Klaus Johann Grobe first came on my radar with the song “Liebe am Strand” off their 2016 release, Spagat der Liebe. Their latest record, Du Bist So Symmetrisch, out today, blurs the lines between disco, funk, and electro-pop. In a perfect way to end the week, we invited the Swiss duo to create their Talkhouse playlist.
—Keenan Kush, Talkhouse Operations Manager
To our surprise, people ask us about the impact of Brazilian music quite often. Our label, Trouble In Mind, seemed to have made a connection between the music we make and MBP (Música Popular Brasileira), especially with our last record Spagat der Liebe. The truth is, we’ve always been big fans of Brazilian music, from Jazz to Bossa Nova to MBP—even the Brazilian Psych and Prog movement, which delivers some of the most amazing pieces in the genre. It’s probably the warm harmonies and the joy of trying out new, fresh, and weird arrangements that, at first listen, don’t really fit together. It’s hard to explain, but even though we don’t think it’s possible to hear direct influences, it has always had a big impact on how we see, love and understand music, including on Du Bist So Symmetrisch. It’s always very inspiring!
So, here is a list of a couple of our favorite ’70s Brazilian tunes. But be aware, it’s just an incomplete list of our current faves—the actual list of favorite Brazilian tunes would be endless!
Quarteto Em Cy — “Tudo Que Você Podia Ser”
Originally written by Lô Borges and released on his magical Clube da Esquina LP, the Quarteto Em Cy version features a wonderful arrangement which really understood the quality of the original composition and helped to bring it to a different level.
Naná Vasconcelos, Nelson Angelo, Novelli — “Tiro Cruzado”
The song itself is nice and wonderful already—a reduced typical Brazilian piece which combined traditional rhythms with a Bossa guitar and the usual warm singing—but listen to how weirdly they use the organ on this. No one would have had the courage to do this over here. It also sounds like an organ Hermeto Pascoal would have come up with.
Lô Borges — “Homem Da Rua”
Lô Borges! Still underrated (at least outside Brazil, I guess). While his friend Milton Nascimento became something like a superstar even in Europe, Lô Borges stood more in the shadow but delivered some of the most beautiful and haunting songs. This is one of them, off his beautiful self-titled debut album from ’72.
Arthur Verocai — “Na Boca Do Sol”
One of the most amazing records of all time. So much impact of how I understand music. This, “Caboclo,” or “Dedicada A Ela” could all have easily be included in this list!
Beto Guedes — “Caso Você Queira Saber”
Another member of the Clube da Esquina and this is just a beautiful piece ending in a deep flute, drum, and bass part.
Karma — “Depois Do Portão”
Mostly known for their only album, a folk-prog masterpiece with Arthur Verocai doing some arrangements on it. But the whole record is nothing compared to this incredible track that was only released on a festival compilation 45 in 1972. Those vocal and instrumental harmonies!
Marcos Valle — “Democústico”
One of the most magical and fascinating records out of Brazil. File next to Verocai’s debut with added madness.
Azymüth — “Faça de Conta”
Azymüth influenced a whole generation of European musicians during the acid-jazz and nu-jazz whatever movement in the ’90s and early ’00s. You can love or hate their smooth fusion led instrumentals… We call this one dream-fusion, and it’s perfect!
Eduardo Araújo & Silvinha — “Opanigê”
This is taken from a strange prog-Brazilian concept album, which is all over the place, but listen to “Opanigê!” It’s such a heavy tune, with flute!
Tico Da Costa — “Jerimum”
Alright, this one is cheating a little—it’s from 1982, but it sounds much earlier and was only released in Italy. What an infectious groove!
Edu Lobo — “Vento Bravo”
Edu Lobo is responsible for a couple of all time favorite Brazilian records. Being it his Bossa Nova albums, smooth late ’70s pieces, or, like here, his more experimental ones. They always have amazing arrangements and twists and turns!
Quinteto Ternura — “Leão De Bronze”
Funky, but so warm and with your usual arrangement turns. Only the folks in Brazil pull this off!
Evinha — “Esperar Prá Ver”
Another Brazil funk number, if you want. A great groove which supports Evinha’s laidback voice perfectly. It just catches you. And horns! And strings! And a dull fuzz guitar… !