cavaquinho and electronics, SPU delivers its fourth revelatory album Beija Flors Velho E Sujo.

In its latest incarnation, SPU is a power trio and a post-modern orchestra rolled into one, marked by glistening sonic textures, seductive eletronica beats, unabashedly beautiful melodies, an expansive improvisational palette and fiercely gleeful interplay. A potent program of new material honed during a 2012 North American tour, Beija Flors Velho E Sujo captures an ensemble hitting a fierce creative stride.

Ecstatic, roiling and utterly unpredictable, the music flows from three distinct musical personalities united by “the idea of infinite love, the idea of breaking through to the other side through sonic power and beauty,” says Mazurek, a veteran disrupter of genre conventions. Rather than stretching out for extended improvisational flights, the trio delivers a series of brief blasts, each brimming with musical incident.

Dauntless sonic explorers, SPU continues a relentless search into the mysteries of sound. “Sound has such potential, and needs to be split, cracked, slammed, caressed, kissed, sunk, buried, catapulted into new dimensions in order to begin a dialogue of the universes,” Mazurek observes.

Beija Flors Velho E Sujo press release

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TRÊS CABEÇAS LOUCURAS



RUNE 325

"Limitless in its possibilities." – Rolling Stone

"Post digital, post industrial psychedelia." – The Wire

"A modern approach to Brazil's tropicalia, that takes into account advances in sound manipulation and engineering. It is street music from the Brazilian subterranean avant-garde and it is confusingly wonderful." - All About Jazz

"Rob Mazurek returns to Brazil and floats his cool blue cornet over a spellbinding collage of saturated textures, syncopated rhythms and sundry electronics." - Time Out Chicago

Voted one of the Top 10 jazz albums of the year – 2011

"...the results are a mix of electric jazz, minimalism, and Brazilian samba, bossa nova, and street sounds. Percolating textures, crackling cornet (smacking of Miles Davis and Don Cherry), and surreal electronica process local riffs and rhythms for music that dances and frolics with all the joy and cheery chaos of a São Paulo street fair." – Icon

"São Paulo Underground are one mind blowing group and the trio’s stature has risen yet another level with the release of their latest full length... This album is huge and one that I think will grab the ears of many different types of people. Tropicalia never sounded this modern and alive post 70s." – Sound Colour Vibration

Tres Cabeças Loucuras is the third album by Sao Paulo Underground. It's a very catchy, jazz + electronics album filled with sunny melodies, beats, noise, sounds and songs. The group formed around Rob Mazurek (cornet and electronics), a key player in the Chicago post rock/modern jazz scene, who has played with everyone from his own Exploding Star Orchestra and Chicago Underground projects to performing and/or recording with Tortoise, Jim O'Rourke, Pharoah Sanders, and many more and whose work reflects a keen interest in modern, interesting music, both from the jazz and rock traditions. He spent several years living in the Brazil and developing a music that reflected those experiences. While in Brazil he met the co-founder of the group, Mauricio Takara (drums, percussion, cavaquinho (the 'miniature guitar' of Brazil), electronics). Performing and recording their first album as a duo, the gravity of the ensemble pulled in two other musicians: Guilherme Granado (keyboards, electronics, samplers) and Richard Ribeiro (drums).

Três Cabeças Loucuras press release

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MEDIA
For press and media: cover art and high resolution images are available below for download (click thumbnail, right-click image and select "Save As.."). Please credit the photographer (when available) and "Courtesy of Cuneiform Records". For more information, click here.

Cantos Invisíveis
Beija Flors Velho E Sujo
Três Cabeças Loucuras
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PRESS RELEASES
Cantos Invisíveis press release
Beija Flors Velho E Sujo press release
Beija Flors Velho E Sujo press quotes
Três Cabeças Loucuras press release
Três Cabeças Loucuras press quotes

CUNEIFORM E-BLASTS
12/21/2013: Cuneiform Year in Review: 2013
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